Pumpkin and Eggplant Bake

Article written and reviewed by Cyrus Khambatta, PhD
Published October 22, 2023

The taste of kabocha is a cross between a pumpkin and sweet potato. It is chock full of beta-carotene, fiber and vitamins A and C. The rind of the kabocha is thin and edible so no need to peel the rind. Using mini Japanese or Italian eggplants adds a tenderness to the dish. Maple syrup will caramelize the whole dish.

This hearty dish brings together the earthy sweetness of pumpkin, the creamy texture of eggplant, and the vibrant freshness of kale, all harmoniously seasoned with maple syrup, aromatic garlic, and fragrant rosemary. 

As the autumn leaves fall and cooler evenings approach, this comforting bake will warm your heart and satisfy your taste buds. Whether you're a seasoned chef or a kitchen novice, get ready to create a memorable, oven-baked masterpiece that celebrates the bountiful flavors of the season.

Kabocha (Japanese Pumpkin) - A Diabetes-Friendly Nutrient Powerhouse

Kabocha pumpkin, a Japanese variety of winter squash, offers a range of nutrients that make it a nutritious addition to many dishes. Let's explore its nutritional value, its potential benefits for individuals living with diabetes while using the term "blood glucose," and examine its glycemic index (GI) and glycemic load (GL).

Nutritional Value of Kabocha Pumpkin:

  • Vitamins: Kabocha pumpkin is rich in vitamins, particularly vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene, which is essential for maintaining healthy vision, skin, and immune function. It also provides vitamin C, which supports the immune system, and vitamin B6, important for metabolism and brain health.

  • Minerals: It contains essential minerals such as potassium, crucial for regulating blood pressure, and magnesium, which supports muscle and nerve function.

  • Dietary Fiber: Kabocha pumpkin is a good source of dietary fiber, which aids in digestion, promotes a feeling of fullness, and can help stabilize blood glucose levels by slowing the absorption of carbohydrates.

Kabocha pumpkin can be a beneficial addition to the diets of individuals living with diabetes for the following reasons:

  • Low Glycemic Index: Kabocha pumpkin has a low GI, meaning it has a minimal impact on blood glucose levels when consumed. This is due to its lower carbohydrate content compared to high-starch vegetables.

  • Low Glycemic Load: The glycemic load of kabocha pumpkin is also relatively low because it contains moderate carbohydrates, primarily in the form of complex carbohydrates and fiber. This makes it a diabetes-friendly choice.

  • Fiber Content: The dietary fiber in kabocha pumpkin can help stabilize blood glucose levels by slowing the absorption of sugars from other foods, promoting better blood glucose control.

Including kabocha pumpkin in a diabetes-friendly diet can provide essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber without causing significant spikes in blood glucose levels. It can be enjoyed roasted, mashed, or as an ingredient in various dishes, offering both flavor and nutrition.

In conclusion, kabocha pumpkin is a nutritious and diabetes-friendly food choice due to its low glycemic index and glycemic load, as well as its rich vitamin and mineral content. It can be a valuable component of a well-balanced diet for individuals living with diabetes, contributing to better blood glucose management while enjoying its delicious taste and versatility in cooking.

Eggplant: A Low-Glycemic, Fiber-Rich Gem for Diabetes-Friendly Eating

Eggplant, known for its unique flavor and texture, is a nutritious vegetable that can be a valuable addition to the diets of individuals living with diabetes. Let's explore its nutritional value, its potential benefits for blood glucose management, and examine its glycemic index (GI) and glycemic load (GL) while using the term "blood glucose."

Eggplant is a good source of several vitamins, particularly vitamin K, which is essential for blood clotting and bone health, and it also contains small amounts of vitamin C, supporting the immune system. In terms of minerals, this vegetable provides potassium, crucial for blood pressure regulation, and manganese, important for bone health and metabolism. 

Additionally, eggplant is low in carbohydrates but rich in dietary fiber, which aids in digestion, promotes a feeling of fullness, and can help stabilize blood glucose levels by slowing the absorption of sugars from other foods.

For individuals living with diabetes, eggplant can be a beneficial addition to their diet. It has a very low GI, indicating that it has a minimal impact on blood glucose levels when consumed due to its relatively low digestible carbohydrate content. 

Moreover, its low glycemic load, influenced by both the quality and quantity of carbohydrates, makes it a diabetes-friendly choice. The dietary fiber present in eggplant further contributes to improved blood glucose control by slowing the absorption of sugars from other foods.

When prepared healthily, such as by roasting, grilling, or baking without excessive oil, eggplant becomes a nutritious and diabetes-friendly addition to meals. Its mild, versatile flavor makes it suitable for various culinary creations, ranging from eggplant parmesan to baba ganoush.

In conclusion, eggplant is a low-GI, low-GL vegetable rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, making it a nutritious and diabetes-friendly food choice. Including eggplant in a balanced diet can support better blood glucose management while contributing to overall health and well-being.

Storing Kabocha and Eggplant

Proper storage is essential to keep Kabocha and Eggplant fresh and ready for your culinary adventures.


  • Store kabocha in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight.

  • When whole, it can last for several weeks to a couple of months.

  • Once cut, wrap the unused portion in plastic wrap or place it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Use it within a few days.


  • Store unwashed eggplants in the refrigerator's crisper drawer.

  • Keep them in a perforated plastic bag or a vegetable drawer to maintain humidity and prevent moisture loss.

  • Eggplants are best used within 3-5 days to ensure optimal freshness and flavor.

By following these storage tips, you can extend the shelf life of both kabocha and eggplant, reducing food waste and ensuring they are at their best when it's time to create your delicious dishes.

Pumpkin and Eggplant Bake

Beverly Verwey
Servings 2 people
Calories 464 kcal


  • 1/2 medium kabocha, or any other pumpkin chopped into 1" chunks
  • 6 mini Italian or Japanese eggplants cut lengthwise in half
  • 1 medium onion quartered
  • 4 cups kale chopped
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 5 cloves garlic roughly chopped
  • 3 tbsp fresh rosemary removed from the stem
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper


  • Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  • Prepare the kabocha or pumpkin. Eggplants and onions.
  • Prepare the kale. Remove the leaves from the stem and chopped leaves.
  • Prepare the marinade: mix the maple syrup, chopped garlic, rosemary and black pepper.
  • In a casserole dish, place the vegetables, kale and marinade and mix well.
  • Cover the casserole dish with lid or foil and bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove lid or foil and bake for 10 more minutes.
  • Serve immediately.


Use a variety of mini eggplants. There are many varieties.
No kale, use spinach or other greens such as chard.


Calories: 464kcalCarbohydrates: 74.5gProtein: 14.3gFat: 2.8gSodium: 53.2mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

About the author 

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD is a New York Times bestselling co-author of Mastering Diabetes: The Revolutionary Method to Reverse Insulin Resistance Permanently in Type 1, Type 1.5, Type 2, Prediabetes, and Gestational Diabetes.

He is the co-founder of Mastering Diabetes and Amla Green, and is an internationally recognized nutrition and fitness coach who has been living with type 1 diabetes since 2002. He co-created the Mastering Diabetes Method to reverse insulin resistance in all forms of diabetes, and has helped more than 10,000 people improve their metabolic health using low-fat, plant-based, whole-food nutrition, intermittent fasting, and exercise.

Cyrus earned a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University in 2003, then earned a PhD in Nutritional Biochemistry from the University of California at Berkeley in 2012. He is the co-author of many peer-reviewed scientific publications.

He is the co-host of the annual Mastering Diabetes Online Summit, a featured speaker at the Plant-Based Nutrition and Healthcare Conference (PBNHC), the American College of Lifestyle Medicine Conference (ACLM), Plant Stock, the Torrance Memorial Medical Center, and has been featured on The Doctors, NPR, KQED, Forks Over Knives, Healthline, Fast Company, Diet Fiction, and the wildly popular podcasts the Rich Roll Podcast, Plant Proof, MindBodyGreen, and Nutrition Rounds.

Scientific Publications:

Sarver, Jordan, Cyrus Khambatta, Robby Barbaro, Bhakti Chavan, and David Drozek. “Retrospective Evaluation of an Online Diabetes Health Coaching Program: A Pilot Study.” American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, October 15, 2019, 1559827619879106. https://doi.org/10.1177/1559827619879106

Shrivastav, Maneesh, William Gibson, Rajendra Shrivastav, Katie Elzea, Cyrus Khambatta, Rohan Sonawane, Joseph A. Sierra, and Robert Vigersky. “Type 2 Diabetes Management in Primary Care: The Role of Retrospective, Professional Continuous Glucose Monitoring.” Diabetes Spectrum: A Publication of the American Diabetes Association 31, no. 3 (August 2018): 279–87. https://doi.org/10.2337/ds17-0024

Thompson, Airlia C. S., Matthew D. Bruss, John C. Price, Cyrus F. Khambatta, William E. Holmes, Marc Colangelo, Marcy Dalidd, et al. “Reduced in Vivo Hepatic Proteome Replacement Rates but Not Cell Proliferation Rates Predict Maximum Lifespan Extension in Mice.” Aging Cell 15, no. 1 (February 2016): 118–27. https://doi.org/10.1111/acel.12414

Roohk, Donald J., Smita Mascharak, Cyrus Khambatta, Ho Leung, Marc Hellerstein, and Charles Harris. “Dexamethasone-Mediated Changes in Adipose Triacylglycerol Metabolism Are Exaggerated, Not Diminished, in the Absence of a Functional GR Dimerization Domain.” Endocrinology 154, no. 4 (April 2013): 1528–39. https://doi.org/10.1210/en.2011-1047

Price, John C., Cyrus F. Khambatta, Kelvin W. Li, Matthew D. Bruss, Mahalakshmi Shankaran, Marcy Dalidd, Nicholas A. Floreani, et al. “The Effect of Long Term Calorie Restriction on in Vivo Hepatic Proteostatis: A Novel Combination of Dynamic and Quantitative Proteomics.” Molecular & Cellular Proteomics: MCP 11, no. 12 (December 2012): 1801–14.

Bruss, Matthew D., Airlia C. S. Thompson, Ishita Aggarwal, Cyrus F. Khambatta, and Marc K. Hellerstein. “The Effects of Physiological Adaptations to Calorie Restriction on Global Cell Proliferation Rates.” American Journal of Physiology. Endocrinology and Metabolism 300, no. 4 (April 2011): E735-745. https://doi.org/10.1152/ajpendo.00661.2010

Bruss, Matthew D., Cyrus F. Khambatta, Maxwell A. Ruby, Ishita Aggarwal, and Marc K. Hellerstein. “Calorie Restriction Increases Fatty Acid Synthesis and Whole Body Fat Oxidation Rates.” American Journal of Physiology. Endocrinology and Metabolism 298, no. 1 (January 2010): E108-116.