Category Archives: avocado

healthy+fats, ketogenic+diet

Can Fats be Healthy? Yes!

Times Have Changed!

healthy+fats, ketogenic+diet

It wasn’t that long ago that fat was a dirty word. I recall attending a gym class where the teacher advised choosing all-sugar treats (such as Starburst or Skittles) over treats with any fat at all.  Many were excited to see no-fat products on the market — cookies and cakes made without fat. It was easy to get caught up in the no-fat craze.

But just a few days of unnaturally cutting fats completely out of your diet leaves you feeling hungry, tired, and grumpy and, frankly, unhealthy.  The fats in those products were generally replaced with a real dietary villain — sugar — as well as other refined carbohydrates. So you ended up with the spikes and dips in energy that come with a high sugar diet. Not a happy place to be.

And it’s true, there are unhealthy fats — Transfats (fats that have been hydrogenated) can increase the risk of several chronic diseases (heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, among others.) We want to avoid those, such as refined fats and oils (think margarine and corn oil).

There are also very serious possible effects of eating no fat. This article from Dr. Axe mentions poor brain function, compromised heart health, hormone imbalances (including fertility issues), overeating and weight gain, among other problems. I knew a young woman who desperately wanted to get pregnant, but had stopped menstruating when she turned to a practically no-fat diet in order to control her weight. Yes, things went this extreme.

Fortunately, the pendulum has swung away from that craziness, and we are in a much healthier place as it relates to dietary fat. In 2015 the U.S. Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee sent recommendations to the Government that advised against restricting dietary fat, and had no upper limit on total fat intake.

healthy+fats, ketogenic+diet

And that’s good news, because including healthy fats in your diet will help reduce hunger and cravings, help you feel satiated (satisfied), as well as help with energy and brain function. The supplements that you take will be better absorbed, as well as the nutrients in the food that you eat — all fat-soluble vitamin as well as calcium. Your liver will be protected from damage. Your “good” cholesterol will go up and your “bad” cholesterol will go down. You will even burn fat more efficiently! These reason and more are why the ketogenic diet has become so popular lately.

But we all have to careful about which fats to choose. The fats from raw dairy products, coconut oil, grass-fed beef, nuts, avocados, and much more are beneficial to our health. Here are some healthy fats to choose.

healthy+fats, ketogenic+diet

Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Butter (especially raw, but from grass-fed cows as well), Ghee (clarified butter), and Coconut Oil. The Danes have been right all along. Butter and Ghee contain healthy Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids are essential, and our bodies don’t produce them; we have to get them from our diets. Extra Virgin Olive Oil, high in antioxidants, is great for brain and cognitive function, and even lowering blood pressure. Make sure you choose Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, since processing can eliminate many of the healthy benefits.

Avocados, Full-fat Dairy, and Eggs. One of my favorite lunch go-tos is a half of an avocado, chopped tomatoes and cucumbers, topped with a squeeze of lime and Mexican spices. If I’m extra hungry I’ll add some full-fat cottage cheese. If you prefer, add a hard-boiled free-range organic egg for even more protein! This lunch will keep me satisfied for the whole afternoon. An avocado has the advantage of being high in protein, as well as vitamin E, folate, and of course healthy monosaturated fat.

healthy+fats, ketogenic+diet

Nuts, Seeds, and Dark Chocolate. A handful of nuts is full of super nutrients, including healthy fats. Add a chunk of dark chocolate — at least 70% cacao (to reduce the amount of sugar) and you have an energy-boosting snack.

Omega-3s from Seafood, and Grass-fed Beef. Make sure you choose wild-caught, sustainable varieties, and Grass-fed, Organic beef for the best nutritional punch. Both are higher in Omega-3 fatty acids, and high in protein as well.

healthy+fats, ketogenic+diet

Lassen’s carries many healthy fats in many forms and varieties — including brands such as Bulletproof, which are formulated to take advantage of the nutritional strengths of these fats. This is not a new bandwagon for us — Lassen’s has carried these nutritious and healthy (as well as delicious!) products since day one in 1971!  Come see our selection!

Love,

Lassen’s

avocado+recipes, braggs+liquid+aminos, liquid+aminos, lemon+juice, avocado+recipes, easy+avocado+recipes

THE 3 INGREDIENT POWER SNACK

Oh Avocados!
 
So many options! So many ways to transform their wonderfully versatile taste into brilliant works of art! At only 99¢ per Organic Avocado for the rest of July at Lassens, chances are you’ll be buying in bulk!
 
Of course there are those lazy summer days when the amount of effort you’re willing to put in doesn’t quite match up with the expectations of greatness that sits at the edge of your taste buds.
 
Fear not my friends, for I come armed with a little snack that’s not only packed with nutrients, but it is also as easy as 1-2-3! In fact, that’s exactly the amount of ingredients that go into this little creation. 
Here they are, are you ready?
avocado, Lassens, Lassensloves, organic, power snack
 

You’ll Need: 

1 organic avocado
+
1 organic lemon (juiced)
+
1-2 Tablespoons of Braggs Liquid Aminos
THAT’S IT!

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avocado+snack
 
avocado+snack
 
avocado+snack
 
avocado+snack
 
avocado+snack
 
avocado+snack
aaaaaaand….. 
avocado+snack
GONE.
 
If that sounds a little too simple to you, rest assured, the taste is NOT!
Of course it can be dolled up if you wish (I’d recommend Phony Baloney Coconut Bacon or pine nuts), but sincerely, this flavor combo can stand alone!
 
But why is it a POWER SNACK, you ask?
The secret lies in each ingredient’s list of benefits.
avocado+nutrition
 
 
lemon+nutrition
 
Bragg's+Liquid+Aminos
 
Some of the best things in life are simple – this snack is no exception.
Enjoy and have a lovely and healthy day!
Click HERE to pin this as an infographic!
Love,
 
Lassen’s
 
 
 

chopped+salad+recipe, chopped+salad, healthy+salad+recipe, hemp+seeds, hemp+seed+recipes, delicious+salad+recipes, delicious+salads

Hemp Seeds–What are They Good For?

They Sound Kind of Hippie… Really They’re Not.

lassensloves.com, Lassen's, Lassens, hemp+seeds
 

But They are Groovy!

Have you tried Hemp Seeds?  They are full of nutrition:

Protein–There are 11 grams of protein in just 3 TBSP!
Anti-inflammatory Omegas!
Phytonutrients and anti-oxidants!
All kinds of minerals!
Essential fatty acids!

So How Do I Use Them?

Hemp Seeds are so easy to add to smoothies, soups, and hot cereals, and to sprinkle on salads and vegetables.  They have a mild taste similar to sunflower seeds or pine nuts, so won’t overpower the flavor of any dish, and are smaller than sesame seeds.  I really like them!

Here’s the first recipe in which I ever used Hemp Seeds.  I found it in the LA Times Foods section (October 13, 2011, adapted from a recipe from BLD in LA).  When I want a filling yet healthy and light salad, I reach for this recipe.  I’ve changed it a little, but I think you’ll love it!

Chopped Vegetable Salad with Hemp Seeds

 

You’ll Need:

For the Dressing:

lassensloves.com, Lassen's, Lassens, hemp+seeds, salad+recipe
 
  • 1 1/2 tsp grated organic fresh ginger
  • 1 1/2 tsp coarsely chopped organic shallot
  • 1 1/2 tsp coarsely chopped organic fresh rosemary
  • 2 TBSP organic tamari sauce
  • 2 TBSP organic honey
  • 3 TBSP sweet rice vinegar
  • 1 1/2 TBSP fresh organic lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup organic extra virgin olive oil 
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In a food processor grind the ginger, shallot, and rosemary until fine.

 

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Add the tamari sauce, honey, vinegar and lemon juice to the ginger mix and process until fairly smooth.

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Add the oil a little at a time and process until blended well.

For the Salad:

  • 10 oz package of organic Cascadian Farms frozen, thawed shelled edamame beans 
  • 2 ears raw fresh organic yellow corn, cut from cob 
  • 1 cup diced organic turnip or organic jicama 
  • 1 1/2 cup organic green beans, blanched, shocked, and chopped
  • 1/2 cup diced roasted and peeled organic red bell pepper
  • 2/3 cup diced organic avocado
  • 2/3 cup toasted, salted organic cashews

For Garnish:

  • 1/4 cup organic hemp seeds
  • 1 bunch organic watercress
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Roast the pepper by spearing with a large serving fork and holding it over the flame of the stove.  
 
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The pepper skin will blister and pop.  Allow to cool and then peel and chop.
 
lassensloves.com, Lassen's, Lassens, hemp+seeds, salad+recipe
 
To prepare the green beans, drop the trimmed beans into boiling water.  After about 2 minutes, lift out of the pan with a slotted spoon and drop into ice water.

 

lassensloves.com, Lassen's, Lassens, hemp+seeds, salad+recipe

When cooled (it will happen quickly), chop the green beans.

Roast the cashews in a hot oven–watch them carefully, since they burn easily.  Salt as desired.

 
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Slice the corn off of the cob, chop the turnip (or jicama) and avocado, then throw all of the vegetables and the cashews in a large bowl and toss gently.

lassensloves.com, Lassen's, Lassens, hemp+seeds, salad+recipe

Pour about 1/2 cup of the dressing over the salad and gently blend.  Taste the salad to see if you’d like to add more dressing or salt.  (The leftover dressing will keep in the refrigerator for several days)

Divide the salad into 4-8 serving plates (this recipe makes about 8 cups of salad), then garnish the salad by sprinkling with hemp seeds (about 1 1/2 tsp per cup of salad) and a few watercress sprigs.

lassensloves.com, Lassen's, Lassens, hemp+seeds, salad+recipe, chopped+vegetable+salad

Enjoy this wonderful salad for a delightfully nutritious summer lunch!

And for more details on how hemp seeds are a great addition your healthy life, click here.

Love,

Lassen’s

egg+recipes, avocado+recipes, hearty+breakfast, breakfast+wrap, lucky+breakfast, cinco+de+mayo

Ole Ole Ole! Cinco de Mayo!

It’s Avocado Season!

 
breakfast+burrito
 
I grew up in the Pacific Northwest, and avocados weren’t exactly on our shopping list or in our grocery stores.  But when I married a Californian, they became an essential item at our house.  And I became more acquinted with Mexican food!  (The closest we had in Washington was Taco Time.  Sad, I know.)
 
But our children grew up with lots and lots of avocados, and we use them in so many dishes.  

Here is One of Our Favorite Breakfasts, Featuring Avocados!

breakfast+burritos

Eggs with Everything

Creative name, right?
 
 
 

Our daughters spent a lot of years in gymnastics, and meet days always required a favorite breakfast.  Our youngest daughter always requested this one because it tastes wonderful and is filling, but never felt heavy.  She called this her lucky breakfast!

breakfast+burrito
 
 

You’ll Need:

  • As many eggs as you have people, plus one or two, depending on how heartily they eat.
  • Shredded and mixed Montery Jack and mild Cheddar cheese–1 TBSP per person
  • Bacon (if desired), cut in small pieces–1/2 slice per person
  • Spanish onion, chopped–2 tsp per person
  • Green or red peppers, chopped–2 tsp per person
  • Mushrooms, sliced–1 per person
  • Jalepeno pepper (if desired), chopped 1/2 tsp per person
  • Tomato, chopped–1 TBSP per person
  • Avocado, chopped–1 TBSP per person
  • Cilantro, chopped–1 tsp per person
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Tortillas (if you want your breakfast burrito style!), warmed 

Chop First, Then Cook

 
breakfast+burrito
 
First, chop your vegetables.  Set the tomato, avocado, and cilantro aside.  Shred the cheeses and set aside.

 

breakfast+burrito

With a fork or whisk, scramble the eggs in a small bowl, and then set aside

 

breakfast+burrito

Now You Can Start to Cook

If you are using bacon, fry it until it is almost crisp, and then drain off the fat.
 

Add the onion, peppers, mushrooms and jalepeno to the pan, and fry until tender.

breakfast+burrito

Pour the eggs over the vegetables and bacon, and stir it around.

 

breakfast+burrito

Add the cheese, tomato, avocado, and cilantro, and stir until eggs are cooked through.

 

breakfast+burrito

Spoon into a warm tortilla, and serve with salsa!

And Prepare to Receive Applause!

 
 
 

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

And enjoy avocados!

love,
 
Lassen’s
 
 

Should you get on the Paleo bandwagon?

Eatin’ Like a Caveman… or Woman…

There has been a lot of chatter about the Paleo Diet lately.  Have you wondered what it is all about?
 
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Well, it is basically eating what our cave ancestors in the Paleolithic Age ate.  

Meat

 
 
paleo+diet
 
Free-range or grass-fed beef, pork, lamb, poulty, fish and other seafood, eggs, and game meats.  According to the Paleo Diet, our diet should be comprised of between 20-35% of calories provided by protein, instead of the 15% that the Western Diet has now.  There are many vitamins and minerals in meats as well.

Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

 
 
paleo+diet
 
Non-starchy, low-glycemic fresh fruits and vegetables provide much more fiber than other (grain based) carbohydrates.  They are slowly digested and absorbed, unlike refined carbohydrates.  And of course we know that fresh fruits and vegetables are great sources of vitamins and minerals essential for good health.
 
paleo+diet
 
 

Nuts and Seeds

 
paleo+diet
 
These provide healthy fats as well as protein and fiber.

Healthy Oils

 
 
paleo+diet
 
Olive, coconut, walnut, flaxseed, avocado, and macadamia.  These fats provide healthy monosaturated and Omega-3 fats.

A diet of the the above foods will provide a balance between acid-producing and alkaline-producing foods, which helps prevent conditions that thrive in an acid environoment.

This website says that a “lifetime of excessive dietary acid may promote bone and muscle loss, high blood pressure and increased risk for kidney stones and may aggravate asthma and excercise-induced asthma.”  This diet balances acid and alkaline.

The Paleo Diet also increases the dietary intake of potassium and lowers the intake of sodium.

Our hearts, kidneys and other organs depend on potassium to function properly.  When sodium intake is higher and potassium intake is lower, we are at risk for high blood pressure, heart disease, and strokes.

 

What Should I Not Eat?

Dairy Products, Cereal Grains, Refined Sugars, Legumes (including peanuts), Starchy Vegetables such as Potatoes, Salt, Refined Oil, and Processed Foods.

There is a lot that makes sense in the Paleo Diet.  We do have a lot of diseases and conditions that are caused by our modern diet and lifestyle.  And eliminating refined foods certainly would help our overall health.  
 
Following the paleo diet is healthy and nutritious, and there are lots of ways that you can combine foods to make delicious breakfasts. They don’t all involve eggs, either! Here are just 10 paleo diet-friendly recipes to try out for your breakfasts.
 
Here is a fun chart to help you understand how to know if a food complies with the Paleo Plan.
 
 
I’m not sure I agree with the “That crap will kill you,” but this chart does help clarify what is Paleo and what isn’t!

Have You Tried the Paleo Diet?

Please comment if you have tried the Paleo Diet and let us know what you think.  Is it hard to eat the Paleo way?

Lassen’s carries everything you need to eat on the Paleo Diet!

paleo+diet

In upcoming posts I will share some recipes that comply with the Paleo Diet Plan!

 
Love,
 
Lassen’s
salsa+recipe, pico+de+gallo+recipe, guacamole+recipe, best+snack+in+the+world

I don’t know about you, but THIS is comfort food to me! (And just in time for The BIG GAME this Sunday!)

Chips, Salsa, and Guacamole — Big Game Food!
 

There is just something about Mexican food.  Ask me if I’m in the mood for Mexican, my answer will always be “Yes!”  Love, love, love it.  And where would Mexican food be without the avocado?

Did you know that avocados are considered a nutrient dense food?  They provide nearly 20 vitamins, minerals and plant compounds in each serving.  Although they have more fat that other kinds of produce, they have healthy fats–mono and polyunsaturated fats, not saturated fats.  In other words, you get a lot of nutritional bang for your buck with an avocado!
pico+de+gallo
 

I did not grow up in California, and my introduction to avocados was not pleasant.  (This was back in the day when produce from California took weeks to arrive!  Can you say bruised and stringy?)  When we first got married my husband–a California native–told me that it was not a salad unless there was an avocado in it.  Now I am a complete convert!  Avocados are in my shopping cart every week, without fail.  There are so many delicious things you can do with an avocado, and one of the simplest is gucamole.

pico+de+gallo

When I first started making gucamole, I thought it had to be this complicated thing with secret ingredients.  But have you watched the waiters in Mexican restaurants make it right at your table?  Simple, simple, simple.

They’re here!  Lassen’s Organic Tortilla Chips in White or Blue Corn!

So in honor of the launch of the new Lassen’s Tortilla Chips (Organic, in white or blue, only $1.99!) here is the best way (in my humble opinion!) to make gucamole.  And just for fun I’ll include my Pico de Gallo recipe, since I’m in such a generous mood!  

pico+de+gallo
  

Guacamole

At its most basic (and it’s delicious just like this!) you’ll need:

  • Ripe Avocados–peeled, pitted, mashed
  • Lime Juice (fresh squeezed, if possible)
  • Salt
 
pcio+de+gallo
 

Then you can add whatever else you’d like, such as:

  • Green Onions, chopped fine (about 2 tsp per avocado)
  • Tomatoes, choppped small (about 1 TBSP per avocado)
  • Cilantro, chopped (about 1 TBSP per avocado)
  • Jalepeno Peppers, chopped small (depends on your desire for heat–but about 1/2 tsp per avocado)

Mix together and enjoy! 

Pico de Gallo Salsa

You’ll need:
  • 6-8 Roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 small white Onion, chopped
  • 1-2 Jalepeno Peppers–chopped and added to taste
  • 1/2 bunch Cilantro–chopped
  • Lime Juice–from 1-2 limes
  • Salt to taste

Again, mix together and enjoy!  You might have noticed that the ingredients in the salsa are the same as those that you can add to your gucamole.  Sometimes I just make the salsa and then add a spoonful of it to mashed avocados to make my guacamole!

pico+de+gallo 
Ole!
 

love,

Lassen’s