Kabocha Squash – Superstar of Squashes

Kabocha Squash can turn your kitchen into a fall food festival. With its bright orange color and rich, sweet delicious flavor, it can add a delightful dynamism to any meal. Learn below about its health benefits and how to find and cook it properly.

All squash is good for your health, but Kabocha Squash is my favorite because it tastes so good! Read about Squash the Powerfood.

5 Kabocha Squash Health Benefits

Excellent High Source of Beta-carotene

Beta-carotene converts to vitamin A in the body. Many of the Kabocha health benefits come from the benefits of vitamin A and the powerful antioxidant properties of beta-carotene.

1. Good for Healthy Eyes

Vitamin A is essential for good vision. Often poor sight at night and dry eyes are signs of a vitamin A deficiency according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.

One cup of Kabocha Squash has 93 percent of the amount of Vitamin A required for the day.

 2. Helps Decrease Heart Disease

In a study of 1899 men aged 40 to 59 years, it was found that those with higher amounts of Vitamin A had a decreased risk of incident CHD. Kabocha squash is very high in vitamin A.

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3. Good for Weight Loss – Low in carbohydrates

One cup of Kobocha Squash has only 40 calories compared to Butternut Squash, which has 60 calories.

 4. May Help Fight Cancer

The American Institute for Cancer Research reports that squash may help fight cancer and heart disease while protecting your vision, immune system and skin.

 5. Good for Healthy Skin

It is high in vitamin A. Research sited by the University of Maryland Medical Center  has found vitamin A to be important for skin health and skin problems due to aging.

Kabocha Squash Trivia

It is known as Japanese squash. It is similar to Butternut Squash, but much sweeter. Its growing season lasts well through the winter.

Portuguese sailors took the Kabocha Squash with them from Cambodia to Japan in 1541. Their name for it was Cambodia abóbora and the Japanese shortened it to Kabocha.

Winter squash, or Pumpkin on its tree

Squash History

  • All the hard-shelled squashes are uniquely from the western hemisphere as far back as 3,000 BC. They were honored by the natives as being one of the ‘Three Sisters’ (Beans, Corn and Squash).  These were sustenance foods for many of the ancient people.
  • Europeans did not get to eat squash until after Columbus. In northern Europe they did not grow well as the climate was too cool and the summer season too short. France and Spain embraced the squash and created many unique varieties.

How to Buy and Store Kabocha Squash

  • Look for a squat pumpkin shape with hard knobby looking skin.
  • It weighs an average of three pounds and has spotted or blotchy dark green skin.
  • Make sure the squash is not soft or pitted. The stem should be intact and look fresh also.
  • Buy Kabocha at your farmers market grown locally and organically if possible, to be sure it has not traveled thousands of miles to get to you.
  • Store up 1 – 3 months in a cool dry location that has good air circulation.

Tips for Eating or Cooking:

  • Cooked Kabocha Squash texture is similar to that of a potato. It is delicious baked, steamed, stuffed or pureed.
  • Works well as a substitution in recipes that call for pumpkin or sweet potatoes.
  • Eat the peel! It is soft, delicious and makes preparing it easy as no peeling required.
  • You can eat the seeds! They make a great snack food, just like pumpkin seeds.
  • Soups can be thicken with Kabocha; mash up cooked Kabocha with a fork, then mix it in.soup

Here are two delicious kabocha squash recipes:

Kabocha Squash Soup:  Every time I serve this my guestz ask for seconds.

Baked Squash With Vegetables: this is so easy: you can make this in just one pot.

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Diana Herrington

Diana has been writing about natural health and wellness for over 20 years. Having used foods to heal her own body, she now shares her wisdom with others.

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8 Comments

  1. I wish I could post a picture of my Kabocha vines. They stretch for more than 20 feet along my pattio railing. Hundreds of flowers thst are great to eat, raw or fried. You must make sure before you bring them into the house there are no bees in the buds. LOL.

  2. Every article I’ve read says that these are similar to a butternut squash – – that is wrong. They are similar to a butterCUP squash. They are green like a buttercup, not yellow/orange like a butternut. And I would not eat the rind as it is bitter.

    You need to look up photos of a buttercup squash in order to see what I mean. They look very similar.

    1. Well D. Smith, it is similar in taste to Butternut Squash, but much sweeter. There is no way they look the same as the butternut squash has an orangey coloured skin which is much harder and I never eat it. The Kabocha Squash can have a hard skin too but often it is soft enough that I eat it.

  3. I did not say they look like a butterNUT squash, I said they look like a butterCUP squash. However, the one I bought ended up in the garbage because it had absolutely NO flavor at all. It was like eating sawdust.

    1. Oh, my apologies D Smith. I thought you meant that now I see what you mean. Thank you, I did not know there was such a thing as Buttercup squash and from looking it up I see that is what I got fooled by once at the farmer’s market. It does look just like Kabocha Squash but is nowhere near as sweet or delicious. I thought it was just a poor or unripe variety of Kabocha Squash. Now I know thanks to you. Always love to learn more about food.

  4. I love butterCUP squash best of them all even though they can be a bit dry. I just make sure they have lots of butter when I’m ready to eat them. Sometimes I use just salt and pepper along with the butter, and sometimes I use a blend of cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom sprinkled on top. All depends on what meal I’m serving it with.

    Actually, Delicata is my absolute favorite squash. I saved the seeds from some that I bought at our local food co-op a couple of years ago but I cannot get them to grow because our season is way too short I guess. We only have a growing season, at most, of about 90-100 days but usually our first frost comes at about 80 – 85 days. I think the Delicata’s required 120 growing days. But I keep trying!

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