Embracing Spaghetti Squash

by in Healthy Recipes, January 29, 2009

There are many kinds of winter squash available now, but spaghetti squash is the most light and versatile of the bunch. If you’ve never tried one or don’t know how to prepare it, fear not.

What is spaghetti squash?
Spaghetti squash (Cucurbita pepo) is a variety of winter squash (others include acorn, butternut and delicata). It has a bright yellow exterior and white stringy pulp that resembles thin noodles when cooked.

Why is spaghetti squash “Healthy Eats”?
A cup of cooked spaghetti squash has 40 calories, 2 grams of fiber, 10 grams of carbohydrate, no cholesterol and 10% of the daily recommended amount of vitamin C. Spaghetti squash’s popularity spiked during the low-carb diet craze, but this veggie is worth checking out beyond it’s low-carb benefits — it tastes great, too.

What to do with spaghetti squash?
Unlike other winter squash, spaghetti have a very mild flavor. To prepare, cut in half lengthwise and boil, steam, microwave, or roast with olive oil, salt and pepper. Once cooked, the fibrous pulp easily comes out with a fork (get the kids to help you, it’s kind of fun!).

Enjoy cooked squash with marinara sauce for a lighter alternative to a pasta dinner. Try roasting with ginger or combining with vegetables and cheese for a hearty casserole.

Shopping Tip: Choose squash that are brightly colored, firm and without blemishes. Store uncut in a cool, dry place; they will stay fresh for weeks. Once cut open, wrap the squash in plastic and keep it in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

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