Hello Spaghetti Squash! The Healthier and Better Pasta Choice.

Do you love spaghetti but want to eat healthier? Interested in learning about a healthier alternative to pasta? Have you…

Do you love spaghetti but want to eat healthier?

Interested in learning about a healthier alternative to pasta?

Have you heard about the numerous health benefits of spaghetti squash?

Hello Spaghetti Squash! The Healthier and Better Pasta Choice.

Spaghetti squash is an excellent alternative to traditional pasta dishes because it’s low in calories, high in fiber, rich in vitamin C, manganese, and vitamin B6. And it’s loaded with antioxidants too!

As an added bonus, it’s low carb and gluten free!

If you have been struggling with your diet lately and looking for something new to try then spaghetti squash might be the answer! 

What Does Spaghetti Squash Taste Like?

Spaghetti squash has a sweet, mild nutty flavor with a texture that’s similar to cooked spaghetti!

No, spaghetti squash doesn’t taste exactly like spaghetti… it tastes BETTER!  Because it’s mild in flavor, it can be used in a variety of ways with a wide array of sauces and seasonings.

Why is it called Spaghetti Squash? 

When this winter squash is cooked, the meat of the squash becomes stringy and using a fork, you can scrape the squash and these strings separate to resemble spaghetti noodles! It makes for a very kid friendly vegetable as they enjoy eating the “noodles.”

You can use any sauce you would normally put on pasta, such as marinara sauce, pesto sauce, alfredo or tomato sauce.

Hello Spaghetti Squash! The Healthier and Better Pasta Choice

Nutrition Facts for Spaghetti Squash

The nutrition facts of spaghetti squash are quite impressive!

One cup (155 grams) of spaghetti squash only has 40 calories.

1 gram of fat

10g of carbs

2g of fiber

1g of sugar

It’s also a good source of Vitamin C, manganese, vitamin B6 and potassium and rich in antioxidants too!

Spaghetti Squash vs. Pasta.

Spaghetti squash is a great alternative to pasta!

It’s much lower in calories! 1 cup of spaghetti squash only has 40 calories compared to 1 cup of pasta that has 200! 

That’s a HUGE calorie savings! 

You could eat 2 cups of spaghetti squash and still save 120 calories. That’s a plate FULL of spaghetti squash. You’ll be satisfied for hours.

Choose spaghetti squash over pasta for weight loss success!

Let’s not forget the added health benefits of all those vitamins, nutrients, fiber, and antioxidants that pasta doesn’t provide.

Can you see why we should say…..

Hello Spaghetti Squash! The Healthier and Better Pasta Choice.

Can Spaghetti Squash help with Weight Loss?

YES! You can fill your plate and still lose weight with spaghetti squash!

Spaghetti squash is great choice for those who are watching their weight as it has way less calories than pasta and it’s very nutrient dense! 40 calories in 1 cup of spaghetti squash vs. 200 in 1 cup of pasta.

When we are reducing calories to lose weight, it’s important to choose nutrient dense foods like spaghetti squash.

Spaghetti Squash is a Nutrient Dense Food

Nutrient dense food is important when you are watching your calories.  It’s not just about counting calories but also about choosing more nutrient-dense foods, like spaghetti squash, that give us the most benefits for fewer calories, which leads to weight loss success!

We need plenty of nutrients, vitamins and minerals that may be depleted during the fat metabolism process.

When we eat nutrient dense foods, we get a double win because they have fewer calories but more vitamins and minerals for our bodies to use in metabolizing calories and burning fat. This is especially true if you are active or working out on a regular basis.

Many times cutting calories can leave us feeling tired, hungry and sluggish. When we eat nutrient dense foods, we get the bonus of a boost of energy along with all the vitamins and minerals. Plus, we can eat more with fewer calories so we feel full and satisfied on fewer calories.

Hello Spaghetti Squash! The Healthier and Better Pasta Choice.

Spaghetti squash is great for weight loss because it’s low in calories but high in fiber.

One cup of spaghetti squash contains 2 grams of fiber.  It’s low in calories but high in fiber which helps you feel full for longer. You will feel satisfied for much longer before craving unhealthy, high calorie foods.

Eating more fiber will help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight!

Fiber is also essential to keeping your digestive tract healthy and functioning properly. When you have a healthy digestive tract, you can absorb the nutrients that your body needs to be healthy. And it’s been proven again and again that if you are not absorbing enough nutrients from the foods you eat, this will leave you feeling tired, hungry and sluggish.

You may have heard of some amazing health benefits of fiber such as lowering your risk of heart disease and diabetes.

Fiber also helps to aid in digestion and is essential to keeping your digestive tract healthy and functioning properly.

It also helps prevent colon cancer, breast cancer, and diverticulosis. These are just a few of the amazing benefits that fiber can provide for you!

Want to learn about the importance of fiber? Click here!

What is Fiber, The beneifts of Fiber and how much fiber do you need a day?

Is Spaghetti Squash Keto or Low Carb?

YES! Spaghetti squash is a popular choice among those who are following Keto or Low Carb diets because it has just 8 net grams of carbohydrates per cup, making it an excellent substitute to traditional pasta dishes that would typically have much higher levels of carbs.

Have high cholesterol or suffer from heart disease?

The fiber in spaghetti squash helps to lower cholesterol levels by removing LDL (bad cholesterol) from the body thus lowering triglycerides and increasing HDL (good cholesterol). 

Studies have shown that eating a diet rich in fiber fiber foods can provide other heart-health benefits like reducing inflammation and lowering our blood pressure.

Spaghetti squash will help keep your heart healthy!

Is Spaghetti Squash Good for Diabetics?

YES! Spaghetti squash is low in carbs, low in calories, high in fiber and has a very low glycemic index! Spaghetti squash can help stabilize blood sugar levels and it’s the perfect spaghetti substitute for diabetics!

Spaghetti Squash is Rich in Manganese

The manganese in spaghetti squash helps to produce energy, metabolize carbohydrates, protein, and fat. Manganese also strengthens our bones by helping to make strong connective tissues that prevent osteoporosis.

Spaghetti Squash is rich in antioxidants

Spaghetti squash is full of antioxidants that can help fight free radicals in the human body, preventing cancer and other chronic diseases.

Spaghetti squash is high in vitamin C, beta-carotene and manganese.

These nutrients are all known to be great antioxidants that can improve your health and prevent cancer.

Studies show that people who consume more vegetables such as spaghetti squash have a lower risk of certain types of cancers than those who eat less.

You can learn more about antioxidants and how vital it is to consume a diet rich in antioxidants by CLICKING HERE.

What are antioxidants
https://veggieobsessed.com/what-are-antioxidants/

Ready to say Hello Spaghetti Squash! The Healthier and Better Pasta Choice.

All of the nutrients found within spaghetti squash work together to provide us with a healthy diet that is high in fiber and low in calories which helps us to stay slim while maintaining heart health as well as a healthy digestive tract.

How to Pick the Perfect Spaghetti Squash

When choosing spaghetti squash choose one that is bright yellow in color with a firm texture. It should not have any cracks or cuts.

How to Store Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti squash can be stored at room temperature for up to 3 months!

When is Spaghetti Squash in Season?

Spaghetti squash is in season during the fall months but readily available year round.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash

There’s a couple of ways to cook spaghetti squash, but first let’s learn how to cut and prepare it.

How to Easily Cut Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti squash can be difficult to cut. It is much easier to cut the squash in half the shortways vs. long ways. (see image below) Plus you end up with longer “spaghetti” strands by cutting it this way!

Be sure to cut on a safe surface like a cutting board.

Expert TIP-if you struggle to get a knife through the hard squash, simple place the squash in the microwave for about 3-4 minutes to soften it before cutting.

Hello Spaghetti Squash! The Healthier and Better Pasta Choice.-cut in half here

Oven Roasted Spaghetti Squash

First, my favorite, oven roasted! Simply cut the squash in half long ways and scoop out the seeds.  Lightly spray or drizzle each half with olive oil and place cut side down in the oven. Bake at 350* for 30 minutes. Then flip them over, cut side up and bake an additional 30 minutes. Remove from oven and allow them to cool for 10 minutes or so. Then simply scrape the sides with a fork and the spaghetti squash strands will separate. Continue scraping the squash until you reach the outer skin. Discard the skin.

You can also cook Spaghetti Squash in the crockpot. 

Poke the outside of the spaghetti squash 10-15 times with a knife. Pour about 2 cups of water in the bottom of the crockpot and add your whole spaghetti squash. Cook on low for about 4-6 hours. Remove squash and allow it to cool. Cut in half and scrape sides with a fork.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash in an Instant Pot

Have an instant pot? Spaghetti squash cooks in about 15 minutes on high pressure. Place 2 cups of water in the bottom of your pot. Pierce the spaghetti squash 10-15 times with a knife. (do NOT skip this step!) Place the whole spaghetti squash on a steamer basket or metal trivet. Set to high pressure for 15 minutes. Once done, allow squash to cool. Cut in half and remove seeds and scrape with a fork like explained above.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash in an Air Fryer

Cut the squash in half short ways and scoop out its seeds. If it is hard to cut, you can soften it by microwaving for a few minutes before cutting. Spray with a light coating of olive oil and cook in the air fryer for about 15-20. Depending on the size of your air fryer, you may only be able to cook 1 half at a time. Pierce with a fork. If it seems soft and cooked, scrape with a fork to make spaghetti strands. It may require more time depending on your air fryer.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash in the Microwave

You can even microwave cook the spaghetti squash. Cut the squash in half and remove seeds. Place cut side down in a microwavable glass casserole dish and place about 1-2″ of water in the bottom. Microwave on high for about 8-12 minutes. Times may vary depending on your microwave size.  Scrape with a fork as explained above.

Grilled Spaghetti Squash

Grilled spaghetti squash make for a delicious, healthy side to any bbq! So versatile and can be seasoned with any of your favorite grilling seasonings.

Cut the spaghetti squash in half and scoop out its seeds.  Lightly spray or drizzle each half with olive oil and place cut side up your grill. Indirect heat is best. Cook for about 15-20 minutes. Pierce with a fork, if done it will easily poke through the outside of the spaghetti squash.  If not done, grill for another 10 minutes or until tender. The last 5-10 minutes you can flip them over, cut side down to get some char marks if you’d like. Scrape the sides with a fork to make spaghetti strands. Add additional seasoning or sauces if you desire.

How to Store Cooked Spaghetti Squash?

Once spaghetti squash is cooked, it will last for 4-5 days in the refrigerator.   Simply store it in an air-tight container or bag.  The moisture will help prevent the spaghetti squash from drying out and turning brown.

Can I freeze Cooked Spaghetti Squash?

Spaghetti squash can easily be frozen. Allow the spaghetti squash to cool and then place in a freezer bag, removing as much air from the bag as possible. Freeze for up to 6 months! The texture will be slightly softer after frozen and thawed.

Ways to Use and Eat Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti Squash “Spaghetti”

Probable one of the most common uses is to replace spaghetti with spaghetti squash. It pairs nicely with spaghetti sauce based dishes. Or you could just use a little less pasta and mix the spaghetti squash in with your pasta. Great way to sneak in a serving of veggies!

Seasoned Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti squash makes for a great healthy side dish when oven roasted and tossed with a small amount of olive oil and your favorite vegetable seasoning. I love it flavored with garlic and parmesan cheese.

Alfredo Spaghetti Squash.

Not only is spaghetti squash great with tomato based sauce but it pairs nicely with any white/cream sauce as well. Alfredo sauce is one of my faves! Add some chicken and broccoli for a nice twist on Chicken and Broccoli alfredo.

Bruschetta Spaghetti Squash

Bruschetta spaghetti squash is a YUMMY, healthy side dish. Simply mix cooked spaghetti squash that’s been drizzled with olive oil, add in diced tomato, fresh basil, minced garlic and top with some grated parmesan. DELISH! To make it a complete meal you can add in some cooked chicken or cooked Italian sausage.

Spaghetti Squash Chili

Have some leftover chili? Try serving chili over a bed of spaghetti squash for a healthy twist!

Spaghetti Squash Boats

Spaghetti squash makes for excellent “boats” and can be stuffed with so many flavors! Simply make up your favorite filling, oven roast your spaghetti squash, scoop out about 2/3 of the squash, mix the spaghetti squash with your favorite filling and stuff into the remaining squash boat. Heat in oven for about 10-15 minutes at 350*. Great, FUN way to get your kids to eat more veggies! The spaghetti squash boats make for a FUN presentation as well.

Be sure to try the following flavors but the sky’s the limit on boat flavors and fillings!

Spaghetti Squash Taco Boats

Sloppy Joe Spaghetti Squash Boats

Pizza Spaghetti Squash Boats

Spaghetti Squash Lasagna Boats

Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo Spaghetti Squash Boat

Chicken Bacon Ranch Spaghetti Squash

Greek Spaghetti Squash

I love Greek inspired spaghetti squash!  Simply toss some tomatoes, olives, chick peas and of course feta cheese in with cooked spaghetti squash. Can be eaten hot or cold. It’s great drizzled with some of your favorite Greek dressing.

As you can see, the ways to use spaghetti squash in dishes are endless! The mild flavor of spaghetti squash pairs so nicely with so many flavors!

Be sure to hit up Pinterest and add some spaghetti squash to your menu today!

How to Grow Spaghetti Squash

Even if you don’t have a green thumb and have ZERO intention of growing your own spaghetti squash, I think it’s important that we know how our food grows and what it looks like as it grows.

Keep in mind when growing spaghetti squash that the vines get pretty big. You can grow spaghetti squash on a trellis for vertical gardening. This is great if you are short on space. 

Spaghetti Squash Seed 

Spaghetti squash seeds look very similar to a pumpkin seed. (see image below)

Plant them in a small pot or cup about 1″ deep and water them in.

You can directly sow the seeds into your garden as well. Just be sure to mark where you planted them. Be aware that sometimes birds and other animals will find the seed and make a meal out of them.

Hello Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti Squash Seedlings

The seeds germinate in about 5-10 days and grow rather quickly. It only takes about 2-3 weeks for them to be ready for transplant in the garden. 

To plant the seedlings, simply dig a hole about the same size as your seedling pot. Remove seedling from the pot and set into the hole. Water. Be sure to fertilize as they are heavy feeders.

Hello Spaghetti Squash! The Healthier and Better Pasta Choice. -seedling

How to Harvest Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti squash takes about 90 days from seed to harvest.  

Harvesting spaghetti squash is simple.  Just follow the vine to where it attaches to the plant and cut it. You can use a knife or even a pair of scissors to cut. Be sure not to pull on the vine when cutting as this may cause damage to your plant.

Spaghetti Squash is ready to harvest when the skin is hard and you can no longer pierce it with your fingernail. Also look for a nice, golden yellow color when it is ready to be harvested.

Hello Spaghetti Squash! The Healthier and Better Pasta Choice.-plant

Ready to say Hello Spaghetti Squash! The Healthier and Better Pasta Choice.

Spaghetti squash is a great vegetable to add into your diet as it’s low in calories but high in fiber, vitamin C, manganese and vitamin B6. Winter squashes like spaghetti are also rich in antioxidants that can help reduce chronic diseases and free radical formation! Whether you’re looking for something healthy or trying to sneak an extra serving of vegetables into a dish for the family, this blog post has plenty of ideas on how to make good use out of this winter staple.

Are you excited to try spaghetti squash?

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Hi, I'm Jodie!

Hey there my friend! My name is Jodie Crandall and I’m a veggie loving certified health and nutrition coach on a journey to spread the word about how amazing veggies are for our health!  I am a self-proclaimed “plant-based meat eater” who has recently lost almost 50 pounds by eating more veggies!

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