Spaghetti Squash….if you haven’t tried it, you’re missing out!
Meredith Hill, RD, explains her top 3 reasons and a recipe to get you using spaghetti squash:
- It makes a terrific low carb substitute for regular spaghetti. This mildly sweet, winter squash has yellow, stringy strands similar to spaghetti noodles. With only 10 grams of carbohydrate per cooked cup compared to 42 grams in one cup cooked pasta, spaghetti squash is a much better choice for those aiming to limit their carbohydrate intake for blood sugar control. It’s a good source of antioxidants like vitamin C, beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin. Minerals manganese and potassium, as well as vitamin B6 help with nerve function. The fiber it contains not only supports weight control by keeping you feeling fuller longer but it also promotes GI health. Besides being a low carb option, it is also gluten free!
- One of the keys to an optimal diet is to eat local, organic, and IN-SEASON produce whenever possible. By following those guidelines, you can ensure that the concentration of nutrients and flavor are highest and cost is at its lowest. Spaghetti squash is harvested in early fall and keeps for months in cool storage, so it’s available in markets through winter and spring. So be sure to grab one next time you’re at the farmer’s market or grocery store.
- There’s no need to feel deprived of some of your favorite meals when you can use something delicious and versatile like spaghetti squash. Although the flavor and texture is not going to be identical to traditional pasta, many people still find that spaghetti squash is a suitable replacement given the nutritional benefits. Give your taste buds time to adjust and you’ll soon see that you can use this veggie in place of pasta. Discover all the ways you can use it in addition to adding marinara or meat sauce to it, for example, in casseroles, as a crust for quiches, or as a simple side dish. Here’s a recipe to get you started:
Garlic Lover’s Spaghetti Squash (Roasted Garlic Spaghetti Squash)
1 medium spaghetti squash
1 head of garlic (about 15 cloves)
sea salt and pepper
2 T. organic, grass-fed butter
1/4 c. minced fresh parsley or basil
Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Peel the individual garlic cloves. Lightly brush the exposed flesh (the inside of the squash) and toss the garlic with olive oil. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Place flesh side down, with garlic cloves inside each cavity of the squash, on the paper-lined baking sheet. Bake for 25-30 minutes, being careful not to over-cook.
Once it cools off enough to handle, take a fork and scrape out the inside. It should easily separate into strands. Mince the roasted garlic. In a large pan, melt butter, add garlic, and sauté for about 2 minutes over medium to medium high heat. Add parsley/basil and squash. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Continue to cook for an additional 3-5 minutes. Serve warm and enjoy!