Food Treats Using Calabaza

Richard Lyons’ Nursery cannot emphasize enough how fortunate we in southern Florida are to be able to grow a wide variety of tropical vegetables and fruits. One of the more versatile food crops is calabaza, whose season is just starting.

For ideas on using calabaza throughout the fall and winter, take a look at this week’s notice from Brooks Tropicals:

Calabaza – sweet and highly nutritious
Sopa de Calabaza

Calabaza adds both a sweet and hearty element to some of Latin America’s favorite soups and stews.

This hybrid pumpkin/squash is also seriously nutritious.

It’s high in potassium along with vitamins A and C. Plus calabaza is low in calories (35 per cup) and has half the starch of other starchy vegetables like corn and potatoes.

Crowd control – calabaza style
Torta de Calabaza

Calabaza is a crowd-pleaser. But for those of us who cook just for a handful of people, calabaza may seem like too much of a good thing. There’s a lot of pumpkin in every one.

The good news is that it’s a champ in the storing category. Cut calabaza can be refrigerated in an airtight container for 7 to 10 days. Frozen, it’s good up to a year. Tips on cutting open calabaza.

Every recipe requires that the calabaza be roasted,

Torta de Calabaza Slice

baked or boiled. Most of the time, this cooking time is separate from the preparation of the final dish. Tips on cooking with calabaza.

So rather than slice a portion of the vegetable and cook it for every recipe, cut up the entire pumpkin and cook it once. Then refrigerate or freeze what you don’t use for the next dish.

Or, if you look in the cut-produce section in your grocery store’s produce aisle, chances are you’ll find a wedge of calabaza waiting to go home with you.

Calabonanza! Baking with calabaza
Calabaza pie

If the slight difference in taste between a fresh pumpkin pie vs. a canned version has you reaching for the can, think again when cooking with this pumpkin family member, calabaza.

It’s worth the additional effort not only in pies but in most baked goods. Substitute calabaza for pumpkin or butternut squash in almost any recipe.

Taste before adding any additional sugar to your recipe – you might want to cut back on adding more sweetener. Calabaza will make your dish naturally sweeter.

Monster mash with calabaza
The calabaza mash

Size-wise calabaza is a “monster,” but with a great taste it’s easily “tamed.”

With half the starch of potatoes, calabaza simply mashed is worth a try. But taste before adding butter. Calabaza is sweet – you’ll use less.

In the tropics, fall is a welcome respite from summer’s heat and humidity. The nip in the air may only be a temperature in the seventies, but we’ll take it. We’ll enjoy a hearty bowl of calabaza soup as much as our Northern neighbors will to usher in the season.

Yours in the tropics,
Mary Ostlund

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In this issue
Brooks Tropicals | 305-247-3544 | [email protected] |
18400 SW 256 St
Homestead, FL 33090


Calabaza goes mainstream

Stuffed calabaza

East meets West calabaza curry

Calabaza power smoothie

Calabaza granola

Calabaza pizza

Simply roasted calabaza

Calabaza candy
Chicken calabaza stew

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