One of the most popular winter squashes found useful for replacing spaghetti is spaghetti squash. We often freeze spaghetti, but what about spaghetti squash?
Spaghetti squash has its name because when you bake it the texture of it changes and separates into spaghetti like strands when you go to scoop it out. The strands are similar in size to spaghetti strands, but do have a mushier texture that pasta. However, the spaghetti squash is excellent at absorbing the flavor of any pasta sauce and seasonings you pair it with, which helps give it the similar flavor of a bowl of homemade pasta topped with sauce. For this reason and because it is a healthier option that pasta to eat many ask if they can stock up on the squash when it’s on sale at the grocery store, or freshly harvested from the garden and preserved in the freezer so it can be had on hand at all times. The answer to that question is yes.
Image used under Creative Commons from Jameson Fink
What is the proper way to freeze spaghetti squash?
Before you can freeze spaghetti squash, you must first cook the squashes you have purchases on sale from the grocery store or from the garden. However, you must make sure the squash is fresh, firm and ripe before cooking it and trying to fresh it. After, you must rinse the squash down with cool water to wash any debris, dirt and bacteria away. Next, you slice the squash into halves and place them into a deep casserole dish with a bit of olive oil drizzled over the top of them. After, you need to bake the squash in a 400-degree oven for about an hour or until fork tender. Then, you will remove the cooked squash from the oven and allow it to cool for about an hour. Once it is cool, you can fork it out of its skin into a bowl until you have an entire bowl full of spaghetti squash strands. Then, you can take the spaghetti squash and scoop it into freezer containers, place the lids on tightly and freeze the squash for up to a year this way. You should not leave spaghetti squash frozen any longer than a year because the color, flavor and texture of it will change drastically.
What is the best way to defrost spaghetti squash?
The best way to defrost spaghetti squash is to take a container of it from the freezer and allow it to defrost in the refrigerator for about 12 hours. After, you can toss the spaghetti squash into a medium saucepan with your favorite pasta sauce and heat it up for about 5 minutes on medium heat, but no longer than that because it will turn to mush and loose its spaghetti like structure and texture. Once heated up properly, you can serve it up as a delicious healthy meal that will provide your body with an excellent source of fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and enzymes.
End Thoughts to Keep in Mind
Remember, always use firm and fresh spaghetti squash from the grocery store or from the garden that has been rinsed well and cooked properly before freezing it so it holds its true flavor, texture and color. Never freeze cooked spaghetti squash leftovers that have been in the refrigerator for a few days because it increases your chances of receiving food poisoning when you go to defrost it and eat it. Always use freshly cooked spaghetti squash for freezing purposes to help preserve the delicious squash so you can always have it on hand for making healthy dinners.