This week is more of a “How-To”…
How-To: Properly prepare Spaghetti Squash
Anytime anyone wants to jump off the “conventional eating cliff” into the world of nutrient density, I always start with my easiest, most versatile, and most favorite cooking staple: Spaghetti Squash. The first time I had it, it was served to me as a vegetable side dish, but when I went gluten free and then eventually Paleo, I became obsessed with its’ endless cooking possibilities!! I don’t even think I have ever served it as just a side dish. It is soooo much more than that and it would probably be pretty offended if I plopped it on the side of my plate all by itself. It has so much more to offer and I’m sure I will share plenty of my Spaghetti Squash concoctions throughout our featured recipe collection.
So, I will start this new GHHC recipe series the same way I start with anyone that comes to me wanting to eat more nutritiously: with Spaghetti Squash 101. But, first let me fill ya in on why it’s a faithful member of the Nutrient Dense club.
What makes Spaghetti Squash Nutrient Dense? Although you can get more vitamins and minerals from other varieties of squash, like acorn or butternut, it beats the nutrient pants off of pasta noodles, whose cardboard box would be more beneficial for you to eat than the noodles themselves. Spaghetti squash is a great source of Vitamins A + C, and calcium (pasta noodles have zilcho A, zilcho C, and zilcho calcium). Oh, and fiber…it has MEGA fiber (That’s right…you don’t have to rely on packaged breakfast biscuits or fortified + enriched grain products for fiber)!! And, with its’ high fiber + low carbohydrate content, spaghetti squash will not initiate the insulin surge you get from the high-carb, nutrient-void pasta alternative.
There are soo many different ways to enjoy this veggie. Today, I will show you the easiest way to start transitioning it onto your family’s dinner table, so you all can be getting the most bang for your bite!
Let’s prep this bad boy.
As evenly as possible, slice your squash in two halves.
With a spoon, scoop out all his little innards, and place each half down on the cooking surface of your choice. Now, I have never looked into using my squash seeds for anything, but if you find a good use for them, do share!
I recommend you do your own research on the effects of microwaves and decide for yourself, but I prefer skipping the mickey and baking my squash in the oven at 350 degrees for about 30-45 minutes. You will see when you go to buy your new squash buddy, that they come in many different sizes, so the bigger you get, the more you will need to bake it. I always check mine at the 30 minute mark by poking its’ skin with a fork. If the skin seems pretty soft, yank it…if its’ still rock hard, keep that baby roasting.
Just like you scraped out his seeds, now you get to scrape out his noodles!! This time, you will need to hold him with an oven mitt, and use a fork to scrape out the noodle-like strands.
And that’s it! That’s all there is to it and you now have a bowl full of health benefits that you wouldn’t have if you boiled a pot of Barilla!
Like I said earlier, be on the lookout for future posts of the endless ways in which I use my Spaghetti Squash noodles. And in the meantime, use your imagination! Or just grab your favorite jar of spaghetti sauce and see what your family thinks. And if you really want to go off the nutrient density deep-end, check out Sally Fallon’s spaghetti sauce recipe from her book, Nourishing Traditions, made with chicken livers ;)
Until next time, Enjoy! And leave us a comment below letting us know what ya think and how you used it!