Harvest time in the Hudson Valley reminds us why we love it here so much - bountiful farm-fresh food! Apple orchards, CSAs, farm stands, and farmers’ markets abound at this time of year. The amazing produce that grows here provides a rich connection to the land and a deep appreciation for the farmers who cultivate it.
Nourishing our bodies with fresh, organic foods is an essential component of good health and beauty. If our bodies are healthy and energized with a nutrient-rich, plant-based diet, we feel alive and impart a healthy glow. Pumpkins are particularly rich in vitamins and minerals and serve as a great source of fiber. Pumpkins are one of the best sources of beta-carotene, a powerful anti-oxidant and precursor to vitamin A, a key nutrient for healthy skin, hair, eyes, and overall immune health.
The heirloom variety of pumpkin pictured is the Long Island Cheese Pumpkin, grown by our Operations Manager, Amy, in a nearby community garden. This pumpkin has a reputation for being one of the tastiest out there, with a texture that is creamy and smooth with an incredible flavor that makes it perfect for anything from soup to pies.
Preparing a fresh pumpkin is less daunting than it appears. However, if you are pressed for time and cannot find a good pie pumpkin, canned organic pumpkin is readily available.
To prepare the fresh pumpkin, cut the pumpkin into quarters or eighth wedges, removing the pulp and seeds. (Seeds can be saved for roasting!) Place in a baking dish with a cup of water. Bake at 375 degrees for 40-60 minutes or until soft.
Recipe for Vegan Pumpkin Pie:
2 ¾ c pumpkin puree
¼ c maple syrup
¼ c brown sugar
1/3 c unsweetened plain almond milk, or other milk alternative
1 T melted coconut oil
2 ½ T arrowroot or cornstarch
1 t cinnamon
¼ t cloves
½ t nutmeg
1 t ginger
¼ t salt
- Add all the pie filling ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. Adjust spices to taste.
- Pour filling into prepared pie shell.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes.
- Allow 2 hours to cool and fully set before serving.
- Serve with coconut whipped cream or a vegan maple whipped cream, and dust with a sprinkle of cinnamon or nutmeg.
During this harvest season, celebrate the beauty of the bounty. We wish everyone health and wellness as we move into a beautiful fall season!
To learn more about the history of the Long Island Cheese Pumpkin and how seed stewards helped to bring back the oldest domesticated squash, visit the Hudson Valley Seed Library. Ken Greene and his Seed Saving Sanctuary offer heirloom and open-pollinated organic vegetable, flower, and herb seeds packaged in beautiful, contemporary garden-themed seed packets.