Roasting Kabocha Squash 101
Perfect Winter Appetizer
Roasted Cinnamon Kabocha Squash
ROASTED CINNAMON KABOCHA SQUASH
Hi friends! Today I wanted to talk about how to roast a kabocha squash (otherwise known as a Japanese pumpkin). You may be thinking, “I don’t need help roasting a silly squash”, but after breaking a sweat slicing this fibrous veggie for my kabocha soup recipe, I decided a roasting tutorial was very necessary.
Before I jump into the process of roasting this tasty treat, I of course have to spill the AMAZING health benefits (if you don’t care about this, scroll below for the recipe directions).To start off, this anti-inflammatory food is full of nutrients. It’s bursting with beta carotene, iron, vitamins A, C, fiber and some B vitamins. And it’s got 40 calories per cup AND less than half the carbs of most other squash (about 7 grams per cup). It’s a win-win if you ask me!!
Also, the cinnamon added in this recipe is amazing for digestion. I’m all about aiding digestion as it’s vital for overall health – remember 90% of serotonin is located in your gut. However, be careful if you use the Saigon variety because it has a compound in it called coumarin that can damage your liver if eaten in excess…so no performing the cinnamon challenge by the spoonful okay?
Another great thing about kabocha is the thin skin. You can actually eat it after it’s cooked! It’s full of fiber so start off slow if you have a sensitive stomach.
Now for the ROASTING TIPS:
One of the trickiest parts about this squash is cutting the beast raw. Full disclosure: I almost cut my fingers off 3 times because the outer layer is so tough. If you don’t have super strength (or a man nearby hah!) try one of the tips below. I’d like to keep all 10 fingers thank you very much.
Bake the squash for about 10 minutes (can go longer if it’s still too hard), then remove to cut and finish roasting
Microwave squash partially, for ~4-5 minutes, then proceed to cut into wedges and roast (I personally don’t like microwaving because it kills nutrients)
If possible, use a cleaver knife in a rocking motion
If squash is too stubborn, bake it whole for about 1 hour (prick it a few times with a knife first to let steam release), then cut, remove seeds and season per recipe.
Once it’s all cut, preheat oven to 400 degrees and toss it in some coconut oil for 20- 25 mins! Coconut oil is great because it has a higher smoke point and delicious flavor. Lastly, season with a little pink Himalayan salt, 1 teaspoon of turmeric (if you choose) and organic cinnamon!
You can add chopped kabocha to stews, puree into soups, smoothies to add thickness, baked goods or breakfast items like pancakes, or eat it straight out of the oven drizzled with nut butter (I love warm almond butter with a sprinkle of cinnamon) for a pre-workout snack!
PREP TIME: 10 mins; COOK TIME: 35 mins; TOTAL TIME: 45 mins
RECIPE TYPE: Side Dish- Vegetarian/Vegan/Gluten Free
1 Kabocha squash, cut in half lengthwise, seeds removed, then each half into 3 pieces lengthwise
2 Tablespoons virgin unrefined coconut oil melted
Organic roasted cinnamon
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet in foil. Start by prepping your squash (tips above) before cutting. Once prepped, cut each half into 3 wedges (lengthwise). Using a spoon, scoop out the seeds and stringy flesh. Save seeds for roasting if desired.
Melt coconut oil on stove top, toss with squash wedges. Season lightly with salt, then sprinkle generously with cinnamon. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until fork tender and browned in places.