Spaghetti Squash

 

Spaghetti squash is the trendiest new squash (sorry, butternut- we still love you) and is definitely worth adding to your fall dish repertoire. The first time I tried spaghetti squash was actually at my work cafeteria, and I absolutely loved the consistency and subtle flavor but didn’t quite understand how it came to be (Did the squash just have little strings inside? Did you have to press it through a grater?). If you’ve never tried it, imagine a truly spaghetti-shaped zucchini noodle that holds its bite a bit better but has the taste of a mild butternut squash.

img_20180923_1844294391312110323.jpgI bought one myself and cut it open only to see that it looked like a yellow cantaloupe, and my first instinct was that I bought the wrong squash. Trusty Google showed me that I had in fact bought a spaghetti squash and that it would be just as stringy as I hoped once I was through – and it did not disappoint!

I love anything that can increase the volume of a meal without adding too many calories, and this is where spaghetti squash shines; you can have a whole cup with only about 40 calories but good fiber and micronutrients including potassium, vitamin C, and B vitamins.

Making spaghetti squash is incredibly easy (almost unbelievably so):

  1. img_20180923_183103_0061099019059.jpg

    Squash immediately post-baking but before spaghetti-ing.

    Cut squash in half vertically (like you’re splitting the stem).

  2. Remove the seeds and the pulp attached to them.
  3. Brush with 1-2 T olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt for a savory dish. Alternatively, brush with 1-2 T butter, 1 tsp cinnamon, and 1 tsp syrup for a sweeter version.
  4. Place face-up on a baking sheet and cook at 380F for 60 minutes. It should be incredibly tender.
  5. Take a fork and use it to rake the flesh of the squash. The strings will naturally separate and pull away (I took a video below for you to visualize). Continue until you have pulled out all of the strings and you’ll have your ‘spaghetti’!

I’ve seen savory versions topped with parmesan and herbs, but I love the sweet version for a fall side dish. Either way, you’ll get a lot of volume and flavor without a ton of calories!

 

 

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