It’s Not All About Soda
|You can see I had to drink some of them! And I ate a few grapes, too!|
So Different and Delicious!
No Juicer Required!
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)
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.
Fresh Grape Soda
- 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)
Drink Some Fruits and Vegetables Today!
A True Labor of Love
…and there’s so much love!
Most of the good things in life are at least a little labor intensive.
Building a house, painting a mural, planting a garden…
but the outcome is always oh, so nice and oh, so worth it.
As Stephanie, our Lassen’s Ventura Sample Captain confessed, such was the case with this recipe for Vegan Zucchini Lasagna. It’s just a lot of chopping and dicing, which can all be done ahead of time and stored in the fridge until you’re ready to bake. Paleo, Vegan and Gluten-Free! Oh yeah, and the taste is fantastic!
- 2 cups walnuts
- 1 eggplant
- 2 red bell peppers
- 1 red onion
- 1 Tb oregano
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1/2 cup fresh chopped basil
- 8 zucchini squashes (cut into thin strips)
- 3 tsp thyme
- 1 bunch black kale
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 2 lemons (juiced – save peels for zesting)
- 1 jar of marinara sauce (25 oz)
- 4Tb extra virgin olive oil
A decadent dessert that’s good for you? Whaaaa…?
Raw & Vegan Strawberry Cheesecake
- 1 cup raw pecans
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup organic dates
- pinch of Himalayan pink salt
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
- 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!
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.
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…).
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…)
- 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!
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.
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 …
- 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.
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.