How to Choose Spaghetti Squash

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Cook a spaghetti squash, serve it hot with butter or olive oil and a bit of salt and pepper, and you've got a delicious and healthy vegetable dish with a subtle, slightly sweet flavor. You can even drizzle a bit of pasta sauce over it for a lower calorie substitute for traditional spaghetti. You can cook this unusual vegetable in many ways: baked, broiled, grilled or steamed. The most important step is to begin with a plump, fresh spaghetti squash.

  • Choose a spaghetti squash with shiny, pale, lemon-yellow skin. If the squash is white or green, it's not ripe.

  • Pick up the spaghetti squash. It should feel fairly heavy in proportion to the size. Avoid overly large spaghetti squash, or squash that feels too light in comparison to its size, because it might be too old, tough and bitter. Spaghetti squash varies in size, but four pounds is about average.

  • Purchase firm squash with no bumps, bruises, spots, soft spots or cracks. Avoid spaghetti squash with a dull appearance, which may be overripe.

  • Put the spaghetti squash in the refrigerator as soon as you get home. Spaghetti squash is perishable, so don't store it any longer than five days, and don't wash it until you're ready to use it.

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