Fall is here… and it’s still supposed to be over 80F this weekend. 🙃 As much as I’m looking forward to sweater weather, I still need a way to keep cool until then. Thankfully, smoothies are a great way to bridge the gap.
The main ingredient in this recipe is kabocha, also known as Japanese pumpkin, and you can find it at Asian markets or a growing number of natural grocery stores. This sweet squash is shaped like a Western pumpkin, but with a tough dark green skin. (Be careful when you cut one open! Use the sharpest knife you can, and make sure to keep your fingers out of the way.) The flavor straddles the line between pumpkin and sweet potatoes, and it’s a great source of nutrients like beta carotene, Vitamin C, and fiber.
If you’ve ever roasted a pumpkin before, you already have a good idea of how to prepare kabocha for a purée. Preheat your oven to 400F, slice your kabocha in half, scrape out the seeds with a spoon, and lay the pieces cut-side down on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Roast for about 30 minutes, until you can easily pierce the skin with a fork. Let it cool before you peel off the skin, and then use the flesh however you like!
If you want to give kabocha a try, this smoothie is a great way to introduce yourself. This sweet, earthy squash blends beautifully with warm spices to make it feel like Thanksgiving all season long!
Kabocha Spice Smoothie
1 cup kabocha purée
4-5 dried, pitted dates
2/3 cup nonfat vanilla yogurt
1 cup milk of choice
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
A pinch of nutmeg (optional)
1 cup ice
Combine all ingredients in the blender, and purée until smooth.
Serves about 2.