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Food of the Month


Spaghetti Squash

Digestive Health

Spaghetti squash contains 2.2 grams of fiber for each cup of cooked squash. Fiber adds bulk to your stool, helping prevent constipation. Fiber also helps you feel full for longer after your meal.

Heart Health

Spaghetti squash contains a lot of antioxidants and phytochemicals, making it a great food to ward off heart disease. The fiber found in the squash forms a gel in your digestive tract that helps remove cholesterol from your body. Some vitamin B complexes are also present in spaghetti squash, strengthening cardiac muscles as well as supporting proper functioning of your heart. Spaghetti squash also helps regulate blood pressure. This is due to the presence of magnesium and potassium, which are effective in lowering blood pressure.

Eye Health

The antioxidants beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin found in this variety of squash are all linked to healthy vision and optimal eye health.

Anti-Inflammatory

The omega-3 fatty acid content of spaghetti squash may prevent inflammation that can lead to heart disease, arthritis, and certain types of cancer. With winter squash, such as spaghetti squash, we have a fantastic anti-inflammatory food opportunity in which we can get a valuable amount of our anti-inflammatory omega-3s without much of a change in our total fat intake.

Tips for Selecting and Storing Spaghetti Squash

Selecting…

Selecting:

  • Choose a spaghetti squash with a firm, dry rind free of soft spots and cracks.
  • Squash should be heavy for its size with a firm, dry, rounded stem, which helps keep out bacteria.
  • Avoid spaghetti squash that has cracks and soft spots or is without a stem.
  • Also avoid spaghetti squash with a shiny rind, as it may have been picked too soon or have a wax coating.

Storage…

Storage:

  • Store squash in a cool, dry place (preferably 55 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit) up to 3 months.
  • Cut squash should be tightly wrapped in plastic wrap and refrigerated.

How to Cook a Spaghetti Squash Whole

Wash the squash and pierce it several times with a sharp knife. (Do this especially if you’re microwaving it, or you may end up with an exploded squash.)

Then you can either:

  • Bake about an hour in the oven at 375 Fº
  • Microwave 10 to 12 minutes, then let stand for 5 minutes or so afterward to finish steaming
  • Boil for half an hour or so
  • Put it in a crock pot with a cup of water and let it go on low all day (8 to 10 hours)

When done, cut open, remove seeds and pulp (use tongs and an oven mitt—it is HOT) and separate strands with a fork.

Serving Suggestions…

  • For a simple way to increase the amount of veggies in your diet, skip the pasta and use spaghetti squash instead.
  • Instead of buttered noodles, sauté spaghetti squash with garlic, butter, grated Parmesan, and crushed red pepper.
  • Add strands to soup instead of noodles.
  • Roast the seeds as you would pumpkin seeds for a healthy, nutritious snack.
  • Spaghetti squash is a delicious and nutritious ingredient in quiches and frittatas. Try blending the cooked squash into soups or savory sauces to add texture and flavor.

Recipes:

Spaghetti Squash Tossed with Olive Oil, Avocado and Parmesan

Spaghetti Squash with Chicken, Mushrooms and Spinach

Spaghetti Squash Fritters with Sriracha Mayonnaise

Spaghetti Squash Salad

Spaghetti Squash Salad

Serves 4

Ingredients:

Salad
3 cups spaghetti squash, cooked, well drained and shredded
6 cherry tomatoes cut in half
6 yellow cherry tomatoes cut in half
1/4 cup red bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup green bell pepper, diced
2 tablespoons green onions, finely chopped

Dressing
1/4 cup vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, smashed
dried oregano, to taste
salt and pepper

To Make:

  1. Mix all veggies with the squash.
  2. Add dressing and toss to coat well. Adjust seasoning.