Recipe: Raw Pumpkin Pie and Cashew Cream

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Autumn food is always full of pumpkin. Pumpkin scones, pumpkin pie, pumpkin soup, pumpkin curries … and I love it! I’m sure the markets anticipate the demands for pumpkin-based treats and stock up on cinnamon and nutmeg. I know I’ve already run out of nutmeg … I love my fresh grated nutmeg. 20130327_151022

My daughter (one of the two masked creatures above) celebrated her Autumn Festival at school yesterday and all the families brought in seasonal food to share. Yes there was a lot of pumpkin there, and apples. Oh my goodness, my mouth was very happy! I brought in a raw pumpkin pie. I made one last year in the seasonal spirit at playgroup and couldn’t quite remember how I did it. So I suspect this year’s pumpkin pie is a completely new recipe – plus there was the added challenge of making it nut-free so that it could be shared in a school environment.

20130327_102930I’m pretty happy with it – but let it thaw a bit before you serve it. It is definitely yummier when you can taste the smooth pie mixture. Also, the pie was still a bit frozen when I put it out and the base stuck to the dish! Everyone just ended up scooping the raw pie off the top because the base had ended up moulding itself pretty well to the dish. Nothing wrong with a bit of scooping. I think at one point someone was just standing in front of it with a spoon. I take that as a compliment, but its a shame no one could taste the base, because that is yummy too. Coconut and pumpkin are good friends in the kitchen.

If I were to make a change to it I think I would add some coconut cream to the recipe to make it smoother and creamier. Only I didn’t have any at the time. Try it and let me know if that works. I think next time I would also add a layer of cashew cream on top before it was frozen. Or you could even layer the pumpkin and cashew cream a few times for a pretty stripey pie …IMG_3370

Raw Pumpkin Pie and Cashew Cream

INGREDIENTS

RAW COCONUT CRUST

200g raw coconut flakes (not shredded or desiccated)

1 cup dates

pinch of salt

1 tbs coconut oil

RAW PUMPKIN PIE FILLING

500 chopped pumpkin, skin and seeds removed

2 cm peeled raw ginger

1/4 cup ground chia seeds, soaked in water

3/4 cup coconut oil

2 tsp cinnamon

2 tsp grated nutmeg

swoosh of raw honey/maple syrup

 a little water/nut milk

METHOD

Blend the crust ingredients together until they begin to stick together. Press into a pie dish that has been lightly oiled with coconut oil. Press down well so the crust will be firm. Place in the freezer for 20 minutes to set. Meanwhile make the filling.

Put chunks of pumpkin into the food processor and blend until finely ground, or as smooth as possible. Add remaining ingredients and blend again until the mixture is very smooth and thick. Add a little water or nut milk to thin it out and help it along in the blender – not too much!

Pour into the crust, decorate with pumpkin seeds, a little more grated nutmeg and set in the freezer.

Let the pie thaw half an hour before serving, and serve with a dollop of cashew cream.

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Mabon Power

Last night I was able to glimpse the moon in her beautiful fullness. The cloudy skies cleared and the light shone over my house so brightly that I could see colours in the darkness. She was the largest full moon we’ve had for about 20 years and I stood and looked at her until the mosquitoes drove me inside again. I’d spent the whole weekend intensely crafting, thus had sat very still in one chair looking at my work in front of me. I had a sore back and sore eyes and despite the achievement of having made my daughter a sweet waldorf doll in one day … I was grumpy!!  I walked out there feeling tired but it was so fantastic to stand in a moonbeam stretching and breathing and I was soon so energised that I couldn’t sleep!

I found myself wandering about the house and reflecting on this last month. Every room that I looked in replayed a silent memory. I know that I posted recently about keeping my head down and living quietly, but it has been an intense month emotionally. If I hadn’t been trying to keep things so simple for myself and my family, I’m certain I would have crashed and burned. So, finding a place to sit in our dark, quiet house I stopped for a moment to think about how things had gone for me.

It’s Mabon where I am in Australia – the Autumn Equinox. The sun is travelling briefly along the equator – equidistant between the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. Here we are poised on the tiny balance point between the light and the dark. Mabon is the mid-point between the Summer and Winter Solstices and the Southern Hemisphere has begun its descent into the darkness as the Sun moves further away from our side of the Earth.

Sitting alone in the cool darkness of my home I was imagining the celestial balance playing out above and around me. In the stillness and silence it felt like the universe had paused for my benefit, the sun had settled on the equator and rested there for a moment so that I may take a breath.

Traditionally Mabon is a time of thanksgiving where the community gathers to celebrate the fruits of the harvest, whilst at the same time ensuring that the harvest is stored carefully to sustain the community through the harshness of the coming winter. It is also a time of loss – the playfulness of summer is replaced with hard work and preparation. In Queensland, our winters are not so harsh (my favourite time of year in fact), and we don’t really suffer in terms of hunger or cold – but it is the spirit essence of the season we acknowledge, for our spirits move with the wheel of year as well.

I had read in Glenys Livingstone’s book PaGaian Cosmology that Mabon and its opposite equinox Eostre in Spring are a time of ‘stepping into power’. Mabon is heading into the darkness of Winter, and Eostre is heading into the lightness of Summer, so the ‘power’ that one requires (or gains) for each experience is different. It seemed like a great opportunity for me to reflect upon how I had stepped into my power this season, and how I can step forward into the inner soul spiral of winter with purposefulness.

So here is my power: I’ve gained the Power of Choice – this last month I have been practicing mindfulness in my first response to conflict – to not just instantly react to situations that I perceive to be negative. I can choose how I react, and I can choose whether I will give the situation any acknowledgement at all. It has been wonderful to be so aware of this gift, and in many situations this power has even helped to turn events around into such fun and delightful, treasured moments that might otherwise have quickly spiralled into bitterness. To think that I would have missed out on those moments just because I was feeling out of sorts! It sure has been interesting to see how I might sabotage my own happiness!

So, I wish you all a Happy Mabon. I hope that you can take the opportunity to stop and be thankful for your life experiences, and to reflect on the powerful skills they have given you in the process. I feel fantastic and ready to hunker down on the inner soul spiral to winter, armed with the power of choice.

I went to bed with this verse echoing in my mind:

I carry my sorrow into the Setting Sun

Place all my cares into the Radiant Womb

Purified through LOVE

Transformed through LIGHT

They return to us

Strengthening thoughts

As poems for deeds of joyous sacrifice.

– Dr Rudolf Steiner-