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Veggie of the Week: Kabocha Squash

Kabocha squash, commonly known as Japanese pumpkin, is a hearty, starchy member of the winter squash family. Like its siblings, kabocha squash is a good source of carbohydrates and some essential vitamins and minerals. At about 50 calories per cup, it contains around 5 grams of natural sugar and minimal fat. Plus, the seeds are edible! Roast ‘em up and add to them your diet for additional protein and heart-healthy unsaturated fat.

All squash varietals are pretty good sources of vitamin C, as well as potassium and beta-carotene. Diets high in potassium are associated with lower blood pressure, thanks to the mineral’s beneficial interaction with sodium. Beta-carotene is a phytochemical that serves as our body’s precursor to vitamin A, which is important for healthy vision, among other things.

Kabocha squash can be prepared and cooked in several different ways including roasted, stewed or pureed into soup. But no matter which way you prepare it, kabocha squash will be a nutrient-dense and delicious addition to your diet.