Traditional Pumpkin Pie Recipe

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You’ve crunched through the leaves, picked out your Jack-O-Lanterns and turned on your heat for the first time in months. Those are all signs that it’s probably time to start your fall baking! Our traditional pumpkin pie recipe is creamy and spicy with a crust that’ll melt in your mouth. You can simplify the process with canned pumpkin, or you can take your baking to the next level and make your own puree (no judgement either way).

To make our traditional pumpkin pie you will need:
For the crust:
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup butter, chilled and cut into cubes
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup ice water

For the pie filling you will need:
1 cup pumpkin puree
2 eggs
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon cloves
2/3 cup half and half

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For the crust:
In a large bowl, combine flour and salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs, either with a pastry cutter or two knives. Stir in water, a tablespoon at a time, until mixture forms a ball. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight. Roll dough out to fit a 9 inch pie plate. Place crust in pie plate. Press the dough evenly into the bottom and sides of the pie plate.

For the filling:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the pumpkin, eggs, brown sugar, maple syrup and spices together until well combined. Pour in the half and half and stir until incorporated. Pour filling into unbaked pie shell and baked for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool before slicing and serving.

Let’s Toast: Vegan Pumpkin Spice Creamer

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If you’re not part of the pumpkin spice craze yet, then gather ’round. This vegan coffee creamer recipe is sure to make you a follower. Unlike other commercial coffee creamers, this one is made with almond milk, maple syrup, real pumpkin (imagine that!) and variety of fall-friendly spices. Whip up a batch and keep it  in the fridge all winter long. You can even make your own pumpkin puree from scratch with our recipe here. Feel free to adjust the sweetness and spice levels to your own tastes, but this is the version we found to be the most flavorful.

2 cups unsweetened almond milk
3 tablespoons pumpkin puree
3 tablespoons maple syrup (the real stuff)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon vanilla

Put all the ingredients in a pan over medium heat and whisk until incorporated. Let cool slightly and pour into a jar. Before adding to coffee give it a good shake!

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How To: Make Your Own Pumpkin Puree

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Pumpkin pie, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin soup, pumpkin scones… is your head spinning yet? Now that it’s October, it’s officially pumpkin season! If you have a list of seasonal recipes you’re just dying to dive into, why not try your hand at making your own pumpkin puree. The canned stuff is fine, but the flavor from freshly roasted and pureed pumpkin is out of this world. And it’s so easy to make. BONUS: We have a ton of local squash and pumpkins from Mendenhall Farm right here in Moscow.

Now, let’s be clear- not all pumpkins are created equal. While you can roast and puree any old pumpkin, you want to make sure that for cooking and baking you use sugar pumpkins. They’re smaller and have a sweeter and more flavorful flesh. To make your own pumpkin puree you will need:
2 pie pumpkins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice pumpkins in half and scoop out the seeds. Save them for later if you like roasted pumpkin seeds! Place pumpkins skin side down on a baking sheet and place in oven for about 45 minutes or until fork tender. Remove from oven and let cool. Scoop flesh out of skin and blend in a food processor until smooth. You can preserve pumpkin puree by processing a water bath or refrigerate for up 3 days or freeze for up to six months.

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Cold Relief Tea

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The leaves are changing, the days are getting shorter and the sniffles are imminent. This steamy drink is full of goodies that’ll help knock those cold symptoms out- pow! It’s made with fresh ginger, fresh lemon juice, cayenne pepper and honey. Ginger is antiviral, anti-inflammatory and aids in digestion. Lemon is a great source of vitamin C, is antiseptic and is a great source of calcium. Honey is antibacterial, antioxidant and antiviral. And cayenne pepper is anti-inflammatory and aids in nutrient absorption.

To make this tea, boil 1 cup of water, 1/4 teaspoon fresh grated ginger, 1 tablespoon honey, the juice from a half a lemon and 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper in a small pot over high heat. Bring to boil and heat for five minutes. Strain mixture through a fine sieve and drink while piping hot. Put on your comfiest socks and jammies and get to healing!

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Product Spotlight: Veriditas Essential Oils

We’re so proud to now carry Veriditas Botanicals essential oils- a company dedicated to organics and small farming. Their line of oils is pure and unadulterated and is revolutionizing the distilling of organic plants for their essential oils. They’re a natural fit for our co-op because of the pride they take in organic land management, their involvement in and understanding of cooperatives and the standards they uphold in the oils they produce. This is the only pharmaceutical-grade line of essential oils in the store, making some of them ideal for internal consumption, as well as external (They are not all edible, so be sure to ask our Wellness Department which ones are safe).  Did you know that it takes 500 pounds of lavender to make just 32 ounces of lavender essential oil? That’s a lot of land mass, so by supporting Veriditas you are, in turn, supporting organic farming methods on a large scale.

We’ll be bringing you a DIY guide to make your own oil blends that are good for healing a whole host of ailments, but for now, here’s some ideas for how to use the Veriditas Essential Oils for cooking and baking.

  VeriditasPeppermintHotChocolate

Add a drop of peppermint oil to your mocha or hot chocolate for a nice winter treat.

VeriditasLavenderHoney

Add 10 drops of lavender oil to a jar of honey and make your own “miel de lavande”. It’s especially delicious in tea or drizzled over goat cheese.

VeriditasCinnamonCookies

Add a drop of cinnamon bark oil to your cookies to had just a hint of spice.

It’s always best to start with a small amount of oil and add more to taste. Always add essential oil to the end of cooking to ensure that the molecular structure remains in tact and you’re receiving the best flavor possible.

To learn more about Veriditas Botanicals essential oils click here.

Cheese Boards 101: Regional Edition

We’re about to get into that time of year when entertaining guests becomes more regular and the weather demands heartier fare. Here are some tips for building a cheese board that is sure to wow! This version uses local and regional cheeses and be sure to check back for our Imported Edition.

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When building a cheese board, there are several things to consider: of course the types of cheese you’ll serve, but also quantities and accompaniments become important. If you’re serving cheese as a precursor to a fabulous meal, plan on 1-2 ounces of cheese per person. If cheese is the main event, plan on 5-6 ounces per person.

One thing you’ll definitely want to consider when building a cheese board is having a variety of flavors and textures. Our regional board features a creamy herbed labneh or yogurt cheese, a pungent and more crumbly blue cheese, a sturdy Swiss, a tangy and spreadable goat cheese and a hearty cheddar. Think about how you can incorporate cheeses that use cow’s, goat’s and sheep’s milk so that you can taste the difference in flavor.

While chowing down on big servings of cheese is always fun and delicious, it’s also important to serve accompaniments that provide balance to the flavors of your cheeses. We like to serve some sort of candied nuts (pistachios in this case) for sweetness and crunch. It’s also a good idea to serve some sort of bread item, like crackers, bread sticks or sliced baguettes. For this board we used multigrain crackers. Some sort of sweet fruit or chutney also adds for a nice balance. We have lots of fresh figs in right now, but dried figs or dates would also be delicious. And because it’s both pretty and delicious we like to serve a piece of local honeycomb from Woodland Apiaries.

Here are few other helpful tips when building a cheese board:
-Don’t overcrowd your board. You want to make sure that there is enough room to serve a knife for each type of cheese.
-Remove cheese from the refrigerator about an hour before your guests arrive. Cold cheese won’t have as strong a flavor.
-Be sure to label your cheeses so that you don’t have to repeat yourself all evening.

Now come on and let Dalynne, our resident Cheese-monger, help you build that perfect cheese board!

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APPY HOUR: Burrata + Plum Salad with Arugula

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Burrata- Italian for “you’ll never want to eat anything else again in your life.” Ok, not exactly. It actually means “buttery” and one taste of this souped up mozzarella cheese and you’ll be changed forever. Burrata, made from either buffalo or cow’s milk is an outer shell of fresh mozzarella cheese, filled with a mixture of cream and more mozzarella cheese. The result is a rich, creamy cheese that balances nicely with something sweet, like honey, or in this case plums and something peppery, like arugula.

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Plums, often under-utilized in salads, make the perfect addition to this recipe. This time of year, they’re nice and sweet with great texture and juiciness. We’ve also added a salty prosciutto, which can be omitted if you’re wanting to create a vegetarian dish.

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To assemble this salad place a bed of arugula down first. Remove pits from plums and slice, scattering plums on top of the greens. Tear proscuitto into small pieces and also place on greens. Place two balls of burrata on top, cutting open, so the creamy inside spills onto the rest of the salad. For extra sweetness, drizzle honey on top of the burrata.

How To: Make Apple Cider Vinegar

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If you have an over-abundance of apples, or peels and cores, then why not make your own apple cider vinegar? Sure, it’s easy enough to pick up on any grocery trip, but with some apple scraps, water and jar you can make your own! Apple cider vinegar is good for a whole host of things like cleaning, removing dandruff, clearing your skin and aiding your digestive health. So while you’re making those pies this fall or wondering what to do with the apples on your tree, save the extras and make your own vinegar!

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To make apple cider vinegar you will need:
•organic apple scraps, peels or cores (or all three)
•a large jar or jars depending on how much vinegar you’re making
•a cloth to keep out bugs and debris

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Wash apples and allow apple scraps to brown at room temperature. If you have whole apples, cut them into slices first. Place them in a jar and cover with water. Place a cloth or rag on top and store in a warm, dark place like a hot water closet. Let the jar stand for 6 months, stirring once a week. At the end of six months you will notice a grey scum on the top of the mixture. Pour the contents through a fine sieve into another jar. Place cloth on top and store for another four weeks. Store vinegar in a covered jar in the refrigerator to preserve freshness.

Preserve the Season: Ginger Pear Preserves

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We have boxes of beautiful local pears in store right now, and if the thought of eating 14 pounds of pears seems a little daunting, here’s an idea to preserve the harvest. These Ginger Pear preserves are sweet and spicy and would make a beautiful gift for someone. The pears develop a delicious caramelized flavor that pear pair nicely with a sharp and salty blue cheese- lovely for fall.

To make the preserves you will need:

3 pounds pears, peeled, cored and sliced
4 cups sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 candied ginger, finely chopped
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated

In a large pot place the pears, sugar, lemon juice and fresh ginger. Cook over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Add the candied ginger to the pot and stir to combine. Increase heat to medium-high and cook, stirring often, until the mixture is thick coats the back of a spoon, about 45 minutes. Pour into sterilized jars and process in a hot water bath. Without being processed in a hot water bath the preserves will keep in the refrigerator for 5 days.

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