Monday, September 7, 2009

Try something new!

Have you ever thought of substituting spaghetti squash for your regular pasta when serving spaghetti? Spaghetti squash is a type of winter squash. After cooking, you can scrape noodle-like strands from the flesh that look just like spaghetti. I was recently asked how spaghetti squash comapares nutritionally to regular pasta so I thought that I would share with you what I found.

Spaghetti squash is lower in calories than regular wheat pasta. The squash has 42 calories per cup vs. the 220 calories per cup in spaghetti. It also provides beta-carotene (vitamin A) and three times the potassium of pasta. On the other hand, the pasta has more iron and protein than the squash. If you choose a whole-wheat pasta, you will get more fiber in the pasta than in the squash.

Bottom line: if you are looking for a fun way to serve a new vegetable, serve the squash! It is a nutrient-rich food and a fun way to serve an orange vegetable. (The squash is creditable as a vegetable, not a bread. So if you choose the squash, serve another bread at the meal) If you choose to serve the regular pasta, serve a whole-wheat version for a nutrient-rich choice.

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