Spaghetti squash – have you tried them?

Have you ventured into the world of spaghetti squash yet? This is an amazing vegetable that when cooked, produces thin, translucent spaghetti-like strands that can easily be scraped out with a fork. After all our experience with carving pumpkins, it’s strange to think of a squash that when cooked looks spaghetti. What was Mother Nature thinking of?

Spaghetti squash’s botanical name is Cucurbita pepo and it is a variety of winter squash. Unlike many of our other vegetables, it’s a new comer to our lives. Spaghetti squash originated in China. In 1921, it was introduced to Japan by a Chinese agricultural research firm and was brought to North America fifteen years later.

It has a mild taste similar to pasta. In fact, some people use it a substitute for pasta due to its low carbohydrate levels. Spaghetti squash can be added to a variety of dishes, such as soups and stews, or eaten raw. When served as “spaghetti,” it can be topped with a wide variety of pasta sauces.

Spaghetti squash is rich in the B vitamins riboflavin, niacin, and thiamin, which promote optimal cellular function. Folate is also found in this great vegetable. It contains the essential minerals calcium, iron, phosphorus, and zinc. It is also rich in potassium, a mineral that maintains proper muscle and nerve function. It also has manganese, a mineral that assists in bone and tissue heath, metabolism, calcium absorption, and nerve function.

Another reason to try spaghetti squash is for its omega-3 and omega-6 fats content. Omega-3 fats are associated with the prevention of inflammation and omega-6 fats are linked to proper brain function.

 Cooking your spaghetti squash

  • Preheat oven to 375’F. Cut squash lengthwise in half. Scrape out seeds and loose membranes.
  • Place squash halves, cut side down, on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Baked 45 to 60 minutes (depending on size), or until flesh is tender and can be easily pierced with a fork.
  • Cool squash a few minutes, and then use a fork to gently scrape and pull the squash into strands. Serve tossed with melted butter, salt and pepper, or dress up more fancifully, with such things as goat cheese, extra virgin olive oil and fresh herbs.

What are you waiting for? Giving take one home today!.