January 15, 2012

Veggie Fact of the Day

New Veggie #1 
Spaghetti Squash is an oval shaped yellow winter squash. Its fleshy part separates into spaghetti-like strands when you roasted. It is an excellent low-calorie substitute for pasta for those that are controlling their carbohydrate intake, increasing their fiber intake and generally watching weight. 

On the exterior this squash almost resembles a melon but has a firm, almost woody shell. The flavor is mild and somewhat nutty. In the field, they grow, like other squash, on long vines. When buying, pick a squash that feels heavier than its size. Make sure that it feels hard overall, and there are no soft bumps or blemishes. To prepare for roasting, remove all stickers and bar codes. Rinse the outside and towel dry. With a sturdy knife poke several holes in the skin. Place in an oven safe bowl and bake in a preheated oven at 375 F for about an hour (its done when a knife glides into the flesh). Remove, let cool and cut into 2 halves with a sturdy knife. Remove seeds and discard. The flesh should fall off the skin and separate into spaghetti strands. Let cool and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Nutritionally, Spaghetti squash has a high water content and is not as dense in vitamins and minerals as other winter squash. It is a good source of calcium, Vitamins A and C and a great source of fiber (8% of RDV). It has virtually no fat and has modest amounts of carotenoids, unlike other orange squashes. 

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