Shaped like a squat pumpkin and similar in taste and texture to sweet potatoes, this sweet Japanese squash is a wintertime staple! The Kabocha squash can be easily recognized by its deep-green skin and distinctive white speckles. The inside of the squash is just as exciting! When the squash is cut open a beautiful orange-yellow fluffy flesh packed with nutrients is revealed [i].
Kabocha for Health
Not only are Kabocha squash unique in appearance, they also have many health benefits! Compared to its sister squash, the butternut squash, Kabocha squash offers a low carbohydrate alternative as well as a rich source of beta-carotene. The beta-carotene in this flavorful squash can be converted to vitamin A in the body and is widely used for functions such as white blood cell health, immunity, strong vision and skin and hair health. One serving of Kabocha squash can provide seventy percent of your body’s daily-recommended amount of vitamin A! Kabocha squash is full of surprises, did you know you can cook and eat Kabocha squash with its skin on to increase your fiber intake [i][ii]?
Kabocha squash can be stored up to a month in a cool, dark place and is perfect to stockpile at home for a warm stew on a cold winter day [ii]. Where can you buy this delicious squash? It can be easily purchased at many grocery store chains, but similar to many fruits and vegetables the freshest and most flavorful variations can be found at your local farmers market. Kabocha squash can also be grown at home! It is recommended to begin growing the seeds indoors three weeks prior to the last frost, transplanting them and harvesting a few months later when the stem is dry and brown.
[i] Kabocha squash nutrition facts and health benefits. A2Z of healthy beauty and fitness. Accessed at: http://health.learninginfo.org/kabocha-squash.htm
[ii] Kabocha Squash: Nutrition. Selection. Storage. Fruits and Veggies More Matters. Accessed at: http://www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org/kabocha-squash-nutrition-selection-storage