Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Spaghetti Squash

Posted by PicasaThis is great! Have you ever tried spaghetti squash? It's not the same as most winter squash.

What is the difference between winter and summer squash anyway?

Winter squash is a summer-growing annual vegetable,representing several species within the genus Cucurbita. It differs from summer squash in that it is harvested and eaten in the mature fruit stage, when the seeds within have matured fully and the skin has hardened into a tough rind. At this stage, most varieties of this fruit can be stored for use during the winter. It is generally cooked before eating.

Winter squash is a good source of complex carbohydrates such as starch, and also Dietary fiber.

It is an excellent source of vitamin A, a great source of vitamin C, potassium, dietary fiber and manganese, and a good source of folate, omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin B1 (thiamin), copper, tryptophan, vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), vitamin B3 (niacin) and vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid).[4]

It is also a source of niacin, iron and beta carotene. Usually, the darker the skin is, the higher the beta carotene content.

Summer squash are a subset of squashes that are harvested when immature (while the rind is still tender and edible). All summer squashes are the fruits of the species Cucurbita pepo (although not all squashes of this species are considered summer squashes), but they are considered vegetables in terms of culinary use. The name "summer squash" refers to the short storage life of these squashes, unlike that of winter squashes.

Summer squash count as your vegetable, and winter squash count as your starchy carb....so you can have winter squash or potatoes, not both...except for spaghetti squash! It is so low in carbs that it is like a vegetable with a starchy taste and texture, you will only think you are eating a bunch of carbs!

Spaghetti squash should be poked all over with a sharp knife (see above) then placed in a pan and baked at 375 for about 1 hour until tender when a knife is slipped in the flesh.

Let it cool a bit, then split it lengthwise, run a fork through the flesh lengthwise, separating the flesh into strands, just like spaghetti.

Add salt and pepper and you can top with with any meat or vegetable sauce, or substitute it in place of mashed potatoes.

1 cup of baked squash has the following nutritional breakdown:

42 calories
0 fat
10 grams carbs
2 grams fiber
4 grams sugar
1 gram protein

Spaghetti squash contains many nutrients, including folic acid, potassium, vitamin A, and beta carotene. It's a wonder food and it tastes great!
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