In honor of Orange October, the San Francisco Giants being in the World Series, it being fall, and my love of pumpkin…I present you with kabocha squash-aka Japanese pumpkin.
This squash has the texture of butternut squash (they’re pretty much sisters) and tastes like a pumpkin cross bred with a sweet potato.
Here is a whole kabocha. Tough outside, but very cut able with a sharp knife. Some have warts and mis-coloring on the outside, but that is okay. When picking out a kabocha, as long as there are no punctures or mold growing, it should be good to eat.
When you cut open the kabocha, it has a beautiful orange color. (Yay Giants)!
Like Cinderella’s pumpkin car, kabocha is a magical vegetable. Who wants to eat this? I’ll tell you!
- If you want to lose weight: 1 cup of kabocha has about 70 calories. Not bad! Compare this to 1 cup of sweet potatoes (180 calories) it is about half. Kabocha is a great substitute for potato recipes.
- If you want to see well and look good: Kabocha has tons of beta-carotene (this makes the pretty orange inside). Beta-carotene is converted into vitamin A in your body. Vitamin A helps with your vision and makes your skin and hair shiny and pretty (boys I know you just got excited). 1 cup of kabocha has 70% of the daily recommended amount of vitamin A.
- If you have diabetes or are counting carbohydrates: 1 cup of kabocha has only 7g of carbohydrates, that is less than 1 exchange!
- If you want to feel full between meals: kabocha has fiber, which helps slow down digestion, making you feel more full between meals. Plus, it helps you poop good 😉
So, how exactly do I eat this guy, you ask? Here is a basic recipe I use to roast kabocha.
- Preheat oven to 400* F
- Wash outside of the squash with warm water.
- With a sharp knife, cut into half. I usually start at the stem end because the bottom is a better base.
- Remove seeds with a spoon. (You can keep the seeds and roast them if you want!)
- Cut into half moons. See below:
- Toss kabocha with cinnamon (enough to coat the squash) and 1Tbsp of olive oil.
- Place kabocha on baking sheet lined with foil (I’m lazy and this helps with cleaning later)
- Put into the preheated oven. Cook for 30 minutes, flipping them over midway.
- ENJOY!! I always add more cinnamon at the end…but I am a cinnamon lover.
You can add this to any meal!
- If you add it to curries, I recommend cubing it (take the moons and cut them into smaller pieces).
- For soups: Simply puree them with a vegetable base soup and add whatever you desire! You don’t have to remove the skin.
- For pie: Cook soft, for about 40 minutes instead of 30. Remove skin after. Smash down and use in replacement of pumpkin for a recipe.
- Eat it alone: I eat this simple recipe with cinnamon for breakfast with 2 hard boiled egg whites and am full until lunch!