Category Archives: Dessert

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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Eat This, Not That: Childhood Favorites

Eat This, Not That: Childhood Favorites

Written by Denae

We all have our favorite snacks from when we were kids. Even if they weren’t allowed in our lunch box, we still pined after that one kid who took out the best fruit snacks and chips! It’s taken a few years to get here, but the health food industry has finally made a more “healthy” alternative to those treats. I put healthy in quotes, because at the end of that day, candy is candy and junk food is junk food (even if it is organic, without GMO’s or preservatives). 

Never fear! You can now save any child in your life from the fate of begging “The Great Snack Kids” to trade carrot sticks for cheesy chips. You can also save yourself from trying to pronounce the ingredients on those conventional packages and trust the clean ingredients in these products found at Lassens!












Of course, these are only just a few of the alternatives to junk food that are now available in the health food store industry. If you are getting a hankering for something snacky, you now know where to go!

Enjoy fulfilling those cravings and packing up an awesome lunch box 😉

Love,
Lassens

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Vegan Apple Crisp

Vegan & Grain-Free Apple Crisp

Written by Denae

Warm, fall-infused, comforting, vegan, and grain-free. These all make the perfect combination for a delicious apple crisp.

My favorite apples for apple crisp are the classic tart Granny Smith, and the juicy sweet Honeycrisp. Since they are both firm and crisp apples, they don’t become mush when they’re baked. 

The topping is another vital part. Since trying to stay away from grains, I’ve had to experiment with toppings while I make recipes. Originally I started with purely nuts, then threw in coconut, then I found quinoa flakes from Ancient Harvest. These flakes have changed how I make meatballs, crumbles, oatmeal, the list goes on. 

Enjoy this warm and sweet dessert,

Lassens

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Print Recipe
Vegan & Grain-Free Apple Crisp
Course Dessert
Cuisine Dessert
Prep Time 20-30 minutes
Cook Time 45-60 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Topping
Course Dessert
Cuisine Dessert
Prep Time 20-30 minutes
Cook Time 45-60 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Topping
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Peel and slice apples in lengthwise pieces.
  3. Combine the remaining filling ingredient in a bowl. Add the apples and mix together. Add to an 8x8 or 9x13 dish (depending how thick you want the dessert).
  4. After combining all the topping ingredients in a bowl, sprinkle over the apple mixture.
  5. Bake uncovered for 45-60 minutes; or until the apples are easily pierced with a fork and the topping is golden brown.
  6. Let cool for 10 minutes. Can be served alone, with whipped cream or ice cream.
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Pumpkin Cheesecake Dip

FALL IS HERE!

Written by Denae

It’s the first day of fall! Can we just stop for a moment and soak that in, please?  These are the pretty decorations and delicious treats we had to kick off this fun season!

imag0033imag0041-1

Naturally, a recipe.. or two.. had to be made. First, we’ll start with the delicious Pumpkin Cheesecake Dip that I made.

I always feel hesitant to make something “cheesecake” like, because I am afraid of the cream cheese clumping up and the dip not looking very pretty. I’ve learned though, ROOM TEMPERATURE. So as you embark on this recipe adventure, make sure you give yourself enough time to lower the cream cheese temperature.

Since there is a pumpkin shortage, or at least an organic pumpkin shortage, you can use a can of pumpkin pie filling instead of pureed pumpkin. Since it has more sugar and spices already in it, I’d only use about 3/4 the sugar amount and then add spices to taste until you’re satisfied — just try to not eat it all while you taste test!

Enjoy,

Lassens

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Print Recipe
Pumpkin Cheesecake Dip
Course Dessert
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Course Dessert
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Mix together all ingredients, besides chopped pecans, until nice and smooth. With a spatula, fold in 3/4 of the pecans.
  2. Place on a serving dish, sprinkle with the remainder of the pecans and some pumpkin pie spice.
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apple+crisp, apple+recipes, apple+dessert, easy+apple+crisp

Apples–The Fruit That Can Do Everything!

We’re Coming Up Galas at Lassen’s!

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The Gala apples are gorgeous and so delicious!  I love the crispy snap of Galas, and the taste has just enough tart and just enough sweet.  A friend of mine recently used Gala apples, sliced thin, in a turkey sandwich!  Great idea!

Yesterday I took advantage of the proliferation (and great price!) of Gala apples, and made some apple crisp for my family.  This is one of the simplest fruit desserts possible, and you can use all kinds of fruits to make a crisp!

Gala Apple Crisp

 
 
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You’ll Need:

  • 5 organic Gala, or other crisp apples (you could also use pears–especially the firmer Asian varieties, cherries, berries, or any combination of fruits desired.)
  • 1/4 cup organic maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup organic rolled old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup organic unbleached white or whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup organic brown sugar
  • 2 TBSP chia seeds
  • 3/4 tsp organic cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 3 TBSP organic butter, softened
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  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
  • Wash, peel (if desired) and slice the apples into a 8- or 9-inch baking dish
  • Pour the maple syrup over the apples, and stir to coat.
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  • Mix the oats, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and chia seeds until well blended.
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  • Add the softened butter and blend with the back of a large spoon. 
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  • Blend until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs
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  • Pour the oat mixture over the top of the apples
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  • Spread the topping evenly over the apples.
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  • Bake 35 minutes, or until the topping is browned and the apples are tender when pricked with a fork.
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  • Remove from the oven, and serve warm.  I poured a little half-and-half over my warm apple crisp!
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I’d love to hear your favorite ways to use apples!  

Make a comment with your ideas for cooking or baking with apples!
 
love,
 
Lassen’s
freezer+monkey, frozen+treats, focus+on+local, local+products, local+producers, women+owned+business

Focus on Local–Freezer Monkey Gourmet Frozen Treats

These Are Not Your Average Frozen Treats!  They are Gourmet!

Freezer+Monkey Frozen+Gourmet+Treats, lassensloves.com, Lassen's, Lassens
 

Meet Tiffany!

Tiffany grew up in Santa Barbara, and has always loved this area.  She went to art school in New York, but eventually ended up in San Francisco, where she found her true calling in culinary school.  She worked in restaurants for over 15 years as a pastry and dessert chef.  She got to develop recipes and see her creations bring joy to many patrons.
 
But life brought her back to Ventura County.  She decided that she wanted to branch out and do something on her own, so she took a 14-week course on how to start your own business through WEV–Women’s Economic Ventures.  (For more information on WEV, click here.)  She had to write a business plan, and thought that she might start her own bakery.  But those plans just didn’t seem right for her and her children.  In October 2011 a sweltering heat wave hit Thousand Oaks and she found herself making frozen treats for her kids.  They were a huge hit and the kids kept coming back for more.   It was a light-bulb moment.  She dug out her recipe collection, looking for sorbet and ice cream recipes.  Her business plan abruptly changed.  Soon she created several different flavors and launched the Blueberry Dessert Company.  Her son named the line of pops when he came in, asking for more of those “freezer monkeys!”

 

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Watch This!

Last week I got to follow Tiffany around as she made her Caramelized Pineapple Pops.  First, she caramelizes some sugar in a heavy pot.  (To learn how to do this yourself, see my post on candying pecans for a spinach/pear salad found here. )

 

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Tiffany poured the caramelized sugar over fresh pineapple pieces, 

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and then added a little red Hawaiian sea salt.

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Tiffany blended the pineapple, caramel and salt until pureed.  

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Once everything was pureed very fine, she strained the mixture to remove the tough solids. 

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After removing the foam (too much air for a pop!) Tiffany poured the strained puree into these amazing molds that she got from Brazil.

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The lid, with the sticks, went on last.  It clamped everything together.

 

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The mold was lowered into a container with propylene glycol, a food-grade liquid that has a very low freezing point.  The liquid was -15 degrees, and the pops were frozen in about 15 minutes!  (None of the propylene glycol gets into the pops–it just surrounds the mold.)

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Amazing!  The quick-freeze time reduces the opportunity for crystals to form in the treats, so the result is a smooth and creamy texture. 

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The treats were popped out of the molds, and they were ready for packaging.

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Tiffany stamps the date on every pop.  

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Lassen’s carries six Freezer Monkey flavors–all delicious!  Great for these hot days, but also for all throughout the year!  (No reason to stop eating frozen treats in California!)

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Next up for Tiffany?  Watch for her Bon-Bons, coming soon!  I tried the Vietnamese Coconut–it was amazing!

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There’s nothing like the fun of a frozen treat on a stick, and Tiffany’s Freezer Monkey Treats are more than just frozen colored sugar water!  They are made with real fruit and other natural ingredients!  You’ll love them! 

Love,
 
Lassen’s
fruit +recipes, fruit+desserts, plum+recipes, delicious+side+dishes, delicious+desserts, dessert+recipes, fruit+recipes

Gorgeous Plums–You Can Do More Than Just Eat Them Plain!

A-Meen-O-Mum (I Want a Plum!)

That’s what one of my toddlers said when he wanted to have a plum.  Plums have long been a favorite at our house.  I like the varieties with tart skins and sweet flesh the most.  Peter likes the black plums best. But whatever the variety, when they are in season I always have some in my shopping cart.
 
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Recently I was looking for something easy to do with the bag of glorious organic plums that I’d brought home from Lassen’s, and found this recipe.  I made them, with my own changes, for dinner last night, as an accompaniment to baked chicken and roasted red potatoes (along with this recipe for kale and quinoa salad).  They got rave reviews!

 

lassensloves.com, Lassen's, Lassens, spiced+baked+plums, organic+plums
 

You’ll Need:

  • 4 organic plums, halved and pitted.  I used the red variety, but the recipe will work with any.
  • 1/3 cup organic orange juice — can use freshly squeezed
  • 1 1/2 TSP packed organic brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp organic ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp organic ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp organic ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp organic ground cardamom

 fruit+recipes, plum+recipes, delicious+side+dishes, delicious+desserts. dessert +recipes

Instructions:

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and spray a shallow baking dish with cooking spray
  • Cut and pit the plums and then place them, cut side up, in the baking dish
  • Mix together the orange juice, the brown sugar and the spices until blended.
lassensloves.com, Lassen's, Lassens, spiced+baked+plums, organic+plums
 
  • Pour the mixture over the plums.
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  • Bake in the oven for 20 minutes.  The plums will be hot and the sauce bubbly.
  • Serve warm!
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Best Additional Use For This Recipe:

Syrup for Ice Cream.

roasted+plums
Yes.  The spiced plum syrup that was bubbling in the pan was SO delicious that we cracked open the vanilla ice cream and spooned some of the syrup on top.  

It. Was. Fab.

I will definitely make this recipe many many times!  It would be great made with pluots, peaches, cherries, or apricots!  Or a blend of fruits–yum!
 
Enjoy the rest of the stone fruit season!
 
love,
 
Lassen’s
cool+haus, cool+haus+ice+cream, ice+creamsandwiches, focus+on+local, local+producers

Focus on Local–Coolhaus Ice Cream Sandwiches–Yum!

This is Not Your Average Ice Cream Sandwich from a Truck!

 
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Yes.  I took a bite.  Oh. My.  It had fresh mint leaves!  No artificial flavoring here!

If you have that sweet summer memory of hearing the ice cream truck coming up your street like I do, you can imagine my excitement as I visited the Coolhaus store in Culver City!  I met Natasha and her business partner Freya at their store on Washington Blvd.

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Natasha and Freya started baking cookies and making ice cream in 2008.  The treats were such a hit with all of their friends that they decided to launch Coolhaus–an ice-cream sandwich business with an architectural twist!  They name their creations after architects that they admire (they were in the business before they became entrepreneurs) or architectural movements, such as the above nibbled Mintimalism.

 

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In 2009 they bought a broken-down postal van, filled it with ice cream sandwiches, had it towed to the Coachella Valley Music Festival, where they sold enough to really get started.  And they were off!  There were no gourmet food trucks in LA when they started, so they thought there was a potential market to be tapped.  They were right! 

lassensloves.com, Lassen's, Lassens, Coolhaus+Ice+Cream+Sandwiches

Coolhaus now has 5 trucks in LA, 2 in New York City, a cart in Central Park, and 3 more trucks in Texas (Dallas and Austin), as well as the store in Culver City.  They are opening another store in Pasedena soon.   

lassensloves.com, Lassen's, Lassens, Coolhaus+Ice+Cream+Sandwiches

In the store and from the trucks you can choose your flavors.  They have a fun system of magnets in the trucks with the flavors that are available each day. 

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Choose your cookies! and then…

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Choose your ice cream!  Yum!

 
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I was there a bit too early for a big serving of ice cream, but there were some awesome choices that I sampled.  The ice cream was delicious and inventive!

 
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Natasha and Freya pay attention to taste trends, and also are willing to stick their necks out on a new flavor. Bacon ice cream, anyone?
 
 
Coolhaus works to use organic ingredients as much as possible.  Their dairy is produced locally and is all natural–totally free of growth hormones (they are working on getting organic and non-GMO as soon as they can.)  
 
Their chocolate is fair-trade, and they are working toward organic ingredients for their cookies as well.  They also use as much local, seasonal, and fresh fruits and herbs as they can. 

 

lassensloves.com, Lassen's, Lassens, Coolhaus+Ice+Cream+Sandwiches

After a few years just selling from the truck and prepackaged in stores, they decided that they needed a location to showcase their brand.  They also had grown enough that they needed a central location for all of the organization that needed to be done.   Natasha said they were going for a “Cool Industrial Aesthetic” in their Culver City store, and I thought it was awesome.  She is so appreciative of Culver City and their neighborhood.  They have been very welcoming to the new store.   

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I just have to add more pictures of these beautiful cookies and this delicious ice cream! 

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The trucks mostly go to private events or to set areas for the day.  They’ve been at the Hollywood Bowl and lots of movie sets!  

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You don’t have to wait to hear the ice cream truck jingle to taste these treats!  Coolhaus sandwiches are found in freezer cases in 100 stores in 30 states!  Lassen’s is so happy that we feature them in ours.   

Come into Lassen’s where Coolhaus ice cream sandwiches are on special this month!
 
Love,
 

Lassen’s

peach+pie, no+fail+pie+crust, indescribable+peach+pie, pie+recipes, peach+pie+recipe, peach+custard+pie

Peaches , Peaches, Peaches!

Is There Anything That Says “Summer” More Than Peaches?

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When I was a kid in eastern Washington, summer was peach juice dripping off my elbows.  I think our mother just hosed us off at the end of the day!  We all could eat about a dozen peaches in one sitting.  So when peaches show up at the store, I am like a kid in a candy store.  I fill my bags with them!

Delicious and Nutritious!

It’s hard to believe that you might need more reasons than the wonderful taste to eat peaches, but here are some anyway.  Low in calories–about 60 for a medium fruit–peaches are a great source of potassium, vitamin A, C, and also anti-oxidants.  I’m sure you’re convinced!

Here’s a Great Peach Pie Recipe!

lassensloves.com, Lassen's, Lassens, Peach+Pie+Recipe, Pie+Crust+Recipe
 
This is a recipe from another of my amazing sisters–my girls have nicknamed this sister “Aunt Fabulous.”  It’s a perfect summer pie–just one crust and a custard filling.  It perfectly highlights the natural sweetness of the peaches, and doesn’t overwhelm them with extra crust or thick syrup.  And bonus–the no-fail Pie Crust recipe that has been in our family for 4 generations.  I never use any other.

Give it a Try!

You’ll need:

For Grandma Mildred’s No-fail Pie Crust:

Makes two 9″ crusts–enough for two pies.  I use this recipe for all of my pies and quiches!
  • 2 1/4 cups organic unbleached white flour
  • 3/4-1 cup Spectrum Organic All-Vegetable Shortening (on a very dry day you’ll need to use more shortening.)
  • 1/4 cup water, plus 1 TBSP organic white vinegar
  • 1 organic egg, beaten
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
lassensloves.com, Lassen's, Lassens, Peach+Pie+Recipe, Pie+Crust+Recipe
 
Measure the flour into a medium mixing bowl, add the shortening and then use a pastry cutter or two knives to cut the shortening into the flour until it forms course crumbs.

 

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Mix the water, vinegar, egg and salt together, then add to the flour mixture.  Stir to combine, but don’t over mix.

 

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Turn out onto a floured surface, and then form into two balls.  Roll into rounds, and then place in the pie pan(s), crimping the edges.  Set aside.

 

lassensloves.com, Lassen's, Lassens, Peach+Pie+Recipe, Pie+Crust+Recipe

Aunt Fabulous’s Indescribable Peach Pie

You’ll Need:

  • 8 organic peaches, peeled, pitted, and sliced
  • 2 organic eggs
  • 1 1/3 to 2 cups organic, unbleached sugar (depends on how sweet the peaches are, and how sweet you like your pie!  I used 1 1/3 cups in my recipe and it was perfect.)
  • 1/4 cup organic unbleached flour
  • 2/3 cup organic melted butter

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

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Mix the eggs, sugar, flour, and butter with a beater until thick.  

 

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Place the peach slices in the unbaked pie shell, and then pour the egg/flour mixture over the peaches.  You’ll need to spread it all the way to the edge of the pie shell, covering the peaches.

 

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Place the pie into the oven and bake for 15 minutes.  (You may want to put the pie pan on a baking sheet to catch any drip-overs.  With the pie this full I didn’t have any dripping, but sometimes it does!)

 

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After 15 minutes, reduce the heat to 325 degrees, and bake for an additional 60 minutes.  Check the pie.  It should be golden brown.  Shake the pan a little.  It should not be wet or jiggly, but gently firm.  If it’s still jiggly, bake an additional 10 minutes.

 

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The filling will firm up as the pie cools.  You can serve this pie still warm or cold. 

 

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This pie never fails to delight!

 

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I’ve found this to be a perfect dessert for a barbeque!

Enjoy the Fruits of Summer!

love,
 
Lassen’s
healthy+desserts, raw+desserts, raw+cheesecake, strawberry+cheesecake, vegan+cheesecake

Raw & Vegan Strawberry Cheesecake

A decadent dessert that’s good for you? Whaaaa…?

Our Sample Captain Stephanie strikes again!
We’ve come to expect nothing but the best from this gal!
 
And with the spring season so close at hand, this creation couldn’t have happened soon enough!
Lo and behold… 

Raw & Vegan Strawberry Cheesecake

Raw+Vegan, Strawberry+Cheesecake
  
 You’ll Need:
Crust
  • 1 cup raw pecans
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup organic dates
  • pinch of Himalayan pink salt
 
Filling (the pink layer)
2 cups raw cashews (soaked overnight in water)
4 tsp raw agave
1 1/2 tsp coconut oil
1/2 tsp organic vanilla extract
3 lemons (juiced)
1 1/2 cup packed sliced strawberries
 
Topping

1 cup cashews (soaked overnight in water)
1/4 cup water
2 Tbs raw agave
1 tsp organic vanilla extract
1/4 cup organic coconut oil

raw+vegan, Strawberry+Cheesecake
 
 
raw+vegan, strawberry+cheesecake
 
 
raw+vegan, strawberry+cheesecake
 
Instructions: 
  • Soak cranberries & cashews (separately) for 30 minutes (until cashews are soft) and drain.
  • Place all ingredients for crust in processor or blender -blend well.
  • Place in separate bowl and refrigerate.
  • Repeat process for filling and topping (rinse and towel dry food processor in between blendings).
  • Line crust evenly into a pie pan, pressing down edges to make a flat surface.
  • Pour filling over crust (repeat smoothing process) followed by topping.
  • Put in freezer until hard and serve.
  • For extra flavor and presentation, top with thinly sliced strawberries and fresh mint!
 

Thanks Stephanie, you mad woman you! 🙂

raw+vegan, strawberry+cheesecake

 

Love,
 
Lassens
mini+vegan+peach+cobbler, peach+cobbler, vegan+cobbler, peach+recipe, summer+dessert

Peaches & Beaches / mini vegan peach cobblers

Hello Summer!
 

In case you missed it, let me be the first to warmly welcome you to SUMMER 2012! 

veagn+peach+cobbler

Frankly I don’t know how you could miss this summer sun. I can’t really see it right now from inside my office but I can feel it reaching down with those wiggly heat wave arms to try to coax me outside. 

Living in Southern California, I almost feel guilty if my weekends aren’t spent laying on the sand or playing in the waves. Summer also marks the epic return of stone fruits! Peaches, nectarines, apricots, plums! 
 

My sweet, sweet babies! Oh how I’ve missed you! 

vegan+peach+cobbler
Lassen’s organic donut peaches, yellow peaches, red plums & nectarines!
Mmmmmmmmm!!!
 

So in the spirit of sun, surf and stone fruits, let’s kick this Saturday off right with a portable version of a summertime favorite!

 
vegan+peach+cobbler
 

Mini Vegan Peach Cobbler

You’ll Need:
  • 1 cup organic sugar (try Wholesome Sweeteners organic sugar*)
  • 1 cup flour (try Bob’s Red all purpose pastry flour*)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder (try Bob’s Red Mill baking powder*)
  • 3/4 cup almond milk (try Almond Breeze unsweetened original almond milk*)
  • 1/2 cup Earth Balance organic coconut spread* or butter substitute of your choice
  • 1/2 cup of organic brown sugar (try Wholesome Sweeteners organic brown sugar*)
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon (try Frontier ground cinnamon*)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (try Simply Organics pure vanilla extract*)
  • 3 organic fresh peaches*

*Items available at your local Lassens

You will need a 12 tin muffin pan.
 
Instructions:
  1. Dice peaches and place in a small bowl. Add 1 tsp of vanilla extract and stir with a wooden spoon. set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 
  3. Melt the Earth Balance organic coconut spread. Measure 1 teaspoon of coconut spread into the bottom of each muffin tin. 
  4. In a medium bowl, mix together sugar, flour, baking powder, salt and almond milk. Measure 2 tablespoons of batter mixture into each muffin tin on top of the butter substitute. 
  5.  Add 1 tablespoon of diced peaches on top of batter.
  6. In a small bowl, mix brown sugar and cinnamon together. Sprinkle liberally on top of each cobbler. 
  7. Bake for 12 minutes. 
  8. Let cool and enjoy with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!
 
lassensloves.com, Lassen's, Vegan+Peach+Cobbler

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vegan+peach+cobbler

  

Quick, easy and the essence of summer! Have a beautiful sunny weekend!

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!