This oh-so-yummy squash is more than your just average side dish veggie! The cooked squash flesh shreds into threads like spaghetti— hence the name. The strands make a good alternative to pasta, potatoes, or rice and can be served with some sort of a sauce.
Spaghetti squash is available year-round, but the peak season is in the fall. Like any winter squash, it’s quite hard and cutting it raw can take some muscle and a sharp knife…or cleaver. The pulp and seeds are also harder to scrape out when the squash is raw.
Here’s an easy way to prepare it:
Cut the squash in half lengthwise and place, cut side down, in a baking dish. Add enough water to come about 1/2-inch up the sides of the dish and cover with aluminum foil. Bake at 375°F for 45 minutes, until the squash is easily pierced with a knife. Turn the squash over and cover with foil again and cook for another 15 minutes, until it is very tender. Remove from the over, uncover and let it cool slightly. Using a spoon, remove the seeds and discard. Using a fork, gently pull the strands of squash away from the peel.
Why all the trouble? Besides its delicious versatility, spaghetti squash is packed with beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant. It can prevent the oxidation of cholesterol in the body and help regulate blood-sugar levels. The potassium in the squash helps lower blood pressure and it has tons of fiber! They come in different shapes, so look for a squash that is firm and heavy for its size. Soft spots and green color are signs that the squash isn’t ripe.
Try it in some of our favorite spaghetti squash recipes!