The Great Candy Roaster Has Arrived!

The pumpkins are here, pumpkins are here, pumpkins are here! 

North Georgia Candy Roasters bring me joy. They are a Cherokee Indian heirloom seed. This pumpkin is native to North Georgia, Tennessee, and North Carolina, and was grown here in Pinewood hundreds of years ago. We brought this seed back and have been growing it on the farm for the past seven years.  

It’s one of my favorite fruits that we grow. Yep, pumpkin is a fruit. From a botanist's perspective, it’s a fruit because it's a product of the seed-bearing structure of flowering plants. It’s loaded with fiber: 7 grams in a cup of puree pumpkin. That means it feeds the good gut homies (the healthy bacteria located in the microbiome). It’s also loaded with antioxidants that support our cellular health.  

Candy Roasters are 18-24 inches long, shaped like a fat banana, and can weigh upwards of 12 lbs. So carving them might not be the best idea, but cooking with them is fantastic.

Creamy, sweet, and delicate flavor lends perfection when making pies, soups, puddings, and cakes. Yep, we now make an insanely delish Pumpkin Pie Cake with these beauties. Send me an email (, as we are shipping them everywhere in the United States in the coming weeks. Apparently, in the early 1900’s, Candy Roaster Pies were a common fall dessert in the Southern Appalachian communities. Being an Appalachian girl myself, I love covering my Southern table on the farm in all things Candy Roasters! 

This week's menu in Pinewood is covered up with this gorgeous pumpkin. Our appetizer is crispy okra and crispy pumpkin drizzled with Thai chili sauce - or get it as your Side of the Day.

A bowl of Candy Roaster Pumpkin Soup fills my heart and belly with happiness. If you can’t make it to Pinewood for some, whip it up in your own kitchen with this easy recipe. You can use any pumpkin or squash you have on hand. Kabocha, butternut, and sugar baby pumpkins work well. If in a rush, use canned pumpkin. If you don’t have time to make it, standby. We will be shipping this soup too as soon as we get it canned this coming week! 

Don’t know what to bring to your holiday family table? I tell everyone to bring soup - folks love it, especially when it’s unique and tasty.


Pumpkin Soup Recipe 

(Gluten-Free & Vegan)

  • 2 sugar baby pumpkins or 2 1/4 cups of canned pumpkin, or any pumpkin you like.
  • 1 tbsp olive oil 
  • 2 medium shallots diced 
  • 3 cloves garlic minced or 1 1/2 tbsp of crushed garlic
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup canned full-fat coconut milk or oat milk or milk of your choice
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup or monk fruit seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp each sea salt, black pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg
  • 1 heaping tbsp of miso paste (I prefer soy-free chickpea miso). This is optional, so if you don’t have it, don’t worry. 
  • Preheat oven to 350°F (176°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Using a sharp knife, cut off the tops of the sugar pumpkins and then halve them. Use a sharp spoon to scrape out all of the seeds and strings.
  • Brush the flesh with oil and place face down on the baking sheet. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a fork easily pierces the skin. Remove from the oven, let cool for 10 minutes, then peel away skin and set pumpkin aside.
  • To a large saucepan over medium heat, add olive oil, shallot, and garlic. Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until slightly browned and translucent. Turn down heat if cooking too quickly.
  • Add remaining ingredients, including the pumpkin, and bring to a simmer for 20 minutes until soft. Cover and let sit; the longer it sits, the better it will taste. 
  • Transfer soup mixture to blender. Use a high-speed blender or immersion blender and mix. Texture must be smooth to puree the soup. Add miso paste if you have it. 
  • Pour mixture back into pot. Continue cooking over medium-low heat for 5-10 minutes. 
  • Leftovers keep in the fridge for up to a few days and in the freezer for up to a month or more.
*Top with thai chilli sauce, pumpkin seeds, coconut cream, and sautéed greens. 
*If you want it more savory, add a little Organic Better Than Bullion to your water or broth.


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