Pumpkin Farm + Pumpkin Pie!

Happy Fall / Winter to you!

I have been so behind on posting but I am very excited to share with you a new fundraiser coming soon. :)

In the meantime, I wanted to tell you about an awesome place called Tanaka Farms and also post a great vegan pumpkin pie and pie crust recipe I recently came across!

My trip to Tanaka Farms was actually a surprise– I had no idea where I was going!! But my friend said let’s go for a trip and off we went.  I had suspicions we were going to a pumpkin patch since this visit actually took place back in October, but it was much more than that– it was a full blown farm!  I asked what made them think to bring me here and he said, “Because you love farms.” lol That I do!  My dream is to live on a farm and rescue all the animals in the world.  One day, one day.

But for now, I can just visit this 30 acre farm– I never knew there was one that close to me right in Orange County!

Tanaka Farms grows 60 different fruits and vegetables and when we arrived, there were TONS of pumpkins all over the grounds– as far as the eye can see! Small ones, big ones, orange ones, white ones, round ones, lopsided ones.  Everywhere!

We also went on a wagon ride to tour the farm, walked through a corn maze (it’s probably more entertaining for the little ones), visited their market, and I had to walk by their petting zoo to see how the animals were being treated…they looked clean and seemed in good spirits and there were employees throughout to make sure everyone was petting gently and behaving properly.  I wish the animals weren’t stuck in a petting zoo, but at least the conditions were good and they looked healthy.

We ended up not taking any pumpkins home that day (for fear we would let them sit and go bad before we did anything with them and didn’t want to waste a good pumpkin!) but it was a lovely time!  One piece of advice/reminder I have to give– check out the weather report before heading out– it’s all outdoors and it ended up getting pretty toasty for us as we arrived mid-afternoon.  Closed toed shoes are a plus too!

Tanaka Farms now has Christmas trees which will be available until Dec. 16th.  Throughout the year they have different events, such as strawberry, watermelon, and harvest tours.  For more information, visit TanakaFarms.com.

Ever since that trip and as the holidays rolled around, I have craved nothing more than a slice of pumpkin pie!

I got SUPER excited when I saw that Native Foods had it on their menu.  I ordered, picked up, ate dinner, and was all ready to eat my pie when I realized, they gave me extra corn bread and no pie!!!!!! To say the least I was very disappointed but too lazy to drive back.  They did make up for this sad mistake the next time I ordered and mentioned what had happened– they gave me two slices and I was a happy customer.  The pie was yummy and I really liked their granola crust.

So when I was looking for a vegan pumpkin pie recipe, I was looking for something super quick and easy, as it was already Thanksgiving afternoon!  The flavor of the pie is exactly how I remember it to be– the only thing I wasn’t sure of is while it baked on the top, the inside is solid but on the soft side.  The directions say to bake then chill in fridge which I did.  So I will try again and see if I can get the pie to be less soft, but either way it was so good and satisfied my pumpkin pie craving.  The crust was also VERY easy to make and flaky and delicious!

Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and having a great holiday season so far!

Vegan Pie Crust

Thank you B.B. Grimm for posting this recipe on Food.com!

This recipe yields 1 pie crust for a 9″ pie pan.  I think the one I used was smaller so I had extra dough which can be used to make mini pies or quiches, etc.  It’s great to have on hand!

– 1 1/2 cups flour (can be white or whole wheat or combo of both)
– 1/2 teaspoon salt
– 2 tablespoons sugar
– 1/2 cup oil
– 2 tablespoons orange juice (or vegan soymilk– I used sparkling cider because I had a bottle right next to me)

In a large bowl, place all the dry ingredients and mix well.

Add liquids, mix with a fork until the ingredients become a crumbly consistency.

Pat into 9-inch pan with fingertips.  Fill with pie filling or set aside until ready to use.

Vegan Pumpkin Pie

This recipe is from an article on About.com posted by Jolinda Hackett.  I was able to get 2 pies out of this recipe.

You will need a blender or food processor for this recipe.

– 1 pkg of firm tofu
– 1- 16 oz can of organic pumpkin puree
– 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
– 3/4 tsp ground or freshly minced ginger
– 1/2 tsp nutmeg
– 1/2 tsp salt
-1/3 cup oil
– 1 tsp vanilla extract
– 1 cup brown sugar
– 1 1/2 TBS molasses

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Combine all the ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth– that’s it!

Pour into pie crust.

Bake for one hour.  Remove from oven, let cool and chill in refrigerator before serving.

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