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Friday Food Fact: Spaghetti Squash

Guest Post by: Kensey Goebel, Nutrition and Foods student at the University of Texas Austin

I have to admit, it takes me a long time to try a new food. Especially if it’s a “non traditional” veggie. By that I mean not broccoli or peas or a potato. Usually though, once I get over my new food phobia I end up being surprised. That was definitely the case with spaghetti squash. I passed up this large veggie for years not knowing what to do with it. Recently though, after seeing many posts on Pinterest, I decided it was time to try it. This large winter squash is usually a shade of yellow and an oblong shape. The insides are similar to a pumpkin since it contains large seeds that you will need to scoop out before cooking. The spaghetti squash can vary in size but usually is around 2 pounds or larger. The squash is low in carbs, calories and fat and can be used as a healthy alternative in pasta dishes.

This is what a spaghetti squash looks like: large, yellow and oblong

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This is the inside of a spaghetti squash.  Cut it open with a large strong knife.  Scoop/cut out the seeds and ‘guts’ like a pumpkin.

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To cook it all you have to is cut it in half long-ways and scoop out all of the seeds. Then place the squash on a baking pan cut-side down.  Cook in the oven at 350 degrees for about 30-45 minutes (depends on the size.) Or, you can cook in the microwave on high for about 5 minutes, or until the inside is soft. Once the solid part of the insides are soft the cool part happens. Take a fork and start scooping out the insides and you can eat it just like this, plain with salt and pepper.  Or you can add it into a skillet or pan. It comes out looking like spaghetti strands! You can add pasta sauce, veggies, chicken or meatballs to make any pasta dish you would like. Try spaghetti squash with meatballs or alfredo spaghetti squash with chicken for a healthy meal.

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Enjoy.  Tell us if you have recently tried a new vegetable and liked it.

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