It’s green on the outside and it’s yellow inside. The sweetish golden flesh is rich in caretenoids. Uncooked, the flesh is hard and not very appetizing. But when it’s cooked..delicious.
Kabocha is its name. This winter squash is also known as Japanese pumpkin or Fak Thong in Thai. It does look like a pumpkin.
Typically, they are available all year long. I can’t get enough of them. I find them very filling despite their low calorie density. Fat will increase the bioavailability of the carotenoids *hint hint*1
Recently, I tried out a couple of recipes with kabocha. First, I made Raspberry Coconut’s chocolate cake. This recipe uses pumpkin as part of the base-an excellent idea! I substituted steamed kabocha for pumpkin, desiccated coconut for coconut flour, and gelatin powder for whey. The cake, which is ready after a few minutes in the microwave, turned out great! I’ve made this several times already. It’s also a nice way of using up leftover egg whites.
I’ve made microwaved cakes before. However, without enough fat, they turned out too dry and airy. With more fat, they tended to sit too heavy in my stomach. I think the key to this recipe is the pumpkin/kabocha. The squash adds extra moisture, resulting in a kickass cake!
Alas, I will have to avoid chocolate for a while since chocolate is not allowed on the GAPS diet. 😦
Searching for more recipes, I came across Comfy tummy’s banana souffles. The title of the post is pretty appropriate: “Souffles are not scary.” I hesitated at first because I had never made souffles before. Beating egg whites into stiff peaks intimidated me (I don’t have a good history with egg whites..)
Nonetheless, I went forth with the souffles. I substituted steamed kabocha for banana, omitted the honey, and added some cinnamon. Beating the egg white until stiff was a bit tiring but it only took 5-6 minutes (I did it by hand). I baked at a lower temp for a longer time: 180 C for 25 minutes. The souffle rose quite a bit. It sank before I could dig in but the top was beautifully browned. I topped the souffle was a bit of cinnamon butter.
Hmm. So good. The texture was light, but not overly so. It’s not something I would make on a regular basis because of the prep required. Still, I would definitely make it again sometime in the near future.
Comfy tummy also has a recipe for kabocha pancakes. I am drooling as type. Of course, I intend to make them!
1(2004). Carotenoid bioavailability is higher from salads ingested with full-fat than with fat-reduced salad dressings as measured with electrochemical detection. Pubmed, Retrieved from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15277161
Kickass Chocolate Cake
Based on: Anytime Chocolate Cake
- 1 tablespoon desiccated coconut
- 2 tablespoon cocoa
- 1 tablespoon gelatin powder* or other protein powder
- pinch salt
- 2 egg whites
- 50-70 gm cooked kabocha/pumpkin/other kind of winter squash
Mix coconut, cocoa, gelatin, and salt. Add egg white and kabocha. Mash up the kabocha and mix the ingredients until even. Add a little water and mix if the batter is too dry. Microwave for 3-4 minutes.
*I wonder, to what extent does prolonged high heat damage gelatin..
Based on: Banana Soufflés
- 2 egg whites
- 1 egg yolk
- 100-150 gm cooked and mashed kabocha/pumpkin/other kind of winter squash
- lemon juice (roughly from 2 or 3 wedges)
Preheat oven to 180 C. Grease baking container with some butter or oil. Mix together in another container: mashed kabocha, egg whites, cinnamon, lemon juice and a pinch of salt.
In another separate container (make sure the container and whisk is spotless), beat egg whites with a pinch of salt and a squeeze of lemon juice until egg whites are stiff.
Add a small amount of the kabocha mixture into beaten egg white and gently fold kabocha in (I used a rice paddle. Spatula works too). Repeat with rest of kabocha. Carefully dump the whole mixture into the greased baking container. Put into oven and bake for 25 minutes.
This is too simple to be called a recipe…but so yummy. Mix mashed kabocha, raw egg yolk(s), a little salt, and some spice.
One more thing:
This is totally not kabocha related but since I’m writing about food, I’ll describe the simmered lamb I made recently. It’s very simple. Fill a pan with some water (enough water to cook your meat) and throw in some slices of ginger. Bring to a boil and then to a simmer. Toss in thinly sliced meat (lamb or beef is best. pork is okay), chili powder, and chopped scallions. Salt to taste. Simmer for a few minutes or until meat is cooked through (thinner meat = less cooking time). Serve in bowl and top with fresh herbs- one or more of the following: basil, mint, lemon grass, cilantro, etc. I topped mine with basil and cilantro. A quick and tasty meal.