Food to Eat Right Now: Spaghetti Squash

One of my favorite foods that is just now starting to show up at local Farmers’ Markets here in San Francisco is spaghetti squash. If you haven’t ever tried one, I encourage you to pick on up on your next farmers’ market foray.

Get one that is a nice rich yellow with no hint of green. They can be ready and still be a variety of sizes. The most important part is that the skin isn’t too pale. If in doubt, ask the farmer to pick the best one for you.

Once home, the squash can live on your counter. Don’t put it in the fridge. It will get moldy if you do. One of the really great things about this squash is it doesn’t have to be eaten immediately. It will last for a couple of weeks on your counter top. If you have a cool room or garage where you can store it, it will stay good for even a month or two.

This beautiful yellow squash has a higher water content than other winter squashes and provides a little calcium and magnesium, some vitamin A, some B vitamins, vitamin C and a little fiber.

What does it taste like? It has a mild, buttery flavor. It’s actually a little sweet and it’s even good plain or with just a tiny bit of salt & pepper.  It makes a great substitute for rice or potatoes, especially for diabetics who should stay away from carb-rich foods.

The BEST thing about spaghetti squash is it can be used as a substitute for pasta! When cooked (I prefer to bake it), you can easily scrap it out of its shell with a fork and it comes out in strings about the same diameter as spaghetti noodles.

I love spaghetti, but I don’t eat it very often. I just don’t need the carbs or accompanying calories. If I eat it at lunch, it makes me feel really tired in about an hour – basically my afternoon is shot. And, if I eat it for dinner, I’m way too full still at bedtime and then I don’t sleep well.

Here’s a comparison:

  • 1 cup of pasta has 221 calories and 43 grams of carbohydrate.
  • 1 cup of spaghetti squash has 42 calories and 10 carbs.

The squash has 179 less calories and 33 less grams of carbohydrate. Such a healthier choice!

There are few dishes that I enjoy more than a couple of cups of spaghetti squash slathered in a rich, dense vegetarian sauce made with tomato sauce, fresh tomatoes, onions, lots of garlic, red, yellow or orange peppers and some meaty mushrooms, or, sautéed in a little olive oil with bits of garlic. You can also serve it with a traditional marinara and a sprinkle of great cheese. Yum! Just as delicious as a pile of pasta and it leaves me feeling great.

The squash is easy to cook. The most difficult thing is cutting it in half. You don’t actually have to cut it in half if you don’t want to.  Some people bake it whole, then, cut it in half and scoop the seeds out after it’s cooked. I have tried this with good success. The squash just has a little stronger flavor when cooked whole.

Here’s how I cook spaghetti squash:

  • Wash the outside to get the “farm” off.
  • Cut the squash in half length-wise and scoop the seeds and “guts” out.
  • Put ¼ of an inch of water in the bottom of a baking dish.
  • Put both halves in the dish face-down.
  • Bake at 375 until fork-tender. (This will take anywhere from 30 to 40 minutes depending upon the size of the squash. The water will evaporate and the shell may brown slightly, which is fine)
  • Remove the pan and turn the squash halves face-up to cool.
  • When cool enough to touch, scoop out the “noodles” using a fork.

Enjoy this delicious pasta alternative!

If you try this fabulous fall food for the 1st them, or have a favorite way to eat spaghetti squash, please share in the comments below.

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This article was written by Tamara Cameron of Health Harvest Holistic Wellness. Tamara is dedicated to helping entrepreneurs and professionals increase their energy and clarity naturally so they can be more productive, make more money and have more time for family, friends and fun. You can read more about Tamara at:, or connect with her on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

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