So, you’ve ditched the potatoes on your low carb diet but now you’re craving hash browns with that egg fried in coconut oil. Is there anything you can substitute to satisfy that carby crave?
What if I told you yes, there was indeed something you could sub for potatoes, and it was really good for you? Would you be surprised if I told you it was spaghetti squash hash browns?
Spaghetti squash? You’ve got to be kidding, right?
Hey, I hear you on this one. I was actually afraid to try spaghetti squash not so long ago. I envisioned some stringy sweet potato-y thing going on and since I don’t like sweet potatoes…well, let’s just say the idea of stringy sweet potatoes was not even remotely appealing.
Boy was I wrong!
Not stringy! Not smushy! And no sweet potato taste! There is a mild sweetness which is easily overpowered by a savory sauce, like in my Mock Baked Spaghetti. And, that first bite of slightly al dente textured spahgetti squash made me think of shredded potatoes…which made me think of hash browns. I haven’t had those in ages!
It is remarkably in texture like the low-carber’s arch nemesis…the potato. Half a cup of shredded potato has 14 grams of net carbs compared to the 4 grams of net carbs in spaghetti squash. Don’t get me wrong, potatoes taste wonderful. Especially when crisply fried in buttah. But that combination of high carb and high fat wreaks havoc on the metabolism of many, causing a major insulin response in our body which leads to weight gain. This is one principle that is makes the Trim Healthy Mama plan successful – don’t load up on those fuels!
First, you need to cook that squash before making spaghetti squash hash browns.
Yesterday I shared how easy it is to bake a whole spaghetti squash. You can cut them open first, but it is really hard to cut them raw. Cooking them first makes them easier to open and reduces the risk of chopping off a finger or two.
So, once you’ve got your spaghetti squash cooked, what do you do with this thing anyway? Eat it for breakfast! Make Spaghetti Squash Hash Browns – what I have affectionately dubbed Squashbrowns – and serve them alongside eggs for a very traditional but very low carb breakfast.
The Easy Trick to Getting Spaghetti Squash Hash Browns to Brown.
I found this great post from Empowered Sustenance that explained the trick to getting spaghetti squash hash browns to actually brown. Since spaghetti squash is mostly comprised of water, you have to squeeze out as much water as you possibly can. She recommended using a towel to wrap the shredded spaghetti squash in, but I just used my hands and squeezed it over the sink with no problem. Less laundry 😉
When making Spaghetti Squash Hash Browns, keep in mind that squeezing the liquid out of the squash will result in a reduction of volume – around half. I like to make spaghetti squash hash brown patties, so I tightly pack a half cup measure with spaghetti squash for each patty. I also always season my baked spaghetti squash with butter, salt and pepper before using it in other recipes. So, when I make my Squashbrowns, I use leftover squash and don’t need to add much seasoning at all unless I’m feeling spicy.
Gently Fry Your Spaghetti Squash Hash Browns in a Cast Iron Skillet
Form the squeezed squash into a patty and fry in buttah or coconut oil, preferably in a cast iron skillet. Those healthy fats won’t be a problem with the very low carb count in these Spaghetti Squash Hash Browns. Fry over medium high heat for several minutes until golden brown, then gently flip and do the same for the other side. Resist the urge to flip several times, they are somewhat fragile, but are easily coaxed back into shape if some of the shreds step out of line.
Season however you like. Simple salt and pepper is wonderful, as is a sprinkle of Hippie Dust (nooch, or nutritional yeast…which adds protein!). Serve alongside some dippy eggs, or your favorite style of eggs…you won’t even miss “real” hash browns!
If you’re a Trim Healthy Mama plan follower, you really need to learn to love the humble spaghetti squash. Really! It is a low-carber’s best friend! With only 4 grams of net carbs per half cup, you can have a big steaming pile of spaghetti squash on your plate, smothered with rich, meaty spaghetti sauce and cheese and not feel guilty. Or, for a simple side dish try my Buttery Garlic, Mushroom and Chive Spaghetti Squash. It goes perfectly with a beef roast and a dark, leafy green salad.