It looks weird, it is intimidating and it is DELICIOUS with the right sauce! I have never looked twice at the winter squash available at the local market before this year. Intimidated by the unknown of the question, it is tasty? easy to incorporate into foods? would the rest of the family eat it? I consider this, the best food I would have NEVER ate!
January has been a month of many new things in my eating repertoire and I am so glad I finally tried these winter gourd varieties. From butternut squash, to acorn squash and the new household favorite, spaghetti squash. It is such a versatile squash, full of folic acid, potassium, vitamin A and beta carotene, it is worth giving a try.
Here’s a little background on this unique winter squash –
The spaghetti squash (Cucurbita pepo) (also called vegetable spaghetti, noodle squash, spaghetti marrow, and squaghetti) is an oblong seed-bearing variety of winter squash. The fruit can range either from ivory to yellow or orange in color. The orange varieties have a higher carotene content. Its center contains many large seeds. Its flesh is bright yellow or orange. When raw, the flesh is solid and similar to other raw squash; when cooked, the flesh falls away from the fruit in ribbons or strands like spaghetti. – Source, Wikipedia
How to cook Spaghetti Squash –
I was given cooking suggestions from Badass Fitness’, Shannon Colavecchio who cooks this often, on the easiest way to prepare it. Preheat oven to 400 and place whole squash in the oven on a baking pan and bake for about 40 minutes. I tend to allow my spaghetti squash to go for 45 minutes or until the outer layer of “skin” begins to wither a bit.
Remove from the oven and cut in half and spoon out seeds. Next, using a fork, shred squash into strings like spaghetti and serve with your favorite marinara or sauce. The squash literally takes on the flavors of whatever you pair it with. At just 42 calories per cup, how can you not give this simple pasta alternative a try!
I recently paired my spaghetti squash with some slow-cooker venison and mushroom sauce and gave it to my reluctant husband to try. Two bowls of spaghetti later, he’s hooked too!
Here are a few other winter squash that you should consider trying – Acorn Squash, Kabocha Squash, Butternut Squash and roast your own pumpkin for a no-sugar added alternative to the canned variety for recipes.