Spaghetti Squash

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Article written by Brenda Aufdenkamp (baufdenkamp1@unl.edu) Extension Educator in Lincoln, Logan, McPherson Counties.

Spaghetti SquashSpaghetti squash is a winter squash that is golden yellow, shaped like a small watermelon and ranges in size from 2 to 5 pounds. It is also called vegetable spaghetti. When cooked, the flesh separates in strands that resemble spaghetti pasta with a mild flavor.

Nutritional Value: One cup of cooked spaghetti squash provides about 42 calories, 10 grams of carbohydrates, and other nutrients such as vitamin A and potassium. Vitamin A is important for wound healing and helping maintain normal immune function. Potassium helps your nerves to function and muscles to contract.

Selecting a squash:

  • Summer squash is harvested and eaten while the skin is still tender. Winer squash grows a thick skin, which helps it to stay fresh longer.
  • Select winter squash that are heavy for their size. Avoid winter squash that have moist, black, or shriveled stems.
  • Winter squash has a long shelf life and if kept in a dry place between 55 and 60ºF, will store for up to 3 months.
  • Kids are more likely to eat a new food if they can explore with their fingers. Making squash bites is a great new finger food!

Super Spaghetti Squash Bites

  • 1 small spaghetti squashSquash Bites
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg
  1. Preheat oven to 400ºF.
  2. Cut spaghetti squash in half and scoop out seeds.
  3. Bake in oven for 40 minutes or until tender. (Or place cut side down on a microwave safe dish with ½ cup of water. Cover with a lid or plastic wrap and cook on high for 8-12 minutes.) The squash is done when a fork easily pierces the skin and goes into the flesh. Let cool and scoop out pulp.
  4. Combine 1 ½ cups of the cooked squash with bread crumbs, cheese and egg until thoroughly blended. Scoop 1 Tbsp squash batter to form bite-size balls. 
  5. Line baking dish with parchment paper. Place squash balls on prepared dish. Bake 15-20 minutes until bottoms are golden brown. Flip and bake another 3 minutes until golden.
  6. Makes 5 servings (4 bites each). Each serving contains 103 calories, 3 g fat, 11 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber & 253 mg sodium.

Sources:

  1. Fall Cooking, Nebraska Extension: http://go.unl.edu/ikcz
  2. SNAP-ED Connection: https://snaped.fns.usda.gov
  3. Potassium, Medline Plus: https://medlineplus.gov/potassium.html