How Many Calories Are in Kabocha Squash?

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If you want to use kabocha squash, you may wonder how many calories are in this Japanese winter squash. You will see confusing numbers for this quoted because the most reliable source doesn't specifically list kabocha squash. Here is a close approximation.

Kabocha squash (pronounced kah-bow-cha) looks like a green pumpkin or buttercup squash. It has a thick green skin and orange flesh. It was developed from the buttercup squash and the most common species are Cucurbita maxima and Cucurbita moschata.

The flavor is similar to other winter squash, but it also resembles a sweet potato and is usually sweeter than butternut squash. Many people say it tastes like pumpkin, but some varieties taste like potatoes. The skin is tough but edible. It is often peeled so you can cook it faster.

Calories in Kabocha Squash

The calorie content of kabocha squash isn't specifically listed in the United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Release 28. It's probably similar to other types of winter squash, such as butternut, buttercup, Hubbard, and acorn squash.

According to the database, one cup of baked winter squash cubes has 76 calories. It also has 18 grams carbohydrates and 5.7 grams fiber.

You may see figures that are a much lower quote. It could be that those sources picked the calorie count for raw cubes, which is about half at 39 calories per cup of raw cubes, 10 grams of carbohydrate and 1.7 grams of fiber.

Which figures you choose will depend on how you use the squash. If you are adding up the raw ingredients that go into a dish, you might use the raw figures. However, kabocha is cooked rather than eaten raw, so using the measurements and calories for the cooked squash will make sense for many uses.

Of course, the calorie count will change depending on how you prepare and serve your kabocha.

Adding butter, brown sugar, or syrup will add more calories to your dish.

Kabocha Squash Nutrition

Eating kabocha and any other winter squash is also an excellent way to increase your intake of vitamin A that your body needs for healthy skin and normal vision, plus potassium that helps balance body fluids and blood pressure. Kabocha should also be also rich in calcium and magnesium, two vital dietary minerals.

Selecting, Storing and Cooking Kabocha Squash

You'll probably find kabocha squash in Asian or Japanese markets, but you may also find them at your farmers market or in some other markets if they are popular in your area. Look for squash that has hard, thick skins, feel heavy for their size, and don't have any sign of mold or squishy spots.

When you get your kabocha squash home, keep it in a cool, dry place like a dark kitchen cabinet. It'll keep for about a month or so in storage, or you can put it in your refrigerator. 

An easy way to prepare the squash is to wash the exterior with plain water then cut the squash in half. Preheat the oven to 350 or 400 F. Place the squash cut sides down and bake for about 30 minutes or until the flesh is soft enough to pierce with a fork. Serve the squash with salt, pepper, and a little butter or olive oil.

If you have any leftovers, they should be kept refrigerated and eaten within three to four days.

Sources

The United States Department of Agriculture, National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 28. "Basic Report: 11644, Squash, winter, all varieties, cooked, baked, without salt."

The United States Department of Agriculture, National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 28. "Basic Report: 11643, Squash, winter, all varieties, raw."

Utah State University Cooperative Extension. "Winter Squash."

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