Category Archives: delicious

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!

Natural+products+Expo+East+2018, 2018+Expo+East, Natural+products+expo, expo+east, lassens+natural+foods+store

I love DEET-free repellents!

lassens+natural+foods, 2018+Natural+products+expo+east, Expo+East, 2018+Expo+East

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

lassens+natural+foods, 2018+Natural+products+expo+east, Expo+East, 2018+Expo+East

Tasty new dressings!

lassens+natural+foods, 2018+Natural+products+expo+east, Expo+East, 2018+Expo+East

This brand has new offerings — Yum!

lassens+natural+foods, 2018+Natural+products+expo+east, Expo+East, 2018+Expo+East

New offerings in the Chip Aisle

lassens+natural+foods, 2018+Natural+products+expo+east, Expo+East, 2018+Expo+East

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

lassens+natural+foods, 2018+Natural+products+expo+east, Expo+East, 2018+Expo+East

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

lassens+natural+foods, 2018+Natural+products+expo+east, Expo+East, 2018+Expo+East

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!

lassens+natural+foods, 2018+Natural+products+expo+east, Expo+East, 2018+Expo+East

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

lassens+natural+foods, 2018+Natural+products+expo+east, Expo+East, 2018+Expo+East

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

lassens+natural+foods, 2018+Natural+products+expo+east, Expo+East, 2018+Expo+East

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

lassens+natural+foods, 2018+Natural+products+expo+east, Expo+East, 2018+Expo+East

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!






eat+this+not+that, healthier+versions+of+junk+food, healthier+snack+foods

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 😉


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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!, Lassen's, Lassens, Gala Apple Crisp, apple crisp

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, Lassen's, Lassens, Gala+Apple+Crisp, apple+crisp

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, Lassen's, Lassens, Gala+Apple+Crisp, apple+crisp
  • 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., Lassen's, Lassens, Gala+Apple+Crisp, apple+crisp
  • Mix the oats, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and chia seeds until well blended., Lassen's, Lassens, Gala+Apple+Crisp, apple+crisp
  • Add the softened butter and blend with the back of a large spoon., Lassen's, Lassens, Gala+Apple+Crisp, apple+crisp
  • Blend until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs, Lassen's, Lassens, Gala+Apple+Crisp, apple+crisp
  • Pour the oat mixture over the top of the apples, Lassen's, Lassens, Gala+Apple+Crisp, apple+crisp
  • Spread the topping evenly over the apples., Lassen's, Lassens, Gala+Apple+Crisp, apple+crisp
  • Bake 35 minutes, or until the topping is browned and the apples are tender when pricked with a fork., Lassen's, Lassens, Gala Apple Crisp, apple crisp
  • Remove from the oven, and serve warm.  I poured a little half-and-half over my warm apple crisp!, Lassen's, Lassens, Gala+Apple+Crisp, apple+crisp

I’d love to hear your favorite ways to use apples!  

Make a comment with your ideas for cooking or baking with apples!
spinach+salad, easy+salad, pear+salad, gorgonzola+cheese, easy+salad+recipes, Newman's+Balsamic+Dressing, balsamic+vinegar, delicious+salad, spinach+recipes

Pears to the Rescue!

Simple, Delicious, Nutritious!

Lassen's+Organic+Bartlett+Pears, Bartlett+Pears
I have always love Bartlett Pears.  They are sweet and the texture is just right.  We would eat them by the dozens when I was growing up.  But when I left home for college I learned that some people did not love them like I did!  
Maybe you are one of those who haven’t yet learned to appreciate the humble pear.  So here are some great facts about them!
A medium pear has about 100 calories, and no fat, cholesterol, or sodium.  They are nutrient dense; high in Vitamin C, potassium, and fiber.  A single pear has almost 25% of the recommended daily amount of fiber!   Here is a brochure with pear facts and more recipes.
Pears are one of the few fruits that do not ripen on the tree.  They are mature, but still green, when they are harvested.  If you leave the green fruit in a bowl for a few days, you’ll see them begin to lighten to a nice yellow color.  Eat them before they get too yellow or start to brown.  Delicious!

Pears are Wonderful in Many Recipes! 

Lassen's+Organic+Bartlett+Pears, Bartlett+Pears
Many times when I am going out to eat I will find a spinach salad on the menu that appeals to me.  I often order it, and I’m always happy with my choice (I have no menu envy when I do!)
When I noticed that these salads often only have four or five ingredients, I realized that I could make them myself, and now I do–a lot!  
So instead of spending upwards of $15 for a spinach salad, make it yourself!  This recipe serves 3-4 (2 for a main dish salad).

Spinach Pear Gorgonzola Salad


You’ll Need:

  • 1 package of washed, organic, baby spinach 
  • 2 TBP organic raw sugar (optional)
  • 1/4 cup organic raw pecans
  • 1/4 cup crumbled organic gorgonzola cheese
  • 2 ripe organic Bartlett pears
  • Organic Balsamic Vinegar and Olive Oil, or your choice of Organic Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing

Optional — Candied Pecans

If you’d like, you can candy your pecans.  I think it adds a nice crunchy sweetness to the salad, but it is optional.  If you want to do it, here’s how., Lassens, Lassen's Organic+Bartlett+Pears, Bartlett+Pears, candied+nuts


In heavy-bottomed dry pan, pour 2 TBSP sugar.  Shake the pan to spread the sugar evenly over the bottom of the pan.  Turn the heat to medium and watch the sugar as it heats.  Be careful to not let the sugar burn on the sides, where the pan may be thinner.  You can stir it around., Lassens, Lassen's Organic+Bartlett+Pears, Bartlett+Pears, candied+nuts


The sugar will melt.  Right when the sugar crystals have all melted, turn off the heat and sprinkle the pecans over the top., Lassens, Lassen's Organic+Bartlett+Pears, Bartlett+Pears, candied+nuts


Using a spatula, turn the nuts over.  You have to move quickly to coat the nuts with the sugar., Lassens, Lassen's Organic+Bartlett+Pears, Bartlett+Pears, candied+nuts


Turn the nuts onto a plate to cool.  I try to separate them as much as possible as I get them onto the plate.
While the nuts cool, assemble the salad., Lassens, Lassen's Organic+Bartlett+Pears, Bartlett+Pears, candied+nuts



Place the spinach on a plate, core and slice the pears, sprinkle the cheese and nuts over the top of the salad., Lassens, Lassen's Organic+Bartlett+Pears, Spinach+salad, Bartlett+Pears, candied+nuts


I twisted a few grinds of fresh pepper over the top.  
Then just choose your dressing!  Lassen’s carries a large variety of delicious balsamic vinaigrette dressings!  I like the Newman’s Own brand, but sometimes I just like to use plain Extra-Virgin Organic Olive Oil and Organic Balsamic Vinegar with some freshly ground salt on top., Lassens, Lassen's Organic+Bartlett+Pears, Bartlett+Pears


And there you have it!  A restaurant quality salad with your own, gorgeous organic ingredients, including the humble and delicious Bartlett pear!
Happy eating!
healthy+lunches, pizza+rolls, homemade+lunch+rolls, ham+and+cheese+rolls, cooking+with+kids

Take Some Time to Save Some Time on Healthy Lunches

Homemade Lunch Rolls

Making lunches before school was always such an ordeal at our house.  With kids going different directions and with different schedules and tastes, it was a huge challenge every weekday morning., Lassen's, Lassens, healthy+lunches, lunch+ideas, lunch+rolls, lunch+pockets


But one year I started doing something that made a big difference.  And yesterday I recreated it with four grandsons: We made pizza and ham-n-cheese rolls., Lassen's, Lassens, healthy+lunches, lunch+ideas, lunch+rolls, lunch+pockets

Back in the day, about once per month, I would make a large batch of these rolls.  Then I would  individually wrap and freeze them, and each morning the kids could choose the kind they wanted (or make another kind of sandwich) and pack their own lunch.  Since the roll was frozen, it would slowly thaw until it was just right at lunchtime.  

It seems like a big job, but the kids had fun helping to make them, and then the morning routine was much faster.

You Will Need:

Makes 12-15 Lunch Rolls

  • 2 cups organic whole wheat flour, divided
  • 2 cups organic unbleached white flour, divided
  • 1 TBSP yeast (or two packages)
  • 1 cup organic whole or 2% milk
  • 1/4 cup organic raw sugar
  • 1/3 cup organic butter
  • 2 organic eggs, beaten
  • Fillings such as pizza sauce and shredded mozzarella cheese, pepperoni, sliced ham, shredded cheddar cheese, chopped vegetables, sun-dried tomatoes, left-over shredded chicken, pulled pork, etc

Step One:, Lassen's, Lassens, healthy+lunches, lunch+ideas, lunch+rolls, lunch+pockets

Make the Dough

  • Blend 1 cup each of whole wheat and white flour, add the yeast and stir together, Lassen's, Lassens, healthy+lunches, lunch+ideas, lunch+rolls, lunch+pockets
  • Heat to about 100 degrees (it should feel slightly warm to the touch) the milk, sugar, and butter.  Do not overheat or you will kill the yeast.
  • Slightly beat the eggs with a fork, Lassen's, Lassens, healthy+lunches, lunch+ideas, lunch+rolls, lunch+pockets
  • Stir the milk mixture into the flour mixture, and blend on low with a hand mixer
  • Add the eggs and mix at medium speed for 3 minutes
  • Add 1/2 cup of white flour and 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour and blend, using a wooden spoon, Lassen's, Lassens, healthy+lunches, lunch+ideas, lunch+rolls, lunch+pockets
  • Remove the spoon and blend with your hand until the flour is incorporated.   Add enough of the remaining flour to get a smooth and slightly sticky dough.  You don’t want it dry.
  • Pick up the dough and pour 2 tsps organic olive oil on the bottom of the bowl.  Put the dough on top of the oil and turn it over and over until it is coated.  This will prevent the dough from drying out., Lassen's, Lassens, healthy+lunches, lunch+ideas, lunch+rolls, lunch+pockets
  • Cover with a clean light dish towel, and let raise until double in size.  This depends on the temperature of the room, but it will take at least an hour, Lassen's, Lassens, healthy+lunches, lunch+ideas, lunch+rolls, lunch+pockets
  • Gather your fillings
  • When the dough has risen double, punch it down and clear your workspace.  Since I had helpers, I cleared the whole counter!
  • Take about a 1/3 cup size of dough, and flatten it into a circle about 5″ across and 1/4 inch thick, Lassen's, Lassens, healthy+lunches, lunch+ideas, lunch+rolls,, Lassen's, Lassens, healthy+lunches, lunch+ideas, lunch+rolls, lunch+pockets, Lassen's, Lassens, healthy+lunches, lunch+ideas, lunch+rolls, lunch+pockets
  • Add your fillings–pizza sauce, pepperoni, cheese, or ham and cheese (Sun-dried tomatoes and olives would be great!  Or chopped broccoli and cheese!), Lassen's, Lassens, healthy+lunches, lunch+ideas, lunch+rolls, lunch+pockets
  • Fold up three edges and pinch together, and then fold up the rest and pinch together to hold the filling inside, Lassen's, Lassens, healthy+lunches, lunch+ideas, lunch+rolls, lunch+pockets, Lassen's, Lassens, healthy+lunches, lunch+ideas, lunch+rolls, lunch+pockets
I did it!
  • Place the rolls on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with non-stick spray, Lassen's, Lassens, healthy+lunches, lunch+ideas, lunch+rolls, lunch+pockets
  •  Brush with butter.  This will help the rolls to bake a golden brown color., Lassen's, Lassens, healthy+lunches, lunch+ideas, lunch+rolls, lunch+pockets
  • Allow to raise for about an hour.  The won’t get significantly bigger, but you’ll see the dough gets puffier.
  • Bake at 375 degrees for 12-15 minutes, until golden, Lassen's, Lassens, healthy+lunches, lunch+ideas, lunch+rolls, lunch+pockets
We had these for dinner last night with watermelon and cucumbers!, Lassen's, Lassens, healthy+lunches, lunch+ideas, lunch+rolls, lunch+pockets
Yum!, Lassen's, Lassens, healthy+lunches, lunch+ideas, lunch+rolls, lunch+pockets
Even the pickiest eater ate it!, Lassen's, Lassens, healthy+lunches, lunch+ideas, lunch+rolls, lunch+pockets
And the one-year-old loved it!

Lassen’s carries a selection of fun lunch boxes to help reduce lunchtime waste!  This one is a full kit!, Lassen's, Lassens, healthy+lunches, lunch+ideas, lunch+rolls, lunch+boxes, lunch+pockets


Or you can add these fun reusable containers to the box you already have, Lassen's, Lassens, healthy+lunches, lunch+ideas, lunch+rolls, lunch+pockets, lunch+boxes


How do you like this stainless steel stacking set?, Lassen's, Lassens, healthy+lunches, lunch+ideas, lunch+rolls, lunch+pockets, lunch+boxes


Or a spaceship fabric set!, Lassen's, Lassens, healthy+lunches, lunch+ideas, lunch+rolls, lunch+pockets, lunch+boxes


With a little planning and preparation, making school lunches doesn’t have to be stressful!, Lassen's, Lassens, healthy+lunches, lunch+ideas, lunch+rolls, lunch+pockets, lunch+boxes


Happy Back to School!
summer+drinks, healthy+summer+drinks, make+your+own+soda, rosemary+cucumber+limade, fresh+grape+soda

Cool Summer Drinks–Healthy and Easy!

It’s Not All About Soda, Lassen's, Lassens, Summer+drinks

You can see I had to drink some of them!  And I ate a few grapes, too!
This morning I whipped up these babies–perfect for some hot summer afternoons!

So Different and Delicious!

I am not much of a juice drinker–I love my ice water–but for these I will make an exception.  Pure ingredients, healthy, fresh–Absolutely no guilt here!  

No Juicer Required!

I made these delicious drinks with just a blender, so let’s get started., Lassen's, Lassens, Summer+drinks, Rosemary+cucumber+limeade

Rosemary Cucumber Limeade

You will need:

  • 3 large organic cucumbers
  • 2 TBSP chopped fresh organic rosemary, plus four springs for garnish  (This recipe could also be made with fresh organic mint or basil, for a different taste sensation!)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup fresh organic lime juice
  • 3+ TBSP organic Agave Syrup (to taste), Lassen's, Lassens, Summer+drinks, Rosemary+cucumber+limeade
Score a cucumber lengthwise with a fork.  This will give your decorative slices a finished look.  Then cut 12 thin slices of cucumber for garnish., Lassen's, Lassens, Summer+drinks, Rosemary+cucumber+limeade


Peel and chop the rest of the cucumbers, place in your blender, along with the chopped fresh rosemary., Lassen's, Lassens, Summer+drinks, Rosemary+cucumber+limeade


Puree until there are no chunks and the rosemary is well incorporated.  You’ll need to stop the blender and scrape down the sides., Lassen's, Lassens, Summer+drinks, Rosemary+cucumber+limeade


Pour the puree into a fine-mesh strainer which has been set over a bowl., Lassen's, Lassens, Summer+drinks, Rosemary+cucumber+limeade

Push the solids a bit to get the juice into the bowl.  If you like a very clear juice, use cheesecloth.  I like more solids, so I pushed quite a bit through the strainer., Lassen's, Lassens, Summer+drinks, Rosemary+cucumber+limeade


Squeeze the limes until you have 1/2 cup, then add the lime juice, the water, and the agave syrup to the cucumber/rosemary juice., Lassen's, Lassens, Summer+drinks, Rosemary+cucumber+limeade


 Taste and add more agave if you’d like.
Fill four glasses half-way with ice, then pour 1/4 of juice into each glass.  Garnish with cucumber slices and a spring of rosemary.  

Make your own soda with healthy ingredients?  Yes!  

summer+drinks, grape+soda

Fresh Grape Soda

You’ll Need:

  • 4 Cups of organic seedless red grapes, washed and stemmed, plus more for garnish
  • 2 TBSP fresh organic lemon juice
  • 2 TBSP organic honey
  • 2 cups mineral water (I used Voss Sparkling Water)
summer+drinks, grape+soda
Wash and stem the grapes, and then puree in a blender until fine.  Pour the puree into a strainer, which has been placed over a medium bowl.  Press on the solids to extract the juice.  
summer+drinks, grape+soda


Add the lemon juice and the honey, and stir well until the honey is well incorporated.  
summer+drinks, grape+soda
Add the sparkling water, and mix.  Pour the mixture into four, ice-filled glasses, and garnish with a small bunch of grapes.
summer+drinks, grape+soda

Drink Some Fruits and Vegetables Today!

Have a great summer, and enjoy these delicious, healthy, and easy drinks!
why+eat+organic, benefits+of+organic, earth+friendly, environmentally+friendly, organic+farming, pesticide+free+farming, herbicide+free+farming, organic+is+better+for+your+health, organic+is+better+for+the+earth, organic+is+more+nutritious, non+GMO, organic+is+non+GMO, orgnic+is+non+GMO+and+more

What’s the Big Deal About Organic?

I May Be Preaching to the Choir, Here

You may already be convinced that eating organic foods is the best thing for you, your family, and the planet.  But just in case you aren’t, here’s some information and some reasons why choosing organic makes a lot of sense., Lassen's, Lassens, organic+produce, peppers, why+eat+organic

First, a Definition of Terms

“Organic” refers to the way in which food is grown.  This includes produce, dairy products, grains, and meats.  Farmers who grow organically do not use chemical pesticides or herbicides or drugs to control bugs, weeds, or diseases.  They are committed to using methods and practices that encourage healthy soil and water, as well as that reduce pollution.  Food that is not produced organically is termed “Conventional.”, Lassen's, Lassens, organic+produce, oranges, why+eat+organic

As you can imagine, an organic farmer has chosen to use methods requiring more labor and time.  For example, a conventional farmer will just preemptively spray crops for bugs and weeds.  But an organic farmer will examine the crops regularly for weed or insect infestation, and then pull weeds, use traps, hand-remove pests, or use friendly insects and birds to take care of the pests.  They may also use sophisticated crop rotation and organic fertilizers to encourage healthy growth and healthy soil, rather than chemical fertilizers.  They will spread mulch or manure to discourage weed growth.  Organic farmers also use targeted watering systems (such as drip or water tape) to make sure the water goes directly to the plants, rather than to weeds.  This also conserves water resources., Lassen's, Lassens, organic+produce, why+eat+organic
This is Burroughs Family Farms–Happy cows and happy chickens, and healthy soil and pasture grasses!

Organically producing foods generally takes more space, too.  Animals are allowed to have a large range to wander, rather than being grown in small-space cages.  Crops often have smaller yields, since the farmer is not using chemical fertilizers to spur growth.   

The United States Department of Agriculture has established strict guidelines for a food to carry the USDA Organic label.  Any product that carries this label must adhere to those guidelines, and be certified by the USDA.  There is an exception for those who produce less than $5,000 worth of produce per year, but if it is labeled “Organic” (even without the certification) it has to be grown according to the certification standards.  Lassen’s works only with reputable producers to make sure that what we carry in our stores really is the best quality organic food available.

What Does the Organic Seal Mean?, organic+seal
“100% Organic” means that everything in the product is wholly organic.  “Organic” means that at least 95% of the ingredients meet the organic standard.  Products labeled with “Made with Organic Ingredients” have to have at least 70% of the ingredients organic.  If a product has less that 70% organically grown ingredients, it cannot use the word “Organic” on the label or include the USDA seal, but it can list the organic ingredients in the ingredient list.  
Organic regulations also prohibit or severely restrict the use of food additives, processing agents, and fortifying agents.  This means that organic processed foods (such as cereals and canned goods) will not have the preservatives, colorings, artificial sweeteners and flavorings, as well as chemicals such as MSG that conventionally produced foods may have.  Produce will not have waxes and dyes sprayed onto the foods to make them look better and may give them a longer shelf life.

So What’s the Benefit of Buying and Eating Organic Foods?, Lassen's, Lassens, organic+produce, why+eat+organic
No Pesticides.  I know that conventionally grown foods do not exceed the Government Standard for an acceptable level of pesticides in my body.  But I don’t really want to be voluntarily eating any poisons.  This link will take you to an article about the produce items that have the most pesticides in them.  Their premise is to cut back on pesticide ingestion by changing to organic on these dozen items, but although those are the worst, all conventional produce has pesticides and insecticides.  My goal is to eat as little as possible.
No Chemical Weeds Killers.  Ditto the above.  No matter how much I wash my produce, those chemicals are designed to be absorbed into the plants.  And they are still there when I or my family eats them., Lassen's, Lassens, organic+produce, why+eat+organic, peaches

Taste.  I think organic just tastes better.  It is subjective, but a fun family activity might be to do a taste test.  Buy both conventional and organic foods and compare the taste.   We have found that apples are a good test subject.  And meats!

Nutrition.  The jury is still out on the question of if organically produced food is more nutritious than conventionally produced food.  There are some studies that suggest it is.   There is clear evidence of more phytonutrients in organically produced foods.  Click here for more information about some of the studies being done., Lassen's, Lassens, organic+produce, avocados, why+eat+organic

Better for the Environment.  If more of our food was produced organically, we would not have the threats to our water and soils that we do now.  The residue of all of those chemicals is washed through the fields, absorbed into the soil, and spilled into our waterways.  Then the fish and other sea life are impacted by those chemicals., Lassen's, Lassens, organic+produce, almond+trees, why+eat+organic
You can tell this Burroughs Family Farm almond grove is Organic because there are grasses under the trees.  A commercial grove would be bare–the grasses killed by herbicides

Sustainable.  Many fertilizers are made from fossil fuels, on which I think we’d all like to reduce our dependence!  Soils are healthier when organic farming is practiced.   

No GMOs.  This is a big topic that will have to wait for another day.  There is some great information in this article (17 Essential Reasons to Eat Organic Food) on GMOs, as well as other great ideas.  
Better for Farm Laborers.  One day several years ago after riding my bike past some fields on the Oxnard plain, I developed a rash all over my skin that had been exposed to the air.  Legs, arms and face.  It was itchy and blotchy and took several weeks to go away.  I have no idea what had been sprayed on those fields as I was riding by, but can you imagine the exposure to dangerous chemicals that the farms workers and the neighbors are suffering?  

What About the Cost?, Lassen's, Lassens, organic+produce, why+eat+organic
Lassen’s always has several delicious–and always organic– produce items on sale!
There can be a concern about the cost of organic produce and other food.  As you can see, producing organic food takes more space, time, and labor, thus higher costs.  But we at Lassen’s are committed to bringing you the very best value in organic produce and other organic foods.  We also bring you local produce whenever possible, thus cutting down on shipping expenses (and, as a bonus, helping to reduce the carbon footprint.)  Click here for our website, and you will find a link there for our monthly sales newsletter, which always has great produce specials.  You can also find a link to the newsletter on the right-hand side of the blog.

This is a helpful article on organic eating.  And even TLC (the channel that brings us all kinds of shows about sugar–Cake Boss and DC Cupcakes!) has an article on why we should eat organic!  Click here to see their 15 reasons to eat organic food.

Come to Lassen’s and enjoy our beautiful, organically produced food and supplements!



roasted+vegetables, roasted+tomatoes, slow+roasting, healthy+side+dish, side+dish+recipes, delicious+and+healthy

My Roasting Obsession

This Time It’s S–L–O–W 


And I Do Mean SLOW

Remember this post about one of my favorite cooking methods, roasting?  I roast vegetables at least 4 times every week.  That why I was so intrigued when I stumbled across this recipe for Slow Roasted Tomatoes in the Cooking Light magazine that I picked up at the Ventura Lassen’s.

Warning:  Start This In The Morning!

Slow Roasting?  Really?  Roasting to me meant very high temperatures and fast cooking.  
So I thought I’d try it.  This is adapted from the Cooking Light recipe.



Slow-Roasted Tomatoes


You’ll Need:

  • 4 lbs (about 16) Roma Tomatoes
  • 1 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground salt
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp freshly-ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp honey
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.  (Yes, you read that right.  Two Hundred.)


Prepare the tomatoes by washing, patting dry, and then cutting lengthwise in half.  I also removed the small core.

Combine the oil, spices, and honey.  It will mix together like a paste.  

Add the cut tomatoes and stir with a large spoon until the tomatoes are coated.  The tomatoes will give off some juice and that will help to get the spices on all of the tomatoes. 


Place the seasoned tomatoes on a large baking sheet.  I hate to waste anything (blame my depression-era parents) so I scooped the spices and juice that were left in the bowl and spooned it over the tomatoes on the pan. 


Then pop those babies in the oven and let them slow-roast for 7-8 hours.  Yes.  Hours.   


I just could not resist checking on them periodically throughout the day.  They smelled so yummy!


These were SO. GOOD.  The slow-roasting intensified the flavors of the tomatoes and spices.  Awesome.

I served them as a side dish (with spinach and arugula) to soup, but they would be great tossed in pasta, or next to grilled chicken or fish.  And here’s a bonus–This dish is Paleo!  (See this post for more information about the Paleo diet.)

I wonder what else I could roast slowly?
Happy (slow) roasting! 
expo+west, new+products, favorite+products, trade+show


Once again the trip to Natural Products Expo West this year wast an adventure, both thrilling and dangerous! Thrilling because of all of the new and wonderful sights and smells! Dangerous because, well, by the time I left I thought my stomach was going to explode! I’m usually very good at stopping when I’m full – expo is one of those rare times when I decide to ignore that little voice that says “Ahoy there! You’re done! Quit eating!” … but there’s no much to try!!!, Natural+Products+Expo+West 

Here are a few of the highlights!

Of course the first place I ran to (if you can remember last year’s Expo blog) was Barleans. I was particularly excited for the prospect of frozen Omega Swirl, as they had done the previous year. Thankfully when I arrived, mouth salivating and eagerly awaiting a frosty delight…, Natural+Products+Expo+West
I was not disappointed!, Natural+Products+Expo+West
Not only was my frozen treat waiting for me but it was also the icy debut of their new flavor for the Essential Women’s blend of Omega Swirl, formerlly chocolate raspberry, it has now been changed to chocolate-mint… which happens to be my favorite!, Natural+Products+Expo+West
Wandering over to the MegaFood booth, I get a tip that momentarily Dr.Weil will be having an interview.
I popped into that for a minute. Click HERE for a little article on that conversation., Natural+Products+Expo+West
As I made my way through the supplements portion of the Expo I caught glimpse of Now Food’s Cranberry, mannose + probiotics concoction and I thought I might take a little taste. It was pretty darn good I tell you!, Natural+Products+Expo+West
Host Defense Organic Mushrooms has a neat and informational booth displaying the actual wild mushrooms that they put into their supplements!, Natural+Products+Expo+West
By this point green coffee bean extract has practically become a household name for it’s weight loss supporting properties. I got the chance to try Genesis Today’s Skinny Coffee, a creamy cappucino using green coffee bean extract. Yum!, Natural+Products+Expo+West
I had to stop by Spring Dragon to check out their Wild Reishi extract. While there I was also able to try Ant Extract… something I never really thought I’d try…, Natural+Products+Expo+West
Natural Vitality was sampling out their new product Plant Sourced Minerals liquid which is made from fossilized plants! Craazy!, Natural+Products+Expo+West

Here’s a new one! 100% Organic Aronia Berry Flax Oil from Sawhill Hallow!

On to the foods…, Natural+Products+Expo+West
Gotta stop by Angie’s…, Natural+Products+Expo+West
For some Politely Sweet & Spicey popcorn! Nom nom nom!, Natural+Products+Expo+West
Clif revealing their NEW protein bar which yields 30g of protein!, Natural+Products+Expo+West
Pretty self explanatory… kale chips are probably one of my very favorite things to eat…
that is, of course, until CHOCOLATE comes into view…, Natural+Products+Expo+West
Absolutely  wonderful gluten-free chocolate brownies from Flax4Life!, Natural+Products+Expo+West
With my sweet tooth singing, we come across Halo Top – DELICIOUS light ice cream!
While the vanilla was yummy…, Natural+Products+Expo+West
my heart belonged to the lemon cake ice cream., Natural+Products+Expo+West
So  Delicious was freshly baking fancy little cinnamon pecan scones!, Natural+Products+Expo+West
Suja’s raw, cold pressed organic juices are currently in our locations but until this moment I had yet to try them. My favorite flavor, Glow: green apple, cucumber, celery, collard, spinach, kale & spearmint!, Natural+Products+Expo+West
That WAS until I tried Spark:the delightful mix of lemon, tart cherry, strawberry, honey, stevia and then WHOOOOOOOO cayenne!, Natural+Products+Expo+West
“SUUUUUJJJAAAA!!!” she cried into the night.
Until she spotted Daiya.., Natural+Products+Expo+West
Well hello there!, Natural+Products+Expo+West
I don’t feel captions are necessary for these. 
Just  take in these pictures. 
Feel what you gotta feel. 
I think I just feel hungry., Natural+Products+Expo+West, Natural+Products+Expo+West, Natural+Products+Expo+West
Some organic maple syrup to sooth the soul., Natural+Products+Expo+West
Mia’s kitchen set up a little vinegar and oil tasting station., Natural+Products+Expo+West
Here was a cool company with some awesomely fantastic all-natural dips.., Natural+Products+Expo+West
including this caramelized onion yogurt dip which was knee weakening-ly good., Natural+Products+Expo+West
Another new one – bombay curry dried green peas!!! mmmMMMmmm!!
Suddenly I spotted the words EPIC. by first instinct was to laugh – my thoughts jumped to an image of two surfer dudes pumping fists. “That was an EPIC surf sesh Brah…”, Natural+Products+Expo+West
Epic at Expo West meant grass-fed beef, bison and turkey protein bars mixed with fruit.
While this may sound strange, I assure you, it was truly epic in taste!, Natural+Products+Expo+West
…and I’m pretty excited about them., Natural+Products+Expo+West
OH! Goodness me, this was great! Arugula pesto vegan alfredo sauce!, Natural+Products+Expo+West
This was seriously cool: a great way to drink iced coffee. 
Fair Trade cold brew coffee concentrate from Secret Squirrel!
Another tasty beverage that I got to try…, Natural+Products+Expo+West
How good does pineapple, coconut nutmeg soda sound? Well guess what, it is!!!
And it’s coming soon to Lassens!
Probably one of my very favorite things that I ate whilst
 browsing the long and lovely aisles at Expo was this bad boy…, Natural+Products+Expo+West
Feta cheese, raw beet and spinach tossed in balsamic vinegar on lavash bread.
Make it – eat it – love it., Natural+Products+Expo+West
Time to get festive!!! Susty-party makes compostable plates, cups and straws for 
 entertaining friends and family! And they’re cute to boot!, Natural+Products+Expo+West
Silk Road Teas, just beautiful., Natural+Products+Expo+West
and the winner for most adorable packaging at Expo West (unofficially and just according to this 25 year old female blogger … you may not agree. It’s cool!) goes to Worker B, honey and bee’s wax products., Natural+Products+Expo+West
Aside from the cute labels, this company also won my heart
 for their honest and simple list of ingredients.
 If it isn’t on the table there, you won’t find it in their products.
Hey! This is cool!, Natural+Products+Expo+West
Nova Scotia Fisherman Sea Kelp soap!, Natural+Products+Expo+West
Coming Soon to Lassens!!!!, Natural+Products+Expo+West
To end our long awaited journey at Natural Products Expo West, I decided to check out the Hugo Natural’s booth where some fancy looking artist boys made some beautiful spring-time art out of Hugo’s beautiful soaps., Natural+Products+Expo+West

Look at him go!, Natural+Products+Expo+West
The end result – Gorgeous!
Well, we all had a SUPER time… (har har har)…, Natural+Products+Expo+West
But all good things must eventually end., Natural+Products+Expo+West
You won this time Expo West… but I guess I did too!
Until we meet next year. 
If you saw something that you loved and that we’re not yet carrying at Lassens, tell us about it! Leave us a message here or on our Facebook page (the locations are listed on the right side bar on our page. Is there something else that you were hoping we would find at the expo? 
Let us know! We’re dedicated to bringing YOU what you want and need
…but we’ll never know unless you tell us 😉
Wishing you a happy healthy day!
lori's+original+lemonade, lavendar+lemonade, ojai+lemonade, focus+on+local, local+products

Focus on Local… Lori’s Original Lemonade and New Oak Ranch Lavender

Yes, there is a Lori!, Lori's+Original+Lavender+Lemonade
This is Lori, owner of Lori’s Original Lemonade.
It started with a lemon tree in the front yard 
and three kids who wanted to make some money.
So Lori made some lemonade and the kids set up a stand outside their home in Ojai to sell that lemonade.  
It was a big neighborhood hit! 

But then Lori had an idea…

…to spruce up that lemonade with some lavender., Lori's+Original+Lavender+Lemonade
She got some lavender from a local farmer, brewed some lavender tea, and infused her lemonade with that delicious lavender flavor.
Soon people–including her three children–
were encouraging Lori to bottle her lemonade.  

Mom… you can do it!

So a year ago Lori took a deep breath and jumped into the business., Lori's+Original+Lavender+Lemonade
Recently Bethany (Marketing Director), Mykey (Art Director and Graphics Designer) and I met Lori at New Oak Ranch in Ojai, where Lori gets the lavender for her delicious lemonade. She told us her story and shared her excitement for her wonderful product.
Lori started by selling her lemonade in several Ojai shops, but then decided to expand.  
She had a goal to put her three kids through college.
She visited our buyer, Josh, at the Ventura store and was thrilled when he wanted much more than she expected him to order., Lori's+Original+Lavender+Lemonade
Lori uses Organic lemons for her lemonade, as well as Pure Cane Sugar–

No high fructose corn syrup!

Lassen’s is proud to have helped Lori as she was launching her business!, Lori's+Original+Lavender+Lemonade 

New Oak Ranch

We also got to meet Bill, the owner of New Oak Ranch.  
Bill showed us the different kinds of lavender and taught us all about it.  
The culinary variety of lavendar is Provence, but Bill also grows the Grosso variety, 
which is used for oil., Lori's+Original+Lavender+Lemonade
It takes about 30 lbs of lavender buds (shown here) to make (through steam distilling) 
6 oz of oil!    
It is used in many kinds of bodycare products., Lori's+Original+Lavender+Lemonade
This beautiful variety, Buena Vista, holds its color and is often used for decorating and in other items that need the color retained., Lori's+Original+Lavender+Lemonade
Bill also showed us his greenhouse where he has propagated (by cuttings) a full crop of new lavender plants.  
The cuttings take about 8-10 weeks to be strong enough to be planted.  
Bill will soon plant a full field of these new plants., Lori's+Original+Lavender+Lemonade
Bill also grows Olives, Ojai Pixie Tangerines, and Walnuts at his ranch., Lori's+Original+Lavender+Lemonade
With her unique and delicious recipe, Lori is getting rave reviews for her lemonade.  
Mykey, Bethany and I decided that heating up the lemonade to soothe a sore throat just might make feeling a little under-the-weather not so terrible!, Lori's+Original+Lavender+Lemonade
Stop into Lassens and try LOL–Lori’s Original Lemonade!
Maybe her family motto will rub off on you too:
“Wish It, Dream It, Do It, and Anything is Possible!”
PS–and by the way, the drive through the Ojai Valley is spectacular!  Take Highway 150 through Ojai and beyond (keep following it and you’ll get to Santa Paula) for a beautiful drive!, Lori's+Original+Lavender+Lemonade
fancy+food+show, san+francisco

So Here We Are In San Francisco…

The “Fancy Foods Show” is Not an Overstatement!

fancy+foods+show, San+Francisco
Bethany, Peter and me with a gorgeous view of San Francisco from Alcatraz Island

It’s January, so some of us from Lassen’s have come to San Franciso for the Fancy Food Show!

fancy+foods+show, San+Francisco

We came a little early so we could enjoy the beautiful city.  We rode bikes across the Golden Gate Bridge!

fancy+foods+show, San+Francisco, Golden+Gate+Bridge

We are attending seminars about how to better serve you, our community!  We have gone on store tours and listened to lectures.  We have been inspired with some great ideas to improve not only the stores, but to strengthen our communities.  Most of all, we have seen so many great new products that are nutritious, delicious, and beautiful!

There are hundreds of vendors here, and thousands of products.  It’s a little overwhelming, but it was worth it to see so many great new items that we think you will love.

fancy+foods+show, San+Francisco

We are all really excited to share what we have learned to help make your experience at Lassen’s a great one.  So keep your eyes open for new products, and we’ll feature some of them here!



raw+carob+cashew+balls, raw+snacks, snack+recipe

Meet Stephanie / Raw Cashew Carob Cookie Balls

A Delicious Raw Energy Snack!
Raw+Cookie, Cashew+Cookie, Carob+Cookie

It’s just a regular day in the Lassen’s office. I’m sipping my cinnamon vanilla herb tea from The Republic of Tea and working on graphics for an upcoming Lassens Event (Did you know that FABIO, the long haired wonder himself, is coming to our Thousand Oaks (1/25) and Ventura (1/26) locations next week to talk about his protein supplement line?! Yes Way!!!) and listening to the Otis Redding Pandora station (“These Arms of Mine” makes me feel particularly productive) when suddenly I realize it’s time for a tea-re-fill.


Raw+cookie, Cashew+Cookie, Carob+Cookie

Down I go to the sales floor, where as they say is the magic happens. And what to my wondering eyes should appear but Stephanie, the Demo Captain, beckoning to come near (I’m still trying to shake myself out of Holiday mode. It’s harder than you think for some…).

 I don’t know if you’ve met Stephanie yet, but if you happen to come to the Ventura location, be sure to keep an eye out for her. She’s constantly coming up with new, unique and innovative recipes using foods that we carry here at Lassens. One for her primary focuses is on helping people try new things while also being sensitive to many dietary restrictions and lifestyle choices by being conscious of our gluten-free, vegan, and raw food practicing customers. 
Today’s treat from the mind of Stephanie were Cashew Carob Cookie Balls.

These were so rich and flavorful with a wonderful soft texture, my toes just started tap-tapping with delight and my shoulders started shimmying with joy (if you honestly doubt my dancing-while-devouring claims, feel free to come by and see! It’s quite a sight to behold yet happens more frequently than I’d like to admit…)

Raw+cookie, Cashew+Cookie, Carob+Cookie
These delicious little Vegan surprises absolutely brightened my day. As I stood next to her doing my “this-is-really-delicous” jig, practically her entire tray of samples was wiped clean as happy bellies walked away from the scene. However, your friends here at Lassens would never be so cruel as to dangle such wondrous treats in front of your face only to pull then away and laughing. No!
We hope you enjoy this recipe for Cashew Carob Cookie Balls!

Let us know what you think on the Lassens Facebook Page!

raw+cookie, cashew+cookie, carob+cookie
raw+cookie, Cashew+cookie, carob+cookie

You’ll Need:

  • 3/4 cup raw cashews
  • 1/4 cup carob powder
  • 1 cup organic raisins
  • 1/8 teaspoon mint extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon of organic vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter
  • 1/2 tablespoon melted coconut oil


  • Soak raisins in hot water for 5-10 minutes.
  • Drain raisins and place all ingredients in a food processor or blender.
  • Blend together until ingredients form into a paste.
  • With scoop, roll into ball, roughly the size of a pinball.
  • For visual appeal,top with coconut shavings and serve! 
Have a wonderful Tuesday!