Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Pumpkins and Fudge

Happy Halloween!! 
My son is in first grade. His teacher's husband grows pumpkins competitively. Of course his class had a special field trip to the otherworldly pumpkin patch. It really did take my breath away as we rounded the corner and the mountainous pumpkins came into view rising above a vast sea of equally impressive sprawling green vines. The children were beside themselves with wonder.

One of the pumpkins was grown to compete for sheer size/weight. At the height of the growing season it was putting on over 30 pounds a day! It ended up weighing in at an impressive 1115 pounds which earned it 12th-place in a northstate competition in Sacramento. The 1st-place pumpkin was around 1600 pounds. The bright orange one pictured above, although substantially smaller, got best of show for attractiveness and won a $650 prize.

I took lots of photos and made a poster for the class. I'm so thankful that I have the time to do whimsical projects such as this if the urge strikes.
And then there is pumpkin fudge. In our quaint little downtown there is a drug store. It has been there since the 1800s. It does not have a soda fountain but it does have a "fudgery" (corner where fudge is made). This time of year they offer some seasonal flavors, one of which is pumpkin fudge. My parents first tried it 7 years ago while housesitting for us and they LOVE it. I make sure they get a slice of it each year which they say they can devour in just one evening. 

I don't know how they do it. I definitely have a sweet tooth but to me fudge has always just been too much, almost sickeningly sweet. And now with a diet free from gluten and virtually dairy-free, traditional fudge would be out of the question anyway. 

How about some healthy vegan fudge - a Halloween treat for the gluten and dairy sensitive? Don't worry it is still rich and creamy and chocolatey and sweet, just not tooth-achingly so. This recipe uses coconut cream concentrate and coconut oil in place of butter and cream. (I've been using a lot of coconut oil recently. Subject of another post.) If you look at this blog's October posts, you would think me a chocolate fanatic. Chocolate hasn't really played all that big a part in my life - until recently. I'm pretty into chocolate right now. Dark chocolate. Christmas is coming. Bring it on.
 Vegan Fudge
Ingredient list:
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup warm water
3 T. coconut cream concentrate
1 T. coconut oil
1 cup chopped walnuts*

Mix all ingredients together except the chopped walnuts and stir for a couple minutes until smooth. Add walnuts and stir to combine. Pour into a small dish or pan. Mine was a 4" x 8" ramekin. Chill until set. Cut into squares and store on waxed paper in the refrigerator.
*walnuts can be raw or lightly toasted

Note/Update: I have made this fudge a few more times now and have taken to adding 1/8 t. cayenne pepper, 1/8 t. ancho chili powder, and 1/4 t. cinnamon, and a pinch of sea salt for a delectable spicy Mexican chocolate twist! Oh my, you should try it.



  1. Fantastic poster! Thanks for telling me about it, Leo. I bet everyone at school loved it.

  2. Will Leo play rugby when he gets a tad bigger? thanks for the wonderful pics and for the new idea on how to do fudge.

  3. Wonderful pumpkin photos and poster!