Category Archives: Chocolate

Lassen's+Natural+Foods, 2018+Expo+East, 2018+Natural+Products+Expo+East, Expo+East, Cauliflower+Bites, Delicious+Healthy+foods

Finding New Products at Expo East!

We’re on the Hunt for Great New Products!

September has brought us to Baltimore for the Natural Products Expo East Trade Show. We love attending seminars and meeting producers — it’s exciting to see the creativity and great new products!  Here are some of the fun and delicious things we’ve see at this show!

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I love DEET-free repellents!

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There are a lot of great new entrants in the drink category — this watermelon was delicious!

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Tasty new dressings!

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This brand has new offerings — Yum!

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New offerings in the Chip Aisle

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Apple Cider Vinegar Drinks are a lot of fun — and healthy, too!

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This company had these biodegradable cloths — one towel replaces 15 rolls of paper towels. And they biodegrade in less than 3 months!

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Want an easy side dish? Craving Tater Tots? Try these Cauliflower bites. From Freezer to oven to table. We are definitely bringing these into Lassen’s!

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Grain-free offerings were abundant at Expo East, and this one was tasty, for sure.

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Hu Chocolates’ new products feature cashews, almonds, and dried fruit. Delicious.

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Dahlicious has new Cashew drinkable yogurt, and their almond yogurts are smooth and creamy.

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This French Yogurt was very tasty — I liked the Pressed Lemon in the ceramic container. The flavors were very subtile and the creamy texture was divine.

Watch for the new products coming up soon at a Lassen’s near you! I didn’t get a photo of Justin’s new Cashew Cup, but it should arrive soon in the stores. It is delicious!

Love,

Lassen’s

 

 

 

Grain-Free Banana Coconut Cookies

If you avoid grains but still get a hankering for cookies, then get ready for your life to change. With no added sugar they’re pretty guiltless, too!
We took some liberties with adding peanut butter and chocolate to these cookies, but the banana and coconut base cookie can be used with whatever you dream up. Share whatever delicious varieties you come up with by tagging #lassens on social media and commenting on this post!

Enjoy 🙂

Print Recipe
Grain-Free Banana Coconut Cookies
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine Breakfast, Dessert
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings
Cookies
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine Breakfast, Dessert
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings
Cookies
Instructions
Toppings
  1. After cooling for about 5 minutes, apply a dollop of peanut butter to the top of each cookie. Place in the freezer. While the cookies are cooling, melt the chocolate.
  2. Dip the bottom of each cookie in chocolate and place on a piece of parchment paper. If desired, drizzle any leftover chocolate over the top of the cookies. Once the chocolate has solidified these cookies are ready to eat! The cookies last in a sealed container for a few days... if they make it that long.
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Peanut Butter & Chocolate Protein Rolls

I know, it’s a mouthful to get through that title. But it’s worth it to taste this recipe! These are great for a quick little snack post-workout. 


Print Recipe
Peanut Butter & Chocolate Protein Rolls
Course Breakfast
Cuisine Breakfast, Dessert
Servings
rolls
Ingredients
Course Breakfast
Cuisine Breakfast, Dessert
Servings
rolls
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lay the dough triangles on a cookie sheet. Spread peanut butter over the dough. Sprinkle with chopped GoMacro Protein Pleasure bar, chocolate shavings, and brown sugar. Carefully roll the crescent dough.
  2. Bake the rolls between 12-14 minutes, or until golden brown.
  3. Eat up! They're best served warm!
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chocolate+covered+strawberries, chocolate+fondue, valentine's+day+gifts, sweetheart+gifts, chocolate+recipes

Do You Want to Impress Your Sweetheart?

Elegant, Romantic, Easy!

valentines+day+flowers, valentines+day+chocolate
 
I have always felt Valentine’s Day was a made-up holiday–manufactured by the sellers of cards and candy, abetted by restaurants and florists.
 
But maybe we shouldn’t pass up the opportunity to express love and appreciation to those we love.  So here are a couple of fun, romantic, and frankly easy ways to give a little love on this holiday–or any day.

Chocolate Fondue

 
valentines+day+chocolate, chocolate+fondue
 
 

You will need:

  • 1 cup of whipping cream
  • 2 TBSP Agave syrup
  • 12 oz premium chocolate (we have many to choose from at Lassen’s!  I used the Sunspire semi-sweet baking chocolate.)
  • A variety of fruits for dipping–strawberries, blueberries, bananas, kiwi, pineapple, mango–use your imagination!  
Bring the cream and agave syrup to a boil
Meanwhile, break up the chocolate into nickel-sized pieces
When the cream comes to a boil, remove from the heat and add the chocolate pieces.
Stir constantly until melted and smooth.  If you like it a little thinner, add more cream.
If you have a fondue pot, transfer the sauce into the pot and keep warm.  If not, you can cool and gently reheat when ready to serve.  

 

valentines+day+chocolate, chocolate+fondue

Chocolate-dipped Strawberries

Valentine's+Day, Chocolate+dipped+strawberries
 

You will need:

  • Premium Chocolate (I really like the Chocolove brand chcolate–they have some really delicious varieties!  You’ll need plain chocolate for this recipe, though.)  I used extra-strong dark, milk, and white chocolate.
  • Strawberries
  • Chopped nuts, if desired.  I used pecans and pistachios.
Wash and thoroughly dry the strawberries.

 

Valentine's+Day, Chocolate+dipped+strawberries

In a double-boiler, melt each of the chocolates separately, stirring regularly.  You can also use the microwave on half-power, 30-40 seconds at a time.  This is the most problematic step.  Do not try to melt the chocolate over direct heat or on full power.  If it gets too hot–and it happens quickly–the chocolate will get crumbly instead of melting (you’ll be cooking it.)  So treat it very gently.

 

Valentine's+Day, Chocolate+dipped+strawberries

Hold on to the stem/leaves of the berries and dip them into the melted chocolate.  (Notice the little flecks of vanilla in the Green & Black’s Organic white chocolate! Yum!)

If you wish, roll the berries gently in the chopped nuts.
Place on a foil- or waxed-paper-lined baking sheet.
Allow to cool (I put them in the refrigerator for a few minutes if I’m in a hurry).
 
You can add stripes of a contrasting chocolate by dipping a fork into the chocolate and then drizzling it over the cooled berries.
 
These can be made up to two days in advance.  Keep in the refrigerator and then be prepared for ooh-ing and aah-ing!

 

Valentine's+Day, Chocolate+dipped+strawberries

Have a wonderful and tasty Valentine’s Day!

 
Love,
 
Lassen’s
 
beet+brownies, healthy+brownies

“Love Beets All” Brownie Recipe for Valentines Day

Valentines Day isn’t for a couple of weeks but already we can see little tastes of it here and there.

Taste is something special. Sure, smells can bring you back to a time that you thought you had forgotten, but taste demands your attention to the present and can practically knock you breathless at times of extreme flavor.

Somehow taste can also echo the emotions of the person who is making the food,
hence the idea of putting a little love into your cooking.

Cooking for someone is just another way, in the infinite amount of options that we have, to tell someone that you truly love and appreciate them for who they are and what they do.

“There is no remedy for love but to love more” – Henry David Thoreau

There is also no recipe for love.

2 tablespoons of friendship mixed with 3 ½ cup of sweetness and a pinch of understanding baked at 350 degrees for 4 years will not guarantee a lifetime of spontaneous and romantic moments with the love of your life! We are all too different and too unique of individuals for there to be measurable and definite equation for love. That being said, let’s turn to something that we can measure and will never fail to make your heart sing on Valentines Day, or any day for that matter.

Beet+brownie

This is a recipe that my dear friend and work colleague, Jamie Tracey, Vitamin manager and specialist at our Lassens location in Thousand Oaks, brought into work one day.
 Jamie is one of the most talented and brave cooks that I’ve ever met. She’s not afraid to combine two opposing ingredients to create taste explosions the likes of which I’ve never known!

I’ve never really liked beets. Customers would try to get me into them, telling me that the flavor was “earthy” and “strangely addictive” and although I could definitely see the earthiness, the addiction never quite hit me. One beautiful morning she presented me with a little reddish-brown square on a napkin. “I made brownies last night!” she smiled.
   

“Aww, thanks James” I replied as I brought the little square up to meet my eyes. My first thought was that these are the prettiest brownies I’ve ever seen, a deep rich brown with a scarlet hue. I thought maybe they were red velvet brownies, but as I took that first bite the truth was revealed. What met me in that moment was an attack of deep, complex and unfathomably rich and unique flavors . My first guess was not beets but rather magic. I looked into her eyes, my mouth wide open and flapping with words that I just couldn’t manage myself to expel, as her face lit up – “They’re beet brownies!” she beamed.

My forehead crinkled with confusion but my taste buds continued to sing. 

Jamie strikes again! Like countless times before, I am forced to cross off beets from my “Foods that I will NEVER enjoy” list. Thanks to people like Jamie, this list is rapidly shrinking.

I’ve made some alterations to her recipe to make it a little more health conscious (Reducing the sugar and adding half xylitol and substituting the butter for Earth Balance natural vegan buttery spread), but the outcome is still savory, deep and beautiful.

These brownies are the new quintessential Valentines Day treat, encompassing all that we’ve come to know as Valentines Day! Chocolate, red, hearts and of course, what better way to say “I love you” than giving your honey something truly healthy?

I give you … 

“Love Beets All” Brownies

 
beets+brownie

You’ll Need:

  • 2 large organic beets, peeled and sliced or 1 14oz can of sliced beets, keep the juice to the side
  • 4 Tbs of Earth Balance Natural Buttery Spread or 1 stick of organic unsalted butter (try Organic Valley unsalted cultured butter)
  • ½ cup of organic sugar (try Wholesome Sweeteners organic sugar)
  • ½ cup of Xylitol (try XyloSweet natural xylitol)
  • 1 tsp organic vanilla extract (try Simply Organics pure vanilla extract)
  • 4 large eggs (Try Organic Valley organic cage free eggs or for a vegan option, try making chia gel by adding 1 Tb ground chia seed to 3 Tb of hot water = 1 egg)
  • ½ cup of all-purpose flour (Try Arrowhead Mills organic all-purpose flour)
  • HEAPING ½ cup unsweetened coco powder (try Dagoba organic coco powder)
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons of strong black brewed coffee (try Ravens Brew organic whole bean coffee)
  • ½ cup semi sweet chocolate chips (try SunSpire chocolate chips)

Instructions:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
2. Puree the beets in a blender or food processor until they reach a smooth consistency.

 
beets+brownie
 
 
beets+brownie
 

If you’re using fresh beets, add a little water as needed so that they can blend easier. If you are using canned beets, keep the liquid that they come in to the side and add a little as needed to the blender. Set the blended beets aside.

 3. In a large bowl mix together the buttery Earth Balance, coffee, sugar, xylitol and vanilla. Add the eggs one by one stirring intermittently. Slowly mix the beet puree into the butter and sugar mixture (this part is pretty! It’s so fun to watch the white swirl with the vivid red of the beets) and mix until fully combined.

 

 
beet+brownie

 

 
beets+brownie

4. In a separate bowl, mix together flour, coco powder. Add coco mixture into the beet mixture and stir until smooth. Finally, stir in the chocolates chips.

 
beets+brownie

5. Pour final concoction into a 9 x 9 baking dish OR into a festive heart-shaped cupcake holder like the one I used (will make 18 heart-shaped brownies) and bake for 25 – 30 minutes. Brownies are ready when you can poke them with a toothpick and it comes out clean.

 
beet+brownie
 
 
beets+brownie

These brownies are really nice right out of the oven but they taste extra beety.
The flavor explosion really kicks in after they’ve cooled and sat for a couple hours.
For best results, bake them the night before and serve them room temperature the next day with a light sprinkle of powdered sugar.

Test these out on your friends and loved ones and watch their jaw drop when you tell them that the secret ingredient is beets!

Keep a look out for more delicious and delightful recipes and tips for Valentines Day and don’t forget to check out our Valentines Day display this starting February 1st throught the 14th at every Lassens location which will be loaded with goodies and gift ideas for your special someone.

 
beet+brownie, valentines+day

Good friends make good food!
Left to Right:
Lassens Marketing Director Ashley,
Lassens Vitamin Manager Thousand Oaks Jamie
and Lassens Art Director Mykey (me!)

HAPPY VALENTINES DAY!
Love, the Lassens team!