Saturday, October 18, 2014

Pumpkin Fest 2014 - Visiting the Largest 2,000+ Pound Pumpkin in North America!

My mother was visiting me from Pittsburgh, PA, her first Pumpkin Fest. We arrived late in the warm, sunny day, just enough time to see all the top winning pumpkins of the fest. It's hard to imagine a 2,000+ pound pumpkin. It was harder yet to see it given they shroud it in secrecy and you must pay $15 to be photographed with it. (But at least it goes to a good cause, local community education funds.) We caught a glimpse from a distance. (This pic is just one of the smaller runners-up!)

This year's Fest was disappointing in that the GREAT strides made last year in having TWO organic pumpkin pies on Main Street without sugar! - sadly backslid. Both venues did NOT have organic sugar free pies this year. In fact, one venue was sold, new owner, new biz. The other - the great chef left! No pumpkin pie at all this year. Even his great pumpkin soup from last year was gone, gone, gone. Sigh. Fortunately, mom and I had plenty of homemade pumpkin pie at home to tide us through the week!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Heralding the first Pumpkin Pies of the Season, MMMM! Just in time for Mom's Arrival!

Hi Pumpkin Loving Friends,
Welcome Back to us all! I've been off this blog since last Thanksgiving 2013. I've cracked open my first cans of pumpkin, bought some frozen natural pie shells (without sugar, of course), googled Libby's classic 50's pie recipe again - and whipped up my first few pies, all woofed down by friends with great gusto. And my famous whipped cream, sweetened with grade b maple syrup of course. One recipe makes 2 shallow pies for the two crusts I bought. (The only ones I have found without sugar are "Upper Crust" - ask for them. Wish they were organic - when is someone smart going to put all the right things together!) Don't be fooled by the "Wholesome" brand at Whole Foods and even Good Earth - they all have sugar in them. Real pie crust doesn't need sugar!

Remember friends - my secret to awesome pumpkin pie - use unrefined coconut sugar in place of refined sugar, either one to one, or I prefer to use 1/3 less sugar, it comes out just fine. AND, remember to use evaporated milk instead of sweetened condensed milk (loaded with sugar). There is currently no organic evaporated milk on the market that I can find (come on organic dairy manufacturers, get with it and make a healthy alternative to that sugary stuff). I also add 1/2 tsp of nutmeg to the spices, I love nutmeg.

I alter the Libby's spices a bit. I use a little less cloves and ginger, half the amount each, and add 1/2 tsp nutmeg, 1/4 tsp mace and 1/4 tsp allspice, for a slightly more complex and delightful spicing.

I hope Costco has their mini flats of organic pumpkin again - I went through at least 4 mini cases last season! They also had organic unrefined coconut sugar too, I hope they will carry that too. Will keep you posted. Marin County's Costco has a huge organic foods island, growing ever larger, thankfully.

Happy pie season!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving 2013 Wishes to All

Please share widely with friends and pass on the Pumpkin Lovers Unite message: life is SO much better naturally sweetened! 
Giving thanks today & always for the beauty & grace of nature's splendor of foods we are so fortunate to derive our strength & energy from...blessings all!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Raising the Sugar Consciousness Bar!

It was great to bring the Pumpkin Fest demo table back home to Marin to the fantastic San Rafael Civic Center Thursday Farmers Market November 21, 2013 at the scenic lagoon. Thanks to Market Manager Chris for the go ahead, people loved the display, engaged in conversations and met great new friends in the cause!

Thanks to Sunday Manager Nick - The Pumpkin Fest table will be up at the incredible San Rafael Civic Center Sunday Market on Sunday December 8 - it's one of the three biggest in the state - and before the holidays too! Come see us and tell your friends to if you are in the area to ring in a healthier, happier holiday season & New Year 2014!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Transformation, One Delicious Dessert at a Time...Progress on the Path!

Organic Pumpkin Hand Pie ~ no refined sugar & delicious!

The annual Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival is one of the biggest events on the West Coast - over 200,000 attendees come to celebrate all things pumpkin.

Festival 2012 - when I strolled the streets last year looking for something I could eat without sugar - there was not one thing - except a great organic pumpkin soup at Cafe Chez Shea on Main Street. I spoke to Chef Alfredo and encouraged him to make pumpkin pie for the next Festival without sugar.

Festival 2013 --  not only did Chef Alfredo make his delicious pumpkin pie this year without sugar - I enrolled the only other organic cafe on Main Street, Local FATT and Chef Kevin Koebel to do the same - both of their pies were sell-out successes - and I had a booth on Main Street two blocks from the Food Court as a health coach and educator -  selling nothing - but my enthusiasm to educate the public about the fabulous array of delicious alternative sweeteners that can replace refined sugar in any recipe. The public loved it. We reached, literally thousands of people.

Pumpkin Lovers Unite rolls on!
A project of Visionary Green, a Marin County Green Certified 501 (c) 3 Non Profit