Spaghetti Squash

I can’t believe how many people haven’t heard of the wonderful spaghetti squash.  It’s in your grocery store and probably at your local farmers market next to the butternut squash, acorn squash, hubbard squash and other hearty varieties.

The interesting and unique thing about the spaghetti squash is that it has strands inside that are just like spaghetti!  So, for all you pasta addicts who love enormous helpings of the high-calorie/low-nutrient wheat flour boxed stuff, this can  change your life.  While there is nothing wrong with a little whole wheat or quinoa pasta now and then, if you really want to eat like a nutritarian you are going to want to switch to this.  You can either eat a whole bowl of just the spaghetti squash or try making half the amount of your regular spaghetti and incorporate in a cup or two of spaghetti squash.

 

Other favorite winter squash varieties to bake and enjoy are the familiar butternut–

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

…and the lesser-known hubbard–

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To cook winter squash, preheat your oven to 375 F.  Carefully slice your squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds from each half.  Place freshly cut side down (rind up) on a baking sheet and bake for about 45 minutes or until the squash is tender.

I like simple food so I usually eat spaghetti squash topped with  salsa or with a dash of salt and spices.  Other squash types I often purée in the food processor or scoop out baked chunks and mix then with other veggies.  Do some online recipe searching and you will find all kinds of delicious ways to add squash to your meals.

Nutrient Comparison (source USDA National Agricultural Library):

1 cup spaghetti=  221 calories, 62mg potassium, 10mg calcium, 0IU vitamin A

1 cup spaghetti squash=  42 calories, 181mg potassium, 33mg calcium, 170IU vitamin A

Have you ever eaten spaghetti squash?  What do you think of it?

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