Category Archives: Raw

healthy+fats, ketogenic+diet

Can Fats be Healthy? Yes!

Times Have Changed!

healthy+fats, ketogenic+diet

It wasn’t that long ago that fat was a dirty word. I recall attending a gym class where the teacher advised choosing all-sugar treats (such as Starburst or Skittles) over treats with any fat at all.  Many were excited to see no-fat products on the market — cookies and cakes made without fat. It was easy to get caught up in the no-fat craze.

But just a few days of unnaturally cutting fats completely out of your diet leaves you feeling hungry, tired, and grumpy and, frankly, unhealthy.  The fats in those products were generally replaced with a real dietary villain — sugar — as well as other refined carbohydrates. So you ended up with the spikes and dips in energy that come with a high sugar diet. Not a happy place to be.

And it’s true, there are unhealthy fats — Transfats (fats that have been hydrogenated) can increase the risk of several chronic diseases (heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, among others.) We want to avoid those, such as refined fats and oils (think margarine and corn oil).

There are also very serious possible effects of eating no fat. This article from Dr. Axe mentions poor brain function, compromised heart health, hormone imbalances (including fertility issues), overeating and weight gain, among other problems. I knew a young woman who desperately wanted to get pregnant, but had stopped menstruating when she turned to a practically no-fat diet in order to control her weight. Yes, things went this extreme.

Fortunately, the pendulum has swung away from that craziness, and we are in a much healthier place as it relates to dietary fat. In 2015 the U.S. Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee sent recommendations to the Government that advised against restricting dietary fat, and had no upper limit on total fat intake.

healthy+fats, ketogenic+diet

And that’s good news, because including healthy fats in your diet will help reduce hunger and cravings, help you feel satiated (satisfied), as well as help with energy and brain function. The supplements that you take will be better absorbed, as well as the nutrients in the food that you eat — all fat-soluble vitamin as well as calcium. Your liver will be protected from damage. Your “good” cholesterol will go up and your “bad” cholesterol will go down. You will even burn fat more efficiently! These reason and more are why the ketogenic diet has become so popular lately.

But we all have to careful about which fats to choose. The fats from raw dairy products, coconut oil, grass-fed beef, nuts, avocados, and much more are beneficial to our health. Here are some healthy fats to choose.

healthy+fats, ketogenic+diet

Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Butter (especially raw, but from grass-fed cows as well), Ghee (clarified butter), and Coconut Oil. The Danes have been right all along. Butter and Ghee contain healthy Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids are essential, and our bodies don’t produce them; we have to get them from our diets. Extra Virgin Olive Oil, high in antioxidants, is great for brain and cognitive function, and even lowering blood pressure. Make sure you choose Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, since processing can eliminate many of the healthy benefits.

Avocados, Full-fat Dairy, and Eggs. One of my favorite lunch go-tos is a half of an avocado, chopped tomatoes and cucumbers, topped with a squeeze of lime and Mexican spices. If I’m extra hungry I’ll add some full-fat cottage cheese. If you prefer, add a hard-boiled free-range organic egg for even more protein! This lunch will keep me satisfied for the whole afternoon. An avocado has the advantage of being high in protein, as well as vitamin E, folate, and of course healthy monosaturated fat.

healthy+fats, ketogenic+diet

Nuts, Seeds, and Dark Chocolate. A handful of nuts is full of super nutrients, including healthy fats. Add a chunk of dark chocolate — at least 70% cacao (to reduce the amount of sugar) and you have an energy-boosting snack.

Omega-3s from Seafood, and Grass-fed Beef. Make sure you choose wild-caught, sustainable varieties, and Grass-fed, Organic beef for the best nutritional punch. Both are higher in Omega-3 fatty acids, and high in protein as well.

healthy+fats, ketogenic+diet

Lassen’s carries many healthy fats in many forms and varieties — including brands such as Bulletproof, which are formulated to take advantage of the nutritional strengths of these fats. This is not a new bandwagon for us — Lassen’s has carried these nutritious and healthy (as well as delicious!) products since day one in 1971!  Come see our selection!

Love,

Lassen’s

bulk+almonds, organic+almonds, almond+butter, organic+almond+butter, yemetz+family+farms, organically+grown+almonds

Our Bulk Almonds are Local and Organic, too!

Brought to you by Yemetz Family Farms!

Lassen’s is committed to supporting organic and local farmers, and that applies to how we source our bulk items as well. A case in point is our bulk almonds, grown in the Central Valley of California.

bulk+almonds, organic+almonds, almond+butter, organic+almond+butter, yemetz+family+farms, organically+grown+almonds

A few of weeks ago I visited George Yemetz at his almond grove just north of our Fresno store. It was easy to know when I was at his farm when I saw almond trees with green underbrush. Most of the almond groves have bare ground all around, indicating that toxic weed killers have been applied all around the base of the trees. But organic groves are easy to spot!

bulk+almonds, organic+almonds, almond+butter, organic+almond+butter, yemetz+family+farms, organically+grown+almonds

Producers and manufacturers usually have amazing stories, and George sure does! His parents and grandparents fled Stalin’s Ukranian atrocities in the 1940’s, and settled in the Los Angeles area, where George was raised. Ukraine was known as the Bread Basket of Europe, so they were watching for agricultural opportunities. They had gardens in LA and around 1980 when the chance to buy farmland in the Fresno area appeared, they jumped at it. George learned all he could on his family farm, and in 1997 bought 12 acres of untilled land. He had a mentor that encouraged him to farm organically, so right from the start his almonds have been grown organically and sustainably. He has expanded his acreage by another 11 acres, and has his eyes open to further expansion in the future.

bulk+almonds, organic+almonds, almond+butter, organic+almond+butter, yemetz+family+farms, organically+grown+almonds

Almond trees live about 25-30 years, but don’t produce for a few years after planting. George said it took five years before he was able to break even, and the 2008 recession was difficult. Add California’s long drought into the mix, and needless to say it’s been a challenging decade for farmers, including Yemetz Family Farm. But George has been able to keep his trees healthy through a strong soil ammedment program (using the manure from an organic chicken ranch nearby), and his own well water. The groves are mowed every three weeks which helps keep the soil around the trees healthy and cooled.

bulk+almonds, organic+almonds, almond+butter, organic+almond+butter, yemetz+family+farms, organically+grown+almonds
If you’re wondering, yes, almonds and peaches are in the same family!

George grows two varieties of almonds — Carmel and Nonpareil. Nonpareil is the premier variety, but Carmel is harvested about a month later, making harvesting and processing more convenient. Both are wonderful almonds for all kinds of uses. Almonds are harvested by equipment that shakes the trees, then blowers and sweepers gather the almonds. They are processed by hulling and shelling, then these organic almonds are frozen to kill any moths or other pests. Yemetz almonds are never heated at all, so they are truly raw. 

In about 2007 there was a big almond processing operation that had an problem with salmonella, so laws and regulations were put in place that require pasteurization of all almonds. Most organics use steam pasteurization, but conventional operations use chemicals (!!) to pasturize their almonds. Ick! 

bulk+almonds, organic+almonds, almond+butter, organic+almond+butter, yemetz+family+farms, organically+grown+almonds

George is a true believer that we have a choice  — we can pay a bit more now for healthier, organic food, or we can pay the doctor later when our health suffers. It’s certainly a belief that we at Lassen’s share. We are proud to count on such a strong commitment from our farmers and producers to help us bring your family the Best of Everything Good! 

Look for our beautiful bulk almonds and Lassen’s brand Almond Butter, brought straight to you from Yemetz Family Farm!

Love,

Lassen’s

healthy+desserts, raw+desserts, raw+cheesecake, strawberry+cheesecake, vegan+cheesecake

Raw & Vegan Strawberry Cheesecake

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

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

Raw & Vegan Strawberry Cheesecake

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

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

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

Thanks Stephanie, you mad woman you! 🙂

raw+vegan, strawberry+cheesecake

 

Love,
 
Lassens
raw+beet+rolls, raw+recipes, beet+recipes, appetizer+recipes

Raw Beet Rolls

Want to Try Raw?  Here’s an Idea!

 
raw+beet+rolls, eating+raw
 

I’ve mentioned in a previous blog post about my Battle with the Beet when I featured the recipe for Love Beets All Brownies. Happily Beets won in the end.

This recipe from our Demo Captain, Stephanie, was one of the prettiest that I’ve seen so far.
Slightly resembling a dolma at first glace, The dark hunter green of the cucumber and red chard against the vivid magenta of the chopped beets makes this little snack as fun to look at as it was to eat!

raw+beet+rolls, eating+raw

 

RAW BEET ROLLS!

 

You’ll Need:

  •  1 bunch of organic red chard
  • 2 organic cucumbers
  • 1 organic beet
  • 1 organic garlic clove
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 1/2 tsp salt & pepper
  • 1/4 of an organic red onion
  • 1 Tb raw honey
  • 1 organic lemon (juiced)
lassensloves.com, raw+beet+rolls

 

Instructions:

  • Slice the chard leaves into long large strips. 
  • Blend Pecans in a food processor or blender into large crumbles. 
  • Scoop out center of cucumber and set aside. 
  • Cut beets into small pieces. 
  • Add all ingredients (except for pecan crumbled and outsides of cucumbers) into food processor and blend well. 
  • Place mixture into a large bowl and add the pecans and mix well. 
  • Cut cucmber skins into 1/2 inch slices. 
  • Using a cucumber slice, scoop up a good amount of beet mixture onto it. 
  • Wrap the chard strip around the cucumber & beet and skewer with a toothpick to secure.
 
lassensloves.com, raw+beet+rolls

We hope you enjoy!

Love,

Lassen’s

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

Instructions:

  • 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!
 
Love, 
               
Lassen’s