Glossary of Foods: Spaghetti Squash

Most people are understandably mistrusting of a vegetable moonlighting as a carb. Spaghetti squash looks like spaghetti, but no matter what people say, you don't trust it to taste anything like spaghetti, regardless of the tomato sauce and cheese topping it off. Balk as you may, but this winter squash reigns supreme as a versatile, low carb, low calorie, overall healthy veggie. Of course, technically it's a fruit!

spaghetti squash

This seed-bearing squash is grown on a vine in the summer and eaten in the fall and winter when the seeds inside have fully matured. You can find them in the grocery store in early fall and throughout the winter. Skin color of these cylindrical squash can vary from pale ivory to yellow and orange. The more orange the squash, the higher in beta-carotene the flesh will be. Size of a mature spaghetti squash can vary. At the grocery store, you may see some from 2 to 5 pounds or more. Though it may seem counterintuitive, the larger squash are more flavorful than smaller squash.

When cooked, the flesh softens and the seeds can be removed. The flesh separates into long, thin strands that resembles spaghetti, hence the name. A 1 cup serving of spaghetti squash has only about 45 calories! Spaghetti squash is low in bad carbohydrates and has 2.2 grams of fiber per serving. Spaghetti squash also contains essential nutrients such as folate, potassium, vitamin A, and beta-carotene.

Spaghetti squash has a light, nutty, slightly sweet flavor when cooked and a slightly crunchy texture. Its flavor and texture make it a popular substitution for traditional spaghetti. However, spaghetti squash is incredibly versatile and can be used in any number of dishes. They are very easy to cook in the microwave or in the oven. Take a departure from your traditional spaghetti and meatballs night and try one of these spaghetti squash recipes instead.

Skinny Spaghetti Squash Tacos: Mix up your Mexican food with this healthy take on tacos. This is a great, nutritional meatless Monday dish! These Spaghetti Squash Tacos are fun to eat and a fun change from the norm!

Tacos with Spaghetti Squash

Cheesy Baked Spaghetti Squash Boats: Topped with grilled or roasted chicken, these Spaghetti Squash Boats are sure to please the entire family.

Cheesy Baked Spaghetti Squash Boats
(Photo: "Skinny Taste")

Spaghetti Squash Fried Rice: It's not rice at all, but you won't even notice a taste difference. Inspired by a favorite Asian dish, this Spaghetti Squash Fried Rice doesn't skimp on flavor and texture, but it is much lower in calories and carbs than traditional fried rice.

Spaghetti Squash Fried Rice0comments

Pick up a seasonal squash at the grocery and give it a try! This versatile veggie might just surprise you and make you a spaghetti squash fan.

Read More: Dying for Carbs? Try Any Of These 14 Spaghetti Squash Recipes Instead