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Spaghetti squash bitterness?

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  • Spaghetti squash bitterness?

    Hi!

    I'd never seen spaghetti squash before until 3 days ago. So I got some, and follow instructions for cooking, i.e., cut in half, remove seeds, and cook cut side down in water for 20 minutes. Then take out strands with a fork.

    I did that a few minutes ago, and tasted it before putting sauce on, but the taste is a little bit bitter. Is that how it is supposed to taste like? Almost all seeds were already sprouting so maybe it is an old squash or something

    Thank you very much.

    Rubén

  • #2
    Oopps, sorry... I wanted to post this in recipes not in nutrition. Feel free to move it to the correct place.

    Rubén

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    • #3
      It never has tasted bitter to me. Was it a small squash? 20 minutes seems too low. I bake it at 350 for 40-50 minutes.

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      • #4
        Mmmhh... about the size of a football ball. Cooked it until no resistance was felt puncturing the skin side with a paring knife. It had a small sticker on the outside that said to cut it, remove seeds, put it cut side down in 2 inches of boiling water for 20 minutes. When I've cooked pumpkins, I too bake them in the oven for up to an hour.

        I imagined it was not normal to be bitter.

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        • #5
          I've cooked a lot of spaghetti squash. 20 minutes is not long enough. Spaghetti squash cooks from the inside out, so the outer strands next to the rind will be the last to soften. The rind is actually very thin: 3 millimeters or so. I don't know why you didn't feel resistance after only 20 minutes. When I cook it, the outer strands are still hard at that point.

          Here's what I do: cut the spaghetti squash in half the long way, leaving the seeds in. Put some water in the bottom of the pan (only enough to keep the squash from burning), place seed side down, and bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Flip over. At this point test it with a fork. The strands near the seeds will be soft but the outer strands should still be crunchy. Cook for another 20 minutes. Don't test the rind, test the strands next to the rind. There should be no crunch, and the strands should separate from the rind. If not, leave it in for another 10-15 minutes.

          When the squash is cool, scrape out the seeds with a sharp spoon. Don't try to scrape out the strands. (If you have to scrape, you didn't cook it long enough.) Instead, use the spoon to wedge the outer strands away from the thin rind, and pull off the rind in pieces with your fingers, almost like a hard-boiled egg. You'll be left with a seedless, squash-shaped, hunk of yellow strands. The strands will almost fall apart. Slather with salt and butter.
          Last edited by oxide; 12-18-2011, 04:02 PM. Reason: wanted to respond to OP.
          5'0" female, 45 years old. Started Primal October 31, 2011, at a skinny fat 111.5 lbs. Low weight: 99.5 lb on a fast. Gained back to 115(!) on SAD chocolate, potato chips, and stress. Currently 111.

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          • #6
            I've never tasted bitterness with spaghetti squash - it has a slightly sweet/nutty flavor (on my tongue, anyway). When I prepare it, I cut it lengthwise, put it face down on tin foil in the oven (no water), and cook it for about 40-60 minutes at 350-400 degrees. I can tell it's done when you touch the inside with a fork and the strands fall apart without any effort. I've never seen the seed sprouting on my squash, so I'd say the one you made probably was past its prime.

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            • #7
              Ok, thank you. I'll try cooking it longer then. I'll report back when it is finished to see if bitterness goes away

              Does the sprouting seeds affect this in any way? I mean, about 90% of the seeds are have sprouted inside. I looked like a can of worms when I cut it open

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              • #8
                Ditto the sprouting. I'm sorry Gravitnir, I think you got a rotten one. That would explain why you didn't feel any resistance!! The seeds should look exactly like pumpkin seeds.

                Don't go back and cook the one you have... start with a new squash.
                5'0" female, 45 years old. Started Primal October 31, 2011, at a skinny fat 111.5 lbs. Low weight: 99.5 lb on a fast. Gained back to 115(!) on SAD chocolate, potato chips, and stress. Currently 111.

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                • #9
                  That's what I thought...

                  It's been cooking for a while now and bitterness seem to be increasing.

                  When it was raw it was hard to cut with the knife, it felt almost as hard as a pumpkin. That's why I thought it was ready when there was no resistance.

                  I guess I'll try later with another squash... if I ever found another one. As I said, it's the first time I ever saw one of them. I hope they bring more next year.

                  Thank you all.

                  Rubén

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                  • #10
                    I just cooked my first one. I cut it in half, spooned out all the squash, and mixed it with chopped onion, garlic, tomato, black olives and basil. cooked it in EV olive oil in a skillet. I thought it turned out pretty damned good. next time I'll try to bake it in the oven, just for something different.

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                    • #11
                      Hope you pitched it. Sounds like a bad one. I have been eating spaghetti squashes for decades, even before I heard of low carb or whole wheat pasta, lol. I always found they were a bit too sweet for my taste.

                      Once you figure out how to get one cooked (I microwave them for 12 min. after stabbing them a bunch of times to avoid a lengthy cleaning up) I cut them around the equator (not pole to pole) and then I can use one half or both, and it is easy to store, and scoop out the seeds when they are cut this way.

                      They make good cold Asian style salads as a sub for those skinny rice noodles, you can put them in a crockpot will all manner of Italian things like sausages and mushrooms, you can chop them up into short strands and make fake chicken noodle soup with them.

                      They are fun to grow, and they are a great way to get kids to eat veggies.

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                      • #12
                        That's what I was thinking... maybe get some seeds and try to grow some

                        Thank you all for your suggestions; I'll try them on my next squash.

                        Rubén

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