Updated: Jan 3
If you love pumpkin pie or sweet potatoes but can’t or don’t want the extra fat and carbs, well I have the answer for you! Kabocha squash to the rescue!! It looks and tastes like
pumpkin and has a potato texture. Making this a great LOW CARB alternative for your pie or potato craving.
What is a kabocha squash?Kabocha is an Asian variety of winter squash that's become can be found at your local Farmer’s Market, your local Supermarket (here I found them at Raley’s), an Asian Market, or even Amazon. Kabocha squash can be found primarily in mid-September through end of December (weather dependent.) The whole squash will last several months in a cool dry place. Kabocha is also known as the Japanese pumpkin. It usually has a dark green or a bright orangey-red on the exterior, and has a vibrant, yellow-orange flesh.
Starch vs. Vegetable: Pumpkin, Butternut, and Acorn squash are calorically similar to a starch. While spaghetti and kabocha squash are calorically closer to a vegetable.
1 cup of steamed broccoli has 25 calories and 5 grams of carbohydrates
1 cup of spaghetti squash has 30 calories and 7 grams of carbs
1 cup of kabocha squash is 40 calories and 7 grams of carbs
Taste: Kabocha squash taste is a cross between a pumpkin and sweet potato. Its flesh has a sweet, earthy flavor with hints of chestnut, and is full of beta-carotene, fiber, and vitamins A and C. It's way sweeter than butternut squash, with a firmer, less watery flesh (but less calories and less carbs!) It is a sweet winter squash, but also a bit crumbly and dry. The texture and taste make this a wonderful substitute for "pumpkin" pie and it works perfectly for the recipe below.
The kabocha skin is edible. Unlike butternut, kabocha squash even has a deliciously edible rind once it's cooked. Many Japanese kabocha recipes such as kabocha tempura and simmered kabocha require to keep the skin on. However, if you want to see the bright orange color, then you will have to remove the rind/skin. Very easy to remove!! Tip- microwave the entire kabocha squash for 2 to 3 mins and the kabocha will be way easier to cut! Use a large sharp knife to cut the squash in half. You are really going to have to work at it to get that sucker open. It may help to cut the stem off at the top and then slice through the squash.
Health benefits: Kabocha is packed with nutrients that are related to preventing diabetes, boosting the immune system, preventing cancer, treating inflammation, and promoting heart health. Kabocha provides vitamins A and C, some B vitamins, fiber, magnesium, potassium, and antioxidants. Fresh kabocha squash holds relatively higher amounts of vitamin C (20% of RDA /3.5 oz), pyridoxine, and thiamin than pumpkin. Vitamin C is essential for collagen synthesis in bones, cartilage, and blood vessels, and aids in iron absorption.
All in all, the Kabocha squash is an awesome find and a GREAT substitute! It’s the perfect substitute for this pie filling recipe below, as well as, for a mashed potato like side dish, for roasted vegetables that mimic potatoes. And trust me, you will LOVE this crustless pumpkin pie recipe. It is AMAZING! I swear it tastes just like a mini pumpkin pie! It is a healthy option to fill that “holiday pie” void when you are watching your figure.
This recipe will walk you through how to make the entire pie. You can also just process a bunch of kabocha squash, prepare the puree and freeze until later. Since the kabocha squash or the Japanese pumpkin are only around in the fall you might want to grab a few and process them all at once. This way, you will have a great puree to pull out of the freezer and make these mini kabocha crustless pumpkin pies all year long.
Optavia Recipe: This recipe is also Optavia compliant. It makes 4 small pies. Each serving is 1 green, .03 leanest, 1.5 condiments, 1 snack … worth every bite!
Kabocha Squash Crustless "Pumpkin" Pie
4 servings: 4 Greens, 1/8 Leanest, 6 Condiments, 4 snacks
1 serving: 1 Green, .03 Leanest, 1.5 Condiments, 1 Snack
2 cups (11.5 oz) roasted kabocha squash (4 Greens)
1 cup unsweetened cashew or almond milk ( ¼ Condiment)
2 egg whites OR ¼ cup liquid egg whites (1/8 Leanest)
1 tsp ground cinnamon (2 Condiment)
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice (2 Condiment)
1 tsp maple or vanilla extract (1 Condiment)
2 TBSP (2 pumps) Skinny Pumpkin Syrup OR Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll (1 condiment)
28 Walnut halves (4 Snacks)
Preheat oven to 400°. Line a baking pan with non-stick foil. Spray with coconut spray or any non-stick cooking spray.
Prepare for baking: If the skin is too tough to cut, place kabocha in the microwave for 2 to 3 minutes. Cut the squash in half.
Scoop or spoon out all the seeds. Cut the squash into wedges. Lay the wedges on the prepared pan. Spray the wedges with non-stick cooking spray. To roast the Kabocha, bake at 400° for 30 minutes. Flip all the squash over. Spray with cooking spray again. Bake for another 10 to 15 minutes at 400° or until it is cooked.
Let cool. Once cooled, peel or cut off the skin with a knife. If you want, you can eat the skin later after it’s roasted, but for this recipe, the skin needs to be removed.
Prepare the puree:
Measure out 2 cups (11.5 oz) of cooked squash, without the skin. (Set the rest of the squash aside. You can use it for other things; a mashed pototo-ish side dish, make into a roasted dish similar to sweet potatoes. Or, what I like to do, is process it for the pie filling and freeze it for later.) Place the 2 cups (11.5 oz) in the blender or Ninja. Add the rest of the ingredients, except walnuts to the blender. Blend until smooth. It will be runny, consistency of a smoothie or an almost melted milk shake.
To make pies (either now or at a later date from the frozen puree):
Preheat oven to 425°. Spray 4 ramekins (or small oven safe containers) with non-stick cooking spray.
Pour mixture evenly into each ramekin, about ½ cup each. Bake for 15 minutes at 425°
Reduce heat to 350°. Remove ramekins from oven and evenly distribute the walnuts on top of each ramekin. (Nuts not required if you have a nut allergy) Walnuts can be whole, halved, or chopped, whatever you prefer. Bake for an additional 25 minutes. Remove from oven, eat and enjoy!
BONUS: What I love to do to make it even more like a pumpkin pie, I like to add a little whip cream to the top. I enjoy the Almond Milk Non-Dairy Reddi Wip. And sprinkle with ground cinnamon if you like. You can enjoy these treats hot or cold – both are delicious! SUPER Yummy!!!
1. Grab these Kabocha Squash when you see them at the Farmer’s Market or
supermarket. They will last several months without processing them.
2. When you plan to make the puree, make a bunch and freeze the rest for later. You will be processing the kabocha, roasting, and slicing so you best do extra and then have it for an easy dessert later!!
3. You can make this more sweet or less sweet depending on how you like your “pumpkin” pie. Just add another pump or 2 of the Skinny Syrup or use less.
4. Package the puree in 2 cup freezer bags. This makes it easy to pull out one 2 cup bag later, thaw and just make the pies.
5. Make sure to add the nuts (unless you have an allergy). The walnuts give it a little crunch-esk texture which almost feels like a crust.
6. Top with Reddi Whip or cool whip or not at all. It will taste great anyway you choose.
How do you like your pie? Enjoy this healthy alternative to a traditional pumpkin pie!
Print Recipe HERE:
YouTube Video: https://youtu.be/-EccrfPltzE
Other great recipes:
12 Kabocha Squash Recipes to Keep in Your Back Pocket:
Or Google: “Kabocha Squash Recipes”
Amazon Quick Links:
Supoon Mini and Large/2TBSP Spatula Spoon AKA Supoon:
Kabocha Seeds: (Grown your OWN!)
Cinnamon Roll Skinny Sugar Free Syrup:
Jordan's Skinny Mixes Syrups Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll, Sugar Free Coffee Flavoring Syrup Bottle, 25.4 Ounce:
Pumpkin Lovers Skinny Sugar Free Syrup Set:
Pump for Skinny Syrups:
Rumkin – oven safe up to 500°:
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