Oma’s Pie Crust

Oma’s Pie Crust + Paleo Pumpkin Pie

When I was growing up, I would spend every Friday afternoon at my grandparents. It was a tradition for my family to get together every Friday and share a meal, splendidly prepared by my grandmother and gather at the weeks end. It was a sort of homecoming every single week, I always knew I would be picked up by my Opa (grandfather) at 3pm from school with my brother, driven to Petaluma (Im a Sonoma County Native) and the evening would culminate in a 6pm dinner (never later) prepared by my Oma (grandmother) with my family gathered around the table with the 6 o’clock news blaring in the background.

Not only did my Oma make an entire meal for at least 10 people, but she also made pies for dessert by scratch. I, to this day, have never in my lifetime tasted pies like hers. Although they were made with all the usual additions and renditions of not-so-great for you ingredients, they were in every way, divine.

This November, my grandmother joined my grandfather on the other side. In the beginning of November, before her passing, I decided to take on the feat of making a healthier version of her pie crust. I am not sure if it was my way of grieving for her (as she is the one in the family that shared my passion for baking) or another way to honor her while she was still alive but I felt that I just needed to do it.

So I tried, a few times, and I failed a few times. The first couple times I made a crust for a friendsgiving that came out okay, but it really wasn’t up to par. Between the Friendsgiving and Thanksgiving, my grandmother passed. When I attempted to try the crust again the day before Thanksgiving, I felt her with me, guiding me along as I carefully put each ingredient together. Some may say it was my intuition, but something just seemed right about this version I was making, almost like it was being channeled through.

Either way, for my benefit (and yours) I finally mastered a healthier version of my beloved Oma’s pie crust. There are some tweaks I may make along the way (don’t worry, I will certainly updated the post if I do!) but for now, this version is pretty darn close.

Oma’s Pie Crust-Paleo Style:


2 Cups of Almond Flour

1 Cup of Tapioca Flour

1 Cup of Coconut Flour

2 Tsp of Cold Water

1  Cup of Sustainably Harvested Vegetable Shortening-Cold, keep more on hand if needed

2 Eggs

1/2tsp of Salt

1-2 pinches of Monk Fruit Powder to taste

Kitchenaid Mixer with Dough attachment or a bowl, a pastry cutter or fork to blend.

Blend the flours together evenly in a mixing bowl along with the monk fruit powder and the salt.

Scoop the vegetable shortening out of the container, trying to get as large pieces as possible. If you can get a large piece, the easiest way is to grate it (yes with a cheese grater) to create little pearls of fat for the crust. This step is imperative for how the crust comes together so making sure you slowly add as small-as-possible pieces of the cold shortening is ideal. If you cannot scoop a large piece out, just shave the top of the shortening with a spoon. This is by far the most difficult part as the shortening is very hard from being cold, have patience, and take some breaks if your hands need a break. If you are using a Kitchenaid Stand Mixer, you can put the machine on a mid-speed to aid in blending. If you are making this by hand, begin to cut the dough with the pastry cutter or a fork in between adding the shortening.

About halfway in with the shortening, begin to add a little cold water. I would say perhaps a tsp at a time, but not too much, allow for the dough to mix together. Asses, use your intuition (yes for me, baking is very intuitive and Oma never used recipes) and gauge if you need more. Keep cold water on hand just in case.

Continue to add the rest of the fat (feel free to use more if needed but not too much) to get the dough to combine. Once the dough looks crumbly in form, add the eggs and mix.

The dough should begin to form in the stand mixer almost immediately, but if you need to use your hands please do so. Also if you need to add more cold water to get the dough to stick, do so 1/2tsp at a time.

The dough should be slightly yellow in color and malleable, not crumbling in your hands. If it is, add more fat or water to get it to stick. The key to pie crust is for the ingredients to be cold, so make sure everything still is and if not, refrigerate and come back.

Once the dough has formed, divide the dough into two even rounds, cover them in plastic wrap (or beeswax wrap if you have it) and refrigerate for at least 20 min.

This recipe will make two pie portions of crust, so you can make two open pies (such as pumpkin) or one full pie with a top and bottom crust.


Paleo Pumpkin Filling:

For Two Pies:

1 Can of Pumpkin or 2 Cups of Roasted Pumpkin Puree

1 Can of Full Fat Coconut Milk

1 Tbsp or more of Pumpkin Pie Seasoning

2 Tbs of Arrowroot Starch

2 Pinches of Monk Fruit Powder or more to taste-don’t go overboard, this stuff is extremely strong, you can also use the extract or stevia if thats what you have.

Optional: 2 tsp of Maple Syrup for Flavoring

Combine all ingredients into a blender to combine. Test the mix to see if its sweet enough for your taste, add more sweetener of choice if it’s not.

Paleo Pumpkin Pie:

Grease a 8 inch pie dish with Coconut Oil or other fat of choice

Roll out one of the rounds of dough between two sheets of parchment or wax paper. Put the pie dish upside down on the rolled out dough and flip the dough into the pie dish, or you can simply press the dough into the pie dish as well and skip the rolling.

Form the crust with your hands, either making a shape or a simple crust. With a fork poke holes in the bottom of the crust to release the air pockets. Any extra dough can be rolled out to create cut outs for decoration or simply toss or bake alongside the pie for a snack.

Bake the crust at 450 degrees Fahrenheit for 5-10 minutes or until its just turns a light golden brown.

Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Combine 1 egg with 2 tsp of water for an egg wash (optional but turns the pie a golden brown) and wash the pre-baked pie crust and any unbaked cut outs (like the moons above) with it as well.

Pour the Pumpkin Puree from the blender into the pie dish with the pre-baked crust. If you have dough cut outs place them gently on top of the pie so as they do not sink in. With the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, bake the pie(s) for 45-50 minutes or until the pie does not jiggle or wiggle when moved. You can also stick a toothpick in the center, there will still be some pumpkin puree on the toothpick, but not that much when it is done.

Let cool completely before serving.

Whipping up some coco whipped cream would be absolutely splendid to enjoy with the pie as well.


Waning Moon in Virgo

ART: Lori Menna


Waning Moon in Virgo

November 29th, 2018

The waning moon greets us in her ultimate release in the sign of Virgo : : the archetypal virgin of the cosmos representing health, healing, work and boundaries.


The waning moon is symbolic of removing all the last little blockages, hindrances or triggers that stand in our way of moving to the next level in our evolution. It is a time of deep shedding, of deep surrendering, and most importantly allowing for our deeper layers to be revealed. It is symbolic to a way a snake sheds its skin or the way an outer layer of an onion peels away, only to reveal a fresh juicy and luminescent layer underneath.


Virgo is the sign of order and organization, but there is a greater reason for Virgo’s need to align and center. As a Mercury (currently retrograded)  Ruled earth sign, Virgo seeks out to understand and returns with her knowledge to serve the world. Virgo reminds us there is greater meaning to our lives than just ourselves, and although we can gather all the tools and modalities to heal ourselves, the true gift is sharing what we have learned with others so they can do the same.


In reflection of this past cycle, we greeted our last new moon in Scorpio, stirring up the darkest of depths. Appropriate for Scorpio Season, we were led on a journey to unearth our emotional shadows in order to find our truth. With this new moon, we were greeted with a deeply transformational opportunity to finally release (consciously or unconsciously) stale emotions that no longer have a place in our lives.


Following the new moon, the Waxing Moon greeted us in the sign of Aquarius. Aquarius is the harbinger if New Vision and reminds us that even in the darkest of depths, there is still light. This was a welcomed aspect that brought the opportunity of higher perspective as the moon was beginning to gather energy to build. Our Waxing Moon in Aquarius gave us what we needed in order to see (from a higher vantage point) the gift in moving through our darkness, and the reminder, that the greatest gems of light, the ones we can touch and feel in a physical way, are those that are unearthed in the shadows.


In her full illumination, we greeted the Full Moon in the sign of Gemini, the cosmic twins of duality. Gemini seeks to inquire and understand, and the full moon in Gemini right at the beginning of Sagittarius season brought us a vision of what could be, coupled with (in rightful Gemini fashion) the illumination of what we truly need to let go of in order to rebirth.


It could not be more perfect that the Waning Moon in Virgo greets us in the last phase of this momentous cycle. We have unearthed, emotionally dived bombed, illuminated from the light within and now finally, are called to actively release the last little bits of our great emotional upheaval. Because of Virgo’s strong work ethic, we are given the guidance + support to get our hands dirty and do what needs to be done. And the silver lining of it all?  Your not only releasing, surrendering and letting go for yourself, your doing it for your families, ancestors, friends, sisters, brothers and even strangers-on-the-bus healing as well.


So, in much gratitude and respect, thank you.


Themes of clearing the emotional, mental and physical clutter from your being will be at an all time high this week. Because Virgo’s home planet of Mercury is currently retrograded, don’t be surprised if certain conversations or interactions are reminiscent of times gone by. There is a reason why Scorpio stirred us to look at old wounds and why Mercury is in retrograde, as this is one more opportunity to clean up relationships, experiences and reflections of ourselves from our past so that we may move forward.


Virgo reminds us that in order to do the ‘work’ and approach life with a truth that opens the doorway to a deeply healed and abundant life, we must first, get out of our own way. If the theme of boundaries comes up for you, acknowledge it. Whether its set by you or someone else, there is deep medicine there. This is the Universe’s way of showing you how to be in right relation, not only with yourself but others as well. If there is animosity directed towards you, listen. Don’t take it in as a definition of yourself but allow for this reflection to sink in before you get defensive. There is some magic there that is showing you perhaps what needs to be released during this waning moon.


However Virgo’s Waning Moon shows up for you, know that it is helping you make space for what is coming. We have begun Sagittarius season with a spark of fire to bring us back into our full and complete inspired alignment- we have been morphed, changed, open and expanded this last lunation and as we round out with the last New Moon of 2018 next week, let the magic of 2019 start to seep in just a little, one holiday sparkle at a time.


art: Lori Menna of Cosmic Collage

insight: Moon Mystic – Camille Craft of Vital Yogi


H E L L O + W E L C O M E

May the Fire Transform You
May the Water Replenish You
May the Wind Uplift You
May the Earth Always Bring You Home

Vital Yogi is a compilation of many things. It is the practice of vitalism, tantra, herbalism, Ayurveda, astrology, holistic nutrition, crystals, vibrational tools and the daily engagement of high vibrational living. It is the weaving of many backgrounds to create a life of vitality, of happiness and how to achieve that in a multi faceted approach.

Vital Yogi was originally birthed as solely an apothecary line. It was birthed with the intention to bring travelling artists, yogi’s and those alike plant remedies to soothe the body, mind and soul when experiencing the grueling repercussions of traveling and being constantly on the road. Vital Yogi was birthed with the intention to empower people to be their own healers and to restore balance to the mind, body and spirit through the full embodiment of life force.

Vital Yogi is about returning to the earth. It is about re-igniting the inherent connection that we have with our bodies and the plant and minerals that have adapted over millions of years to balance them. It is ancient practices brought to the modern world, stemming from Ayurveda, Yoga, Holistic Nutrition, the power of astrology and more. It is walking in sync with the natural rhythms of the earth instead of creating currents of resistance against it. Vital Yogi is a movement to return to our inherent rhythm with all the beauty and wisdom of creation woven intentionally into our modern world.

Vitality is more than just food or herbs, it is a way of life. It is mindfulness, conscious intention, sacred movement, sustainable creation and living a life directly connected to the power giving life force that is at the base of all living things. It is directing life from this source, instead of diminishing it. It is finding our home in who we are naturally, instead of that which is impermanent or transient in the world. Vital Yogi is the home to which we nestle in and rediscover our inherent connection to all of creation.

How we choose to engage and dance with life is how we choose to awaken our own power, our own true prosperity. Prosperity is not limited to monetary value, true prosperity is life force, it is the very essence of our energy and life itself. Vital Yogi represents the lifestyle to fully embody this life force, to allow it to fuel all areas of our life in a way that nourishes and creates abundance in every facet of our being. Because we are inherently abundant, we are inherently healthy and we are inherently happy-all we have to do is remove the resistance and be in the flow of our natural state of being.

– V I T A L   Y O G I –