Category Archives: Treat

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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! 

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Flashback! Cooking as a Kid–or with one!

4-H In My Youth

I know that 4-H in this part of the country (and many others) means hogs and steers, but my introduction to 4-H was with a group of my girlfriends when I was about eight or nine.  One of the moms decided to start a 4-H club for us, so we spent lots of time at her house learning homemaking skills., Lassen's, Lassens, Cooking+with+Kids

Sounds old-fashioned, doesn’t it?

And I suppose it was.  But I was just having fun with my friends, learning some food basics, and gaining confidence in the kitchen.  I did lots of cooking with my mom so it wasn’t all that new to me, but I loved my 4-H time nonetheless., Lassen's, Lassens, Cooking+with+Kids

That 4-H Club experience helped me to not be afraid of being in the kitchen or of having my children in the kitchen with me.  So my kids regularly made salad or peeled vegetables or measured ingredients or made dessert.  They assisted with everything I was doing.   When they went off to college I knew they wouldn’t starve — or live on fast food — because they were comfortable in the kitchen., Lassen's, Lassens, Cooking+with+Kids

Some of my favorite phones calls when they were away at school were the ones that started, “Mom, how do you make…?” asking for a recipe.  (I always knew when it was one son’s turn to cook for his dinner group!), Lassen's, Lassens, Cooking+with+Kids

One of the keys to cooking with kids is to make it fun, not a chore.  Kids are much more likely to eat healthy foods when they have had a hand in growing, harvesting, shopping, and preparing the foods themselves. 

I always loved to eat this side dish when I was a kid, because I got to make the bunny face!, Lassen's, Lassens, Cooking+with+Kids

We didn’t have a lot of junk food around our house when I was growing up–no chips or sodas–but we always had the makings for this kind of a snack!, Lassen's, Lassens, Cooking+with+Kids

Invite your kids into the kitchen!  It will be fun for you and for them.  Teach them how to use the juicer and the blender, the oven and the stove.  Maybe you could be that mom who gets a bunch of giggly girls together to learn to be healthy gourmet cooks.  They will thank you some day!

I found a very simple kid-friendly hummus recipe here.  I think I’ll be making this recipe with my grandsons at Grandma Camp this year!  (They love to be in charge of turning the food processor on and off!)
Enjoy the kids in the kitchen!
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!
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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!

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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!
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!



lassen's+recipes, strawberry+rhubarb+cobbler, fruit+cobbler, fruit+crisp, dessert+recipes

Introductions… and Cobbler! Strawberry Rhubarb Crunch Cobbler to be exact!

Hey There! Welcome to the Lassen Loves, the official blog of Lassens Natural Foods and Vitamins!

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Before I delve deep into the sweet, and tangy magic that occurs when strawberries, rhubarb and other select ingredients collide, let me start out by giving you a little background on who we (Lassens Natural Foods Market ) are, and what this whole recipe swap is all about.
Hilmar and Oda Lassen opened the doors to Lassens in 1971 after coming to America from Denmark at the end of WWII. During the German occupation of Denmark, the couple risked their lives as part of the Danish Underground while simultaneously running a dairy store. They had always put their emphasis on the quality of life and knew that good food fuels a good life. They made it their goal to make good, organic, wholesome food available to their new community in Camarillo. Good food like organic raw milk, organic nuts and grains and fresh, organically grown local produce. As the minute hand spins, the hour hand twirls and the calendars jump on and off the walls like trained pups, new trends and findings in the health industry are constantly springing up and Lassens has always been able to rise to the challenge.

Real Foods Real Recipes is a way for all of us; the knowledgeable and the newbie, the master chef and the micro-waver, to share and explore the different ways to enjoy these good foods. Every day customers are purchasing products like coconut oil and organic cacao, but what happens at home once you put them together? That’s what I want to know!

Lassens+Art+Director, art+director

And who am I? I’m a Lassen’s team member who loves to eat real food. I started as a cashier in December of 2008 and I quickly fell in love with this new world that I had unknowingly sailed into. My thirst for knowledge led me into a position in supplements which is where I resided for the next two years. From this angle, I not only learned a lifetime’s worth of information about how to live a healthy lifestyle but also I began to look at food in a new way. Yes, Mom was not lying when she told me that vegetables were good for you… but what she failed to mention (or maybe just failed to demonstrate) is how amazing they could taste! I didn’t know fish didn’t HAVE to taste like the ocean and who knew that it was a natural source of essential fatty acids? I’ve since been promoted to a creative position whereI’ve been able to put my talents to use (along with my love to cook and my need to cook more) with the creation of this here blog! 

But enough about me. I’ve offered you sweet promises of cobbler, and I do not disappoint.
Be forewarned, once you take a bite you may turn into a different person. A person who lacks the rational and restraint of your former self. A person who does not know nor care how to put down a fork.
This is the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde of Cobbler and it is my very favorite desert.

I give you … Strawberry Rhubarb Crunch.

Rhubarb+Crisp, Strawberry+Rhubarb+Cobbler, Rhubarb+cobbler

You’ll Need:
-1 cup sugar (I used Wholesome Sweeteners organic sugar)
-3 Tb flour (try Arrowhead Mills organic pastry flour)
-3 cups sliced organic strawberries
-3 cups diced organic rhubarb 

-1/2 cups flour
(I did ¼ cup Arrowhead Mills organic pastry flour and ¼ cup Bob’s Red Mill organic coconut flour. The benefits of the coconut are seemingly endless. Plus it just smells and tastes amazing)
-1 cup packed brown sugar (try Wholesome Sweeteners organic dark brown sugar)
-1 cup butter (I went a vegan route and used Earth Balance vegan margarine*)
-1 cup rolled oats (try Bob’s Red Mill old fashioned rolled oats. )
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, sugar, 3Tb flour, strawberries and
rhubarb. Place in a 9 x 13 baking dish. Mix 1 1/2 cup flour, brown sugar, butter and oats until crumbly. Sprinkle brown sugar mixture on top of the rhubarb and strawberry mixture and bake for 45 minutes until topping is lightly browned! 
This is a recipe from my family that I felt needed to be shared with the world, which is exactly the point of this program. To come together as food lovers and curious cooks and share our favorite recipes with each other! How this works is if you would like to share your recipe please visit our Facebook discussion board for Lassen’s Real Food Real Recipes, which you can be directed to by simply clicking on the link (at the top of this blog) of the Lassens location nearest you. Please Include any information about yourself and your dish that you’d like everyone to know. If you would like your picture in the blog or recipe card, please feel free to share that as well. I will go through all the recipes and cook, photograph and blog about the winning dishes and their amazing authors. The chosen recipes will also be featured at every Lassen’s location as free recipe cards on our Holiday displays.This program is all about our community. If you love your community and love good, wholesome food then please feel free to impart your knowledge to Lassen’s Real Food Real Recipes! And please enjoy the cobbler.

Love, Lassen’s 

Written by Mykey