Disclosure: I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This fantastic Kabocha Squash Frozen Yogurt was created as a Halloween Party recipe for a sponsored post for Mariano’s via Collective Bias®.
Have you ever cooked with a Kabocha squash? I had never heard of it when I first spied this guy amongst a beautiful display of winter squash in the produce section at my favorite grocery store, Mariano's. There were several cool looking types of squash there that I had never cooked with so I went home with one and roasted it up. It was a great topper for the kale salad we had that night and it stuck in my mind as something that had potential for use in a super fun Halloween party recipe.
Halloween is around the corner and the way we do it in Chicago, that means the party invitations are rolling in for my kiddos. There is always so much candy passing through the house around this time so I was trying to think of a sweet treat for the kids that had SOME sort of nutritional redemption. When we got an invitation to a friend's Halloween playdate that Kabocha squash popped up in my thoughts again. It is a Japanese winter squash that roasts up easily and in terms of taste and texture, it is kind of like a pumpkin plus a sweet potato. You can eat the skins which is another thing I liked- less work if you don't have to peel it!
I loved that it looked like a smaller, squat, green pumpkin and thought it would make a great frozen yogurt AND a fun serving vessel! We DO have an ice cream machine but we didn't have quite enough room for the large insert in the freezer so I decided to go without for this recipe. The bonus of this recipe is that you will have roasted Kabocha left to snack on, for dinner or to add to a salad. YUM!
As mentioned, the key ingredient in this recipe was randomly spotted during my regular shopping. This kind of inspiration hits me all the time while shopping at Mariano's. It is just nice that I don't have to go to multiple stores to get high quality produce, unique high end ingredients and great value-priced and store brand items.
Of course, for this recipe, one COULD use another squash or even canned pumpkin if desired but I love that Mariano's carries such cool, unique seasonal items. This Kabocha squash just adds a unique quality to the recipe and helps me share something new with my family. Two things I love about shopping at Mariano's!
Not to mention shopping there is just fun! Before we get to the recipe, did you see this flash mob held at one local Mariano's?! How awesome would it be to have this happen while you are grocery shopping?! We check their website a lot to see what is on sale but also because their online community is full of new content and new ideas on a weekly basis! We actually go to a lot of events at the one near our house so we follow along on their facebook page- and you should too! If Twitter is more your style, they've got that too, right here!
Now, onto the yummy Halloween recipe!
Kabocha Crunch Frozen Yogurt
1 Kabocha Squash (plus additional Kabocha or Buttercup Squash for serving, if desired)
Drizzle of olive oil
1 Large Container Vanilla Greek Yogurt (if using regular yogurt, strain it well before freezing)
1 Individual Container of Vanilla flavored Coconut Milk Yogurt
1 Cup Chocolate Covered Pecans
1. Prep Sqaush. Preheat over to 375 degrees. Cut Kabocha squash into 1.5 inch squares, toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast on a foil-lined baking sheet for 30-35 minutes, or until golden, stirring half way through. Allow to cool. Using an immersion blender or food processor, puree 1 cup of squash. Set aside the rest for use in other recipes or just for eating as a snack.
2. Prep Yogurt. (You can start this while the squash is roasting.) In a shallow 9X13 glass baking dish, mix both yogurts together and spread flat in the dish. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for 1 hour.
3. Combine. Remove the yogurt mix from the freezer and us an immersion blender to break it up fully, scraping the sides if needed. If you don't have an immersion blender, transfer the mixture to a bowl and use a mixer. Add cooled squash puree to the yogurt and continue mixing until it is fully incorporated. Cover with plastic wrap in the shallow baking dish and freeze for another hour.
4. Mix-Ins. Chop the chocolate covered pecans if desired. Remove the yogurt mixture from the freezer and mix in the chocolate covered pecans. At this point put the frozen yogurt into whatever container you want to keep it in- whether it is the glass dish or an airtight container. Freeze until hard, serve.
For this Jack-o-lantern I looked for the largest Kabocha squash and it turned out to actually be a Buttercup Squash. They look identical, the Buttercup squashes were just slightly larger. No reason you could not use a Kabocha, I just wanted the largest green pumpkin they had! I also used the large yogurt container to act as a the sides of a container inside my squash.
So to start trace the rim of the yogurt (or other prefered) container on the top of the squash where you will carve the lid. Using a pumpkin carving knife, carve the lid off and remove the seeds and guts. Push the container into the squash and see how much of it sticks out the top. Cut a little less than that off the bottom, and insert the remaining top portion into the squash.
For the face, draw the shapes you want for the eyes, nose and mouth. Using a sharp tipped knife CAREFULLY slice shallowly through the skin along your lines, not cutting all the way through the flesh. Insert the tip of the knife through the cut in the skin to pry and shave off the skin, revealing the orange flesh underneath. DONE!
Thanks for stopping by, I'd love to see you on facebook, I even put the nice little like button right up top there! And look at those nifty sharing buttons! Sharing IS caring!! Happy Halloween!