How many calories are in a cup of cooked buttercup squash?

Buttercup squash is a type of winter squash that is a nutritious and delicious addition to any meal. With its sweet, nutty flavor and smooth, creamy texture when cooked, buttercup squash makes an excellent side dish or can be incorporated into soups, casseroles, breads, and more. Many people enjoy buttercup squash for its nutritional value as well. But when watching your calorie intake, you may be wondering – how many calories are in a cup of cooked buttercup squash?

What is Buttercup Squash?

Buttercup squash, also known as kabocha squash, is a member of the Cucurbita maxima species. It is a small, pumpkin-shaped squash with dark green skin and deep orange flesh. The flesh is drier than other winter squash varieties, making buttercup squash excellent for roasting, sautéing, and baking.

Buttercup squash is in season during the fall and early winter months. It can be purchased whole at grocery stores and farmers markets. When selecting a whole buttercup squash, look for one that is heavy for its size with no soft spots. Squash that sounds hollow when tapped may be overripe. You can also find pre-cut buttercup squash sold in chunks, slices, or spirals.

Nutritional Profile of Buttercup Squash

Buttercup squash is highly nutritious, providing many vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Some of the key nutrients found in a one cup serving of cooked buttercup squash include:

  • Calories – 82
  • Carbohydrates – 21 grams
  • Fiber – 3 grams
  • Protein – 1 gram
  • Vitamin A – 245% DV
  • Vitamin C – 35% DV
  • Potassium – 582 mg
  • Magnesium – 48 mg
  • Manganese – 12% DV

Buttercup squash contains beneficial plant compounds like carotenoids, anthocyanins, and phenolic acids. These function as antioxidants to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress. The vitamin A found in buttercup squash supports eye and skin health, while the potassium helps control blood pressure. The fiber aids digestion.

Calories in Buttercup Squash

Now that we have covered some basics about buttercup squash, let’s look specifically at the calorie content.

There are approximately 82 calories in one cup of cooked cubed buttercup squash. This is according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) FoodData Central database.

To get a cup of cooked buttercup squash, you would need to start with about 1 pound or 450g of raw, uncooked squash. When roasted or boiled, this amount yields right around 1 cup or 140g.

The calorie count comes mostly from carbohydrates, with 21 grams per cup. There is minimal fat and protein in buttercup squash.

Here is a nutrient breakdown of 1 cup cooked buttercup squash:

Nutrient Amount
Calories 82
Carbohydrates 21g
Fiber 3g
Protein 1g
Fat 0.5g

As you can see, the majority of calories in buttercup squash comes from carbohydrates. There is also a significant amount of fiber per serving.

Comparing Buttercup Squash to Other Squash Varieties

How does the calorie content of buttercup squash compare to other popular varieties of winter squash?

Here is a calorie comparison per 1 cup cooked:

Winter Squash Variety Calories
Buttercup squash 82
Acorn squash 115
Butternut squash 82
Hubbard squash 82
Spaghetti squash 42
Banana squash 40
Delicata squash 60

As you can see, buttercup squash contains a moderate amount of calories compared to other winter squash varieties. Acorn squash has the highest calorie content per cup, while spaghetti squash and banana squash are lowest. Buttercup squash, butternut squash, and Hubbard squash all have about the same number of calories.

Calories in Common Buttercup Squash Dishes

Now that we know the basic calorie information per cup of plain cooked buttercup squash, how does this change when incorporated into recipes? Here is the calorie count for some common buttercup squash dishes:

Buttercup Squash Dish Calories (per serving)
Roasted buttercup squash cubes 100
Mashed buttercup squash 120
Buttercup squash soup (1 cup) 115
Buttercup squash casserole 200
Buttercup squash lasagna 300
Buttercup squash ravioli 350

As expected, calories increase as you add other ingredients like oils, cheese, pasta, etc. However, the base of buttercup squash remains relatively low calorie in most dishes. A cup of plain cubed roasted buttercup squash has only 100 calories, while a more complex recipe like buttercup squash lasagna has 300 calories per serving.

Tips for Serving Buttercup Squash

Here are some tips for enjoying buttercup squash while keeping calories in check:

  • Roast plain – Toss cubed buttercup squash with just a little oil, salt and pepper for a simple side dish.
  • Try new seasonings – Buttercup squash pairs well with warm spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, curry powder.
  • Mash it – Skip the butter and heavy cream for lighter mashed squash. Replace with broth and spices.
  • Use as pasta substitute – Spiralized or roasted buttercup squash noodles are lower carb/calorie than traditional pasta.
  • Add to soups – Puree roasted buttercup squash and add to chicken noodle or minestrone soup.
  • Swap in baked goods – Replace some oil, butter, or flour in recipes with pureed buttercup squash.

With its creamy texture and adaptable flavor, buttercup squash can be used in both savory and sweet dishes while keeping calories in a healthy range.

The Bottom Line

So how many calories are in a cup of cooked buttercup squash? According to the USDA, one cup of cubed, cooked buttercup squash contains approximately 82 calories. This comes mostly from 21 grams of carbohydrate and 3 grams of fiber per serving.

Buttercup squash provides a range of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants for nutritional value. When incorporated into recipes, calories will increase depending on added ingredients. But buttercup squash remains one of the lower calorie winter squash options. It can be prepared in many ways that support healthy eating and weight management. So enjoy the sweet, nutty flavor of buttercup squash guilt free!

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