Category Archives: Dessert


We Call it Dessert, and it’s Perfect for Summer!

A Delicious, Rich, Summery Treat

Danish+recipes, danish+dessert+recipes, buttermilk+desserts, summer+desserts, creamy+desserts, Kærnemælkfromage

I love to make this Danish dessert whenever we have guests come to dinner because it is different from anything they have ever had. We always make a game of having them guess the main ingredient, and they can never figure it out. It’s simple to make and so delightful — rich, and yet light.

So, drumroll…

The secret ingredient is buttermilk! Kærnmælk, in Danish.

So here is it is: kærnemælkfromage, Buttermilk Dessert


You’ll need:

  • 1 TBSP unflavored gelatin
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 3/4 to 1 cup sugar (depends on how sweet you like your desserts)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 cup cream, whipped until stiff


  • Dissolve the gelatin in the cold water in a 2-quart saucepan, and then put on the stove over low heat.
  • Stir constantly until disolved (which will take less than a minute), then add the sugar and stir until dissolved
  • Remove from heat and add the vanilla, orange juice, and buttermilk; stir to blend well
  • Place the saucepan in the refrigerator to cool and gel
  • Check in about 30 minutes. When the mixture starts to firm, whip the cream
  • Pour the buttermilk mixture into the whipped cream, and blend with a wire whisk until smooth
  • Pour into a bowl and refrigerate until firm, about an hour
  • Serve with Danish Strawberry Pudding (Jordbær Grød — the recipe can be found here). It’s also wonderful with fresh berries
Danish+recipes, danish+dessert+recipes, buttermilk+desserts, summer+desserts, creamy+desserts
I like Great Lakes Kosher Gelatin (we carry this in our Supplement Department, so you should be able to find it there) or Knox, which is found in our Grocery department
Danish+recipes, danish+dessert+recipes, buttermilk+desserts, summer+desserts, creamy+desserts
Dissolve the gelatin and the sugar over low heat, stirring constantly
Danish+recipes, danish+dessert+recipes, buttermilk+desserts, summer+desserts, creamy+desserts
Add vanilla, buttermilk, and orange juice and stir to blend
Danish+recipes, danish+dessert+recipes, buttermilk+desserts, summer+desserts, creamy+desserts
After the buttermilk mixture stiffens (it doesn’t have to be this stiff — it gelled really quickly this time!) whip the cream, pour the buttermilk mixture into the cream and blend  with a wire whisk until smooth
Danish+recipes, danish+dessert+recipes, buttermilk+desserts, summer+desserts, creamy+desserts
Pour into a bowl to chill
Danish+recipes, danish+dessert+recipes, buttermilk+desserts, summer+desserts, creamy+desserts
It looks like ice cream, but it’s a totally different experience! You’ll love it!

Try this amazing dessert!





A Danish Taste of Summer! Jordbær Grød

The Fields are Bursting with Berries!

Danish+Strawberry+Pudding, danish+recipes, strawberry+recipes

This Danish Strawberry Porridge is one of the first Danish recipes that I tasted when I met the Lassen family. Simple and tasty, it takes advantage of the beautiful fresh berries we have in California. It makes a wonderful stand-alone dessert (served with cream or coconut cream), but can also be used as a topping for cheesecake or rice pudding.  

You’ll Need:

  • 4 lbs fresh strawberries
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch

Danish+Strawberry+Pudding, danish+recipes, strawberry+recipes

Danish+Strawberry+Pudding, danish+recipes, strawberry+recipes

Danish+Strawberry+Pudding, danish+recipes, strawberry+recipes


  • Wash strawberries and remove stems, place in heavy pot
  • Pour sugar on top of the berries, stir, and place over low heat. Cover
  • Open up the vanilla bean lengthwise and open it up, then scrape the inside with a knife to remove the soft insides with the seeds. Add both the scrapings and the bean to the berries and sugar
  • As the berries heat up slowly, they will soften and release juice, so watch carefully so they don’t burn. (Some recipes add some water, but I generally don’t. Just keep the heat low until the berries are soft and juice has formed.)
  • Once the berries are soft, bring to a slow boil

Danish+Strawberry+Pudding, danish+recipes, strawberry+recipes

Danish+Strawberry+Pudding, danish+recipes, strawberry+recipes

  • Meanwhile, mix the cornstarch in the cold water, stirring carefully
  • While stirring the berries, pour the cornstarch water into the pot, and stir until thickened. This will happen quickly
  • Remove from heat and cool, then remove the vanilla bean
  • Serve warm or cold with cream or coconut cream

Danish+Strawberry+Pudding, danish+recipes, strawberry+recipes

Enjoy this wonderful, summery dessert!



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!
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,, 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!”


Freezer+Monkey Frozen+Gourmet+Treats,, Lassen's, Lassens

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. )


Freezer+Monkey Frozen+Gourmet+Treats,, Lassen's, Lassens

Tiffany poured the caramelized sugar over fresh pineapple pieces, 

Freezer+Monkey Frozen+Gourmet+Treats,, Lassen's, Lassens

and then added a little red Hawaiian sea salt.

Freezer+Monkey Frozen+Gourmet+Treats,, Lassen's, Lassens

Tiffany blended the pineapple, caramel and salt until pureed.  

Freezer+Monkey Frozen+Gourmet+Treats,, Lassen's, Lassens

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

Freezer+Monkey Frozen+Gourmet+Treats,, Lassen's, Lassens


Freezer+Monkey Frozen+Gourmet+Treats,, Lassen's, Lassens

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

Freezer+Monkey Frozen+Gourmet+Treats,, Lassen's, Lassens


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


Freezer+Monkey Frozen+Gourmet+Treats,, Lassen's, Lassens

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.)

Freezer+Monkey Frozen+Gourmet+Treats,, Lassen's, Lassens

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

Freezer+Monkey Frozen+Gourmet+Treats,, Lassen's, Lassens

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

Freezer+Monkey Frozen+Gourmet+Treats,, Lassen's, Lassens

Tiffany stamps the date on every pop.  

Freezer+Monkey Frozen+Gourmet+Treats,, Lassen's, Lassens

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!)

Freezer+Monkey Frozen+Gourmet+Treats,, Lassen's, Lassens

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

Freezer+Monkey Frozen+Gourmet+Treats,, Lassen's, Lassens

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! 

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., Lassen's, Lassens, spiced+baked+plums
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!, 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


  • 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., Lassen's, Lassens, spiced+baked+plums, organic+plums
  • Pour the mixture over the plums., Lassen's, Lassens, spiced+baked+plums, organic+plums
  • Bake in the oven for 20 minutes.  The plums will be hot and the sauce bubbly.
  • Serve warm!, Lassen's, Lassens, spiced+baked+plums, organic+plums

Best Additional Use For This Recipe:

Syrup for Ice Cream.

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!
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!, Lassen's, Lassens, Coolhaus+Ice+Cream+Sandwiches
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., Lassen's, Lassens, Coolhaus+Ice+Cream+Sandwiches


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

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!, 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., 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., Lassen's, Lassens, Coolhaus+Ice+Cream+Sandwiches

Choose your cookies! and then…, Lassen's, Lassens, Coolhaus+Ice+Cream+Sandwiches

Choose your ice cream!  Yum!, Lassen's, Lassens, Coolhaus+Ice+Cream+Sandwiches

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!, Lassen's, Lassens, Coolhaus+Ice+Cream+Sandwiches


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

I just have to add more pictures of these beautiful cookies and this delicious ice cream!, Lassen's, Lassens, Coolhaus+Ice+Cream+Sandwiches

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!, Lassen's, Lassens, Coolhaus+Ice+Cream+Sandwiches

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!


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?, Lassen's, Lassens, Peach+Pie+Recipe, Pie+Crust+Recipe
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!, 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, 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., Lassen's, Lassens, Peach+Pie+Recipe, Pie+Crust+Recipe


Mix the water, vinegar, egg and salt together, then add to the flour mixture.  Stir to combine, but don’t over mix., Lassen's, Lassens, Peach+Pie+Recipe, Pie+Crust+Recipe


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


Mix the eggs, sugar, flour, and butter with a beater until thick., Lassen's, Lassens, Peach+Pie+Recipe, Pie+Crust+Recipe


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


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!), Lassen's, Lassens, Peach+Pie+Recipe, Pie+Crust+Recipe


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


The filling will firm up as the pie cools.  You can serve this pie still warm or cold., Lassen's, Lassens, Peach+Pie+Recipe, Pie+Crust+Recipe, Peach+Pie, Pie+Crust


This pie never fails to delight!, Lassen's, Lassens, Peach+Pie+Recipe, Pie+Crust+Recipe, Peach+Pie, Pie+Crust


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

Enjoy the Fruits of Summer!

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:
  • 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

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
  • 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


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! 


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! 

Lassen’s organic donut peaches, yellow peaches, red plums & nectarines!

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!


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.
  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!, Lassen's, Vegan+Peach+Cobbler

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



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.


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


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)

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


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.





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.


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.


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!)

Love, the Lassens team!

pumpkin+recipes, pumpkin+cheesecake+squares, pumpkin+dessert, harvest+dessert, healthy+dessert, healthy+recipes

Halloween Recipe Winner #2… Organic Pumpkin Cheesecake Squares

We Love our Recipe Winners! 
The bats are flapping their leathery wings against the Autumn breeze which carries the distant howl of a werewolf. Meanwhile, in an ancient castle teetering menacingly on a jagged cliff, a congregation of witches, ghouls and beasts guzzle down potions from bubbling cauldrons and laboratory beakers and dance the night away to the grizzly musical stylings of a five-piece jazz band of the undead. Children hop up and down neighborhood streets dressed as goblins, super heroes and troubled celebrities, all on a mission to seek out the one thing that can placate their mischievous nature on this Halloween night…. SWEETS!
Come the 31st of October, I know my sweet tooth gets extra sharp and my eyes get wide for anything of the sugary persuasion. So I ask you, what better to sooth this savage beast than the creamy, spicy, & perfectly crumbly 2nd winner of our Halloween Recipe Challenge: Organic Pumpkin Cheesecake Squares? That is of course a rhetorical question, the answer being… dreamy eyed, slack jawed awe.

This recipe was shared with us by Carrie, a lovely customer from our Lassens store in Thousand Oaks. Not only was this recipe so absolutely mouth watering, but it is SO easy to make!


Organic Pumpkin Cheesecake Squares

You’ll Need:
For the Crust:
  • 1 cup flour (try Arrowhead Mills organic flour or do what I did and add ½ cup regular flour and ½ cup, you guessed it, Bob’s Red Mill coconut flour, which adds a new dimension of soft texture and heavenly aroma )
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar (I used Wholesome Sweeteners organic dark brown sugar)
  • 1 stick butter (try Organic Valley unsalted cultured butter OR for a reduced fat option, 6 tablespoons of applesauce with 2 tablespoons Earth Balance natural buttery spread, which incidentally has come to permanently replace butter in my kitchen)
  • 1/2 cup raw chopped walnuts (Lassen’s has great deals on delicious bulk nuts)
  • 8 oz. cream cheese (Organic Valley cream cheese is organic and delectable)
  • 1/2 cup sugar (I used Wholesome Sweeteners organic sugar)
  • 2 eggs (try Organic Valley organic cage-free eggs)
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree (try Farmers Market Organic canned pumpkin or puree one of our organic pumpkin pie pumpkins yourself!)
  • 1 tsp vanilla (try Simply Organics pure vanilla extract)
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg (try Frontier organic nutmeg)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon (try Frontier organic cinnamon)
  • 1/2 tsp ginger (try Spice Hunter organic ginger… or if you’re cabinet space it getting limited, Spice Hunter’s pumpkin pie spice blend makes as a great all-in-one option and it’s great to go in just about anything that you want to make festive: from coffee to ice cream)
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • To make the crust, blend ingredients in food processor until a ball forms. It’s really tempting to go to town on that ball of dough before you get a chance to make the cheesecake portion, but if you have the determination and restraint, I suggest you hold out because the more crust on this desert, the more scrumptious.
  • Press ball into 8×8 pan
  • Bake for 15 – 20 minutes. Let crust cool.
  • Blend filling ingredients until smooth. Pour mixture over cooled crust. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until set. Let cool and cut into squares and enjoy!
This recipe can be adapted easily for vegans by substituting
  • CREAM CHEESE with a dairy free cream cheese such as Follow Your Heart’s vegan cream cheese
  • EGGS with flax or chia seed gel which can be made by adding 1Tb ground seed to 3Tb hot water. This = 1 large egg
  • BUTTER as I mentioned before with applesauce and Earth Balance natural buttery spread. We also have several other delicious vegan butter alternatives including Earth Balance coconut oil buttery spread (which I can’t wait to try!)


Present this dish in lovely bite sized squares to your guests this Halloween and watch how, like magic, they disappear! 

We are also now taking entries for our Thanksgiving Recipe Challenge! We’re looking for the most unique and savory options for traditional, gluten-free and vegan Thanksgiving feasts! If you’d like to enter (and I sincerely hope you will), click on the link above of the Lassens store which you frequent most often. The link will take you to the Lassens facebook where you can share your recipe (and any pictures that you’d like for me to feature on this blog) right on the Lassens facebook wall. The winning recipes will be featured on this blog as well as in each Lassens location as FREE recipe cards for all of our Lassens customers to try and enjoy.
I hope you all have a safe, happy and healthy Halloween!