Named for it’s ability to transform into a “pasta” meal when cooked – spaghetti squash is magical. As a winter squash, spaghetti squash is planted early to mid-summer and is ready to harvest during the fall months. Due to the lengthy development process, the ripe spaghetti squash is packed full of nutrients including vitamin A, vitamin C, manganese, potassium, and dietary fiber. Can you say “yum?” And the best part is that spaghetti squash has a very long shelf life when stored properly – approximately 3 months – making spaghetti squash a fabulous winter meal when fresh vegetables and fruits are hard to find.
Today, I am going to introduce you to the spaghetti squash with details on how to select the perfect spaghetti squash, demonstrate how to cook a spaghetti squash, and share our favorite spaghetti squash recipe Let’s get started!
Meet your new friend – the spaghetti squash. You will notice that spaghetti squash has a hard, yellow skin. I prefer to skip the “marination in pesticide” and purchase organic spaghetti squash due to the lengthy growth to maturity. When purchasing a spaghetti squash, select one that is vibrant in color, bruise-free, and crack-free.
The average spaghetti squash weighs approximately four pounds. Avoid excessively large spaghetti squash, squash that feel light in comparison to others, bumps, soft spots, and the color green. The color green indicates that the squash is not quite ripe – and it does not taste as good… believe me. Store your squash in a refrigerator or cool room.
Wash your spaghetti squash and pat dry. With a sharp knife, carefully cut your spaghetti squash in half– horizontally. When the squash up is open, you are going to discover a plethora of seeds in the center surrounded by squash “meat.”
Scrape those seeds out with a spoon and discard.
At this point, your spaghetti squash should look something like this:
Now we are going to rub the inside of the squash with some organic butter, olive oil, or Earth Balance. Place your spaghetti squash on a glass baking dish with the buttered side facing towards the sky.
(Skip this next part if you are preparing a spaghetti squash for an alternative recipe.)
Our favorite way to eat a spaghetti squash is with sucanat and nuts. Sprinkle approximately 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of sucanat evenly over the spaghetti squash.
Then add the crushed nuts. Pecans and almonds are my favorite.
If you skipped the sucanat and nuts part – this part applies to you. Your spaghetti squash is now cut horizontally, buttered/oiled, and facing upwards on a glass baking dish. Cover your baking dish with tin foil and bake at 375 degrees for approximately an hour or until the squash is soft.
Your cooked squash will look something like this:
With a large fork, comb the “meat” to “noodle-it-up.”
Continue to comb the squash until there is nothing left to comb.
As a rule we always enjoy spaghetti squash with our feet elevated on a chair.