Printer-Friendly PDF Copy

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. Wash hands with soap and water.
  2. Scrub spaghetti squash with a clean vegetable brush under running water. Cut 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. Break egg into a medium-sized bowl. Wash hands with soap and water after cracking raw egg. Add 1 ½ cups of the cooked squash, bread crumbs and cheese. Stir until thoroughly blended.
  5. Line a baking dish or cookie sheet with parchment paper. Scoop 1 Tbsp squash batter to form bite-size balls. Place squash balls on prepared dish. Wash hands with soap and water.
  6. Bake 15-20 minutes until bottoms are golden brown. Flip and bake another 3 minutes until golden.
  7. 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

This article has been peer-reviewed.