Market Melissa (Foodtrainers’ Melissa O’Shea) told you about leeks and Brussels sprouts and last, but certainly not least, in our “bright sides” series is spaghetti squash.

While I have never met a squash I didn’t like, preparing them is another story. I’ll admit, after a few battles with a butternut squash, I often resort to the prepped and cut up variety offered at most stores. Spaghetti squash is not offered this way, but I assure you it is worth the effort to cook one of these up.

Like most varieties of winter squash, you will find loads of potassium, Vitamin C and beta-carotene in spaghetti squash.  When selecting your squash you may spot white and green spaghetti squash, but look for the orange ones which taste a bit sweeter. Spaghetti squash has lower calories and grams of carbohydrates per cup compared to butternut squash, pasta or a sweet potato plus, it looks and can be used like spaghetti. It’s a favorite of our clients at Foodtrainers.
1 cup spaghetti squash: 40 calories, 10g carbohydrates
1 cup butternut squash: 80 calories, 21g carbohydrates
1 cup pasta: 212 calories, 42g carbohydrates
1 cup sweet potatoes: 180 calories, 42g carbohydrates
You can bake, broil, roast, steam or even throw it into a crock-pot or slow-cooker.  If you have a crock pot, place the whole squash into the cooker, pierce it with a fork, add water and cook on low for 8-10 hours. The seeds you will find inside can also be roasted, similar to pumpkin seeds.
To bake a spaghetti squash:  Cut the squash in half (place in the microwave for a few minutes to soften the squash to make it easier to cut open), scoop out the seeds and place the halves face down into a baking dish.  Add a little water, just enough to cover the sides of the squash.  Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes on 375 degrees Fahrenheit, until the flesh is tender.  Pull a fork lengthwise through the flesh to separate into long strands that resemble spaghetti, hence the name spaghetti squash. 
You can top the squash with your favorite tomato sauce or try one of the recipes below. Now is the perfect time to look for spaghetti squash at your Farmer’s markets or local stores so what are you waiting for?

Happy Thanksgiving and we hope you all have some bright sides on your table this year.

What sides are you planning for your Thanksgiving meal? Would you consider the sides we’ve featured Leeks, Brussels Sprouts or Spaghetti Squash?


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