I made my first spaghetti squash last night! I had been wanting to try one for some time now because I found the bright, big-bird-looking squash to be quite intriguing. I had never seen or tasted squash that resembled anything close to spaghetti.
It ended up being a success and definitely something I’ll be making again.
I baked the it for an hour and a half at 375F. The directions on the sticker that came with the squash said it only needed to be baked for an hour, but I missed the step that said cut the squash in half…so needless to say, it took longer than an hour to get tender! I thought it was a little strange to be cooking such a huge squash whole, but my head’s been all over the place and I’ve been so busy lately that I must not be thinking straight. I clearly should have taken the time to stop and follow my intuitions…Well, on the positive side, now I know for next time, and the little extra cooking time just helped to expand my appetite!
After it finally came out of the oven, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I took a knife and opened that large baby up, and much to my surprise, there was a bunch of noodle-like tubes staring back at me. I took a fork and pulled it through the squash’s flesh to scoop out the “noodles”. After I placed a heaping pile on my plate, I topped them with some unthawed, homemade sauce made from my summer garden grown tomatoes. So simple, and oh so delicious!
The flavor of the spaghetti squash alone was pretty neutral, kind of like a mild butternut squash, and when sauce was added, it tasted just like spaghetti. The texture wasn’t quite the same as regular noodles and was also a little bit crunchier than most varieties of squash. While I usually prefer my squash to be extra silky and soft, the crispiness worked perfectly to hold the squash strands into perfectly shaped noodles. My plate certainly looked like it contained the standard Italian dish of spaghetti with tomato sauce.
Just like spaghetti, this “spaghetti” quickly filled me up. However, unlike calorie-loaded pasta, spaghetti squash contains a mere 42 calories per cup. Also, for anyone watching their carbs, spaghetti squash only contains 10 grams of carbs, whereas traditional pasta contains 43 grams. Additionally, it holds 2 grams of fiber per cup, which worked to satiate my appetite and fully fill me up.
Spaghetti squash is a great way to add some more vegetables into your diet. Instead of sticking to those staple vegetables you may be consistently consuming, try switching it up by throwing in a spaghetti squash. New and unique produce will help you get excited once again to eat your vegetables. It’s also a great way to keep your diet consisting of in-season foods. Typically, when foods are in season, they will be fresher, which means they’ll hold more nutrients. In season foods that can be grown locally also decrease travel time. which means a decrease in greenhouse gas emissions.
While it’s in season (early fall through winter months), I’ll definitely be utilizing spaghetti squash as a change of pace from my traditional stash of pasta. Impress (or trick) your guests with this new treat. It tastes delicious, looks good, and is just plain fun to use!