All pumpkins are rich in vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals. Hokkaido has even more nutrients and vitamins than most other pumpkins. You can put them into different uses for different recipes. You can make pumpkin pies, cakes, sauces, and soups among other dishes from this pumpkin.
Hokkaido Pumpkin Vs Normal Pumpkin
Hokkaido pumpkins are finely delicious and rich in nutrients. Compared to normal pumpkins, Hokkaido contains less water and their skin is edible. The other difference between this species and the normal pumpkins is the skin. It has bright red-orange skin.
Another thing about Hokkaido squash is the weight. This type comes with less weight compared to other pumpkins. Its maximum weight is 2kgs. The normal pumpkins can go as more than 5kgs.
|Hokkaido pumpkin||Normal pumpkin|
|Bright red-orange color||Available in different colors|
|Weights about 1.5kgs – 3kgs maximum.||Weighs more than 2kgs|
|Very rich in nutrients||Average nutrients|
|Contains less water content||Has more water content.|
|Less fibrous||More fibrous|
|Can be cooked with its edible skin.||Skin normally removed.|
Why Is It Called Hokkaido Pumpkin?
It is called Hokkaido because it originated from Hokkaido Island in Japan. From the history, this pumpkin originated in Japan before it spread to neighboring countries. It is currently grown in California, Mexico, South Africa, and California among other places.
You may find this pumpkin with other names such as Red Kuri squash and many others. It is a representative of the Cucurbita Maxima and has become a popular pumpkin in Europe and other regions.
Video – growing Hokkaido pumpkins the easy way
How To Grow Hokkaido Pumpkin
There are different ways to grow Hokkaido squash. You can grow them in containers or directly in the garden that you have prepared. To grow in the containers, you can soak the seeds for 3 days in one container, then transfer them to different containers before you can transplant them. The steps to follow:
- Sow the seeds in containers
- Transplant the seedlings
Infographic – growing Hokkaido squash from seed
Step 1 – Sow the seeds in containers
In containers with moist, well-drained, and nutrient-rich soil, plant the soaked seeds about 5cm deep into the soil, water them regularly and wait for 5 – 10 days for the seeds to sprout.
It is important to ensure that the container is large enough and well-drained. A long container is preferable.
Step 2 – Transplant the seedlings
When the seedlings are 2 leaves old, and about to grow the third leaf, transfer them to a garden that you have prepared. The garden should have full exposure to sunlight since Hokkaido squash does well in full sun exposure. The spacing of the rows should be 1 – 2 meters apart. In addition to that, you should transplant the seedlings when the frost season is over.
Step 3 – Fertilize
It is a good practice to fertilize the pumpkin once a month before the flowering stage. However, if the soil is fertile and rich in humus, pumpkin can do well without adding fertilizers. But for the ones transplanted in containers, it is recommendable to add some liquid organic fertilizers once a month.
It is also important to use fertilizers that are high in phosphate and potassium as compared to the ones that are high in nitrogen. This is because the ones with high nitrogen content can make the pumpkin plant grow so big without producing fruits.
The Hokkaido pumpkin will take about 90 days to mature. When they are fully mature, you can harvest them and store them in a cool and dry place. Check around that season to harvest when they are fully ripe. Hokkaido growing conditions are as in the table below:
Table – Best conditions for growing Hokkaido squash
|Soil type||Well-drained, moist, and humus-rich soil.|
|Soil pH||5.8 – 6.8|
|Exposure||Sheltered, full sun.|
|Outdoor growing temperature||60 – 90 degrees F.|
|Minimum outdoor soil temperature||65 degrees F.|
Hokkaido Pumpkin Seeds
You can get Hokkaido squash seeds online if you want to grow them. You can also find certified seeds on Amazon. Hokkaido pumpkin seeds are edible. If you have just harvested the seeds, you can roast them and eat them as snacks.
Are Hokkaido Pumpkins Edible?
Everything about Hokkaido pumpkin is edible. From the seeds to the shell or the skin. The skin itself is soft and you can eat. The flesh is delicious and rich in nutrients, and the seeds can serve as a snack when roasted.
Hokkaido Pumpkin Recipes
This pumpkin is useful for different recipes. You can just try anything with it. From pancakes, curry, pies, jams, and stuffing recipes, Hokkaido pumpkin recipes are just endless.
Hokkaido Pumpkin Curry
Hokkaido pumpkin curry is a mouthwatering dish that you can serve with rice or roti. It is easy to make and you will need ingredients such as ginger, curry powder, red bell pepper, onion, garlic, coconut milk, veggies, and pumpkin. The procedure is flexible depending on how you want the curry to turn.
Hokkaido Pumpkin Substitute
There are good alternatives that you can use instead of Hokkaido pumpkin. That includes the Hubbard squash, Acorn squash, calabaza, or butternut squash. It may be difficult to find an exact substitute due to the difference in nutrient composition, and how Hokkaido pumpkin can be eaten.
What Can I Use Instead of Hokkaido Pumpkin?
You can use other pumpkins such as the butternut squash, or Acorn squash among other varieties. However, you may need to peel these other varieties but for Hokkaido, you may choose to eat without peeling.
Hokkaido Pumpkin Nutritional Value
Hokkaido pumpkin is rich in nutrients. It is one of the nutritious varieties with the following nutritional facts per 100g:
Table – Hokkaido nutritional value
Hokkaido pumpkin is also rich in other vitamins that we have not mentioned including riboflavin, thiamine, and retinol.
Hokkaido Pumpkin Calories
The number of calories present in Hokkaido pumpkin is 63 Kcal per 100 grams. This is contributed largely by carbohydrates, proteins, fiber, and fats.