3 Salsa Recipes to Dip Into This Summer
 
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In certain ways, chips are solitary creatures, incomplete until their fateful dunk into the right dip. Our line of stone ground tortilla chips, Las Fortunitas, is no exception. These lightly salted beauties, love company and play well with even the thickest of guacamoles. So with the summer barbeque season in full swing, we offer you three companions to the lonely chip—one mild, one medium, and one bold (intensely bold). May your chips find their match.

Let’s dive in.


The Mild

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For our version of the mango salsa, we opted for adding both fresh and roasted jalapeno peppers, to ensure a depth of both flavor and texture. To keep this version mild, remove the seeds and veins from the inside of your jalapenos, or leave them in to enjoy some extra heat.




Ingredients:

  • 2 large mangoes diced

  • 1 jalapeno diced

  • 1 jalapeno roasted and diced

  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes diced

  • 2 tbsp red onion finely chopped

  • 1 tbsp cilantro

  • 1 lime juiced

  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

This mango salsa requires no more assembly than a quick toss of ingredients, but it can also be easily turned into a thick puree with just a few pulses in a food processor. Look for firm, slightly unripe mangoes if you fancy the traditional pico style variation (for the added tartness and crunch), or opt for ripe mangoes if making the puree. 

Store in airtight container, refrigerated for up to one week.


The Medium

What brings this variation of yet another avocado salsa to life is the serrano pepper. Smaller, but more potent than the popular jalapeno, serrano peppers help add an extra kick of heat to this otherwise tempered salsa. Likewise, tomatillos add a delicious tang not found in red tomatoes, along with providing a beautiful green hue.




Ingredients:

  • 4 roasted serrano peppers

  • 1 roasted jalapeno pepper

  • 2 tomatillos

  • ½ cup cilantro

  • 1 large avocado

  • 2 roasted garlic cloves

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  • ½ lime juiced

  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Begin by roasting the garlic and peppers until they become soft. Next, boil your tomatillos until they become soft and darken in color—you will know when they are done when froth begins to form near the surface of your pot. 

Add the roasted garlic cloves, peppers, cilantro, olive oil, and drained tomatillos to a food processor or high powered blender, and combine. Next add the juice of half a lime and one large avocado, continue blending (stopping to scrape the sides of your food processor or blender as needed) until a thick paste begins to form. Taste, season, mix and re-taste until your taste buds are content.  

Serve immediately or cover the surface with cling film and store in the refrigerator for up to two days.  


The Bold:

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Habaneros. Roasted habaneros, need we say more? These tiny peppers are known for their intense heat, but underneath that they boast a distinctive flavor. So, we chose to play down the supporting cast of ingredients in order to let these fiery veggies shine through. 




Ingredients:

  • 3 roasted habanero peppers

  • 2 large tomatoes

  • 2 large roasted garlic cloves

  • ½ lime juiced

  • ¼ cup red onion

  • ¼ cup cilantro

  • ¼ cup water

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Once the habanero peppers and garlic are roasted, add all ingredients to a food processor or high-powered blender and pulse until combined. Ensure that no large chunks of tomato or garlic remain. Season to taste—carefully! Like with our other salsas, we suggesting tasting with the help of a few chips since they themselves are lightly salted. 

Serve immediately or store in an airtight container, refrigerated for up to one week.


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Remember to pick up a bag of our Las Fortunitas stone ground tortilla chips at your local Costco!

— Best Express Staff

 
Carolina Diaz
Which One of Our Pastries Are You?
 
 
Auzeen Abdi-Mendoza
Paleo + Plant Based Key Lime Cheesecake
 
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Desserts make the little hearts of our BEF staff smile; we just can’t get enough of them. So naturally, we found a way to transform our fan-favorite Paleo Bites and Bars into a photo-ready treat. Our “cheesecake” uses all plant-based ingredients, is easy to put together, and can be made well ahead of time—perfect for your next summer BBQ or family get together.

This recipe comes together in three simple steps: prep, blend, and freeze. The only tools you will need to assemble it are a food processor or high-powered blender, and a 9-inch spring form pan.


INGREDIENTS

For the crust:

  • 1 cup or 6 oz of Paleo Bites or Paleo Bars broken up into small pieces

  • 1 cup of raw pecans

  • 2 large medjool dates pitted

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

For the filling:

  • 4 cups raw cashews soaked overnight (~3 cups presoaked)

  • 1 cup key lime juice

  • 2/3 cup coconut milk

  • 2/3 cup maple syrup


A quick note: Key limes—the kid brother of the larger, more readily available green lime—are not crucial to this recipe, but we highly recommend them. If you are unable to find key limes, look for key lime juice instead. Most specialty food stores will carry it, but we found a foolproof way of locating it is to head to your local spirit and wine store as it is used in a variety of different cocktails.

DIRECTIONS

Prep: Soak 3ish cups of raw cashews in water overnight. That’s it—prep phase is done.

Blend: In a food processor or high-powered blender, combine the ingredients needed for the crust and pulse a few times before running it. Keep your eye on the crust mixture as you’ll begin to see it sticking together. Turn off the processor and scrape down the sides using a spatula. Let it run once more for a minute or two. You will then press the Paleo Bite or Bar mixture into the bottom of your springform pan, making sure it is compact and carries slightly up the sides. Store the pan in the refrigerator while you make the filling.

(you’ll probably have to wash the vessel to your food processor or blender before moving forward)

Next, combine and blend all ingredients for the filling until the mixture is smooth. Pour the batter over the Paleo crust. Lightly tap the pan to remove any air bubbles that may have formed.

Freeze: After covering your cheesecake in foil or plastic wrap, place it on a level surface in your freezer to sit overnight. Remove and enjoy within the hour.


And there you have it, a no-fuss, plant-based cheesecake that also happens to be both Paleo and delicious.


Need a restock on some Paleo Bites or Bars? Order them here!



Peace, Love, and Paleo Bites,

-Best Express Staff

 
Auzeen Abdi-Mendoza
5 Coffee Blends to Pair With Our Pastries
 
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Here at Best Express Foods, the love for coffee percolates deep. We grind, we brew, and we sip our way through the week, trying a variety of flavors as we go. But the world of coffee can quickly turn technical, and carry along with it an air of pretentiousness that can turn most average drinkers off. We believe, that like our products, good coffee should be for everyone, not just for those that know the proper ratio of espresso to hot milk is 1:3 (don’t worry, we had to Google that).

In that spirit, our staff taste tested a variety of coffees to bring you the best recommendations. Prepare to move from good to great, as we share our favorite ways to enjoy our bites and bars with a good ol’ cup of joe.

A quick, mandatory disclaimer: We are not coffee connoisseurs, instead, we are normal people who one day tasted coffee and fell in love. Our staff is diverse in their coffee preferences; some need cream and sugar, while others take it black. These recommendations are not brand or price tag specific, and can just as easily be applied to coffees found near you. In addition, all of the products mentioned below were purchased by our staff members, and all links below are non-affiliated.

Organic Coconut Bites + Verve coffee

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For warm summer mornings we suggest pairing our Organic Coconut Bites with a light, yet lively cold brew. Look for roasts with complimentary flavors like coconut, tropical fruit, or for added richness, chocolate. Our favorite from this category is Verve’s Seabright Blend, which can easily be lightened up with a splash of coconut milk or creamer for those not used to drinking their coffee black.

Petite Cinnamon Rolls + Passenger coffee

Because our Petite Cinnamon Rolls are as sweet as they are cute, we recommend a strong, no-fuss coffee. To keep things from turning cloyingly sweet, seek out medium to dark roasts that still boast nuanced flavors. For those not partial to sweet coffee, enjoy this roast black, otherwise the creamer of choice sans sweetener are enough A good choice is Passenger’s Stowaway blend, which includes notes of browning sugars and cocoa.

Dulce De Leche + Stumptown coffee

For our most delicate—yet rich—treat, we thought it crucial to find a coffee that would balance well in both sweetness and boldness. We recommend medium to dark roasts with caramel and brown sugar notes, as these will complement the existing sweetness in our pastry even when served with milk. We especially liked Stumptown’s Holler Mountain Blend, but found that the staff enjoyed most dark roasts and our Dulce De Leche Delights when paired with half and half.

Organic Biscotti + novo coffee

Made for dipping, this pastry calls for a ripe espresso that will stand up well to milk. Whether you choose our almond or organic variety with dried fruits, look for an espresso with full flavor. Otherwise, you may end up with an overly sweet mouthful and an equally sweet beverage to wash it down. Our pick, Novo Espresso Del Fuego, features notes of toasted caramel and nuts.


Organic Aussie Bites + onyx coffee

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To best bring out the layered flavors in our Aussie Bites, we suggest a sweet, yet fruity coffee. The easiest way to find one is to look for roasts that are Honey processed—though we must note that there is no actual honey in this coffee at all—as the results are often both fruity and sweet. Onyx Coffee’s Colombia Aponte Village is an excellent choice, with notes of honey, cherry and fig. This was the easiest for our team to sip without sugar or sweetener, (some folks described it as having an almost “tea like” quality) but it is equally good with the creamer of your choice—just go easy on the sugar or try honey instead!


Remember….

As a general rule, it is best to both balance and bring out the flavor of the snack you’re enjoying. Look at ingredients, read labels, and think back to what your palate likes best; are you partial to sweets, do you dig the kick of a strong earthy coffee, or are you somewhere in between? Follow your taste buds and you can do no wrong.

Enjoy the tasting process and don’t forget to pick up some of our bites and bars for your next brew by visiting our shop or your local grocery store.

Peace, Love and Coffee Sips,

- Best Express Staff

 
Auzeen Abdi-Mendoza
All About Aussie Bites
 

Somewhere along the cookie/muffin spectrum, the Aussie Bite sits in a category all of its own. With origins in granola territory and health bar characteristics, this little morsel dares to go where others snacks won’t—that coveted place between healthy and delicious.

Born of Best Express Foods owner Jesus Mendoza’s passion for baking, the Aussie Bite journey dates back to the early 2000’s. Although the company dabbled in the baked goods industry since 1996, Mr. Mendoza found success with the chip and tortilla line, Las Fortunitas—most notably the five-pound chip bags that have been a staple in northern California Costco Wholesale Warehouses for years. But serendipity struck in the form of access to better baking equipment; Mr. Mendoza took the opportunity to dive back into his love of baking and began developing the first batch of Aussie Bites. Having always been a fan of the Aznac, a traditional biscuit with Australian roots, he set out to make a healthier alternative.

Fiber and omega-3 rich flax seeds were added for their many health benefits—fiber is known for aiding digestion and omega-3 is touted as a remedy for everything from depression to high cholesterol. Dried apricots were a high vitamin, low glycemic index solution for added sweetness, meanwhile coconut was added as a source of healthy saturated fats.

The first Aussie Bites label

The first Aussie Bites label

Updated label design and recipe — now organic!

Updated label design and recipe — now organic!

When the Aussie Bite first became available, primarily at Costco Wholesale Warehouses, there really wasn’t anything like it. It filled a cookie/muffin hybrid shaped hole in a snack market saturated by crunchy granola bars and sugary pastries. While it found a happy home in that void of the snack market, Best Express Foods looked to fill the affordable healthy snack market as well. Too many high-priced snacks crammed the shelves of specialty food stores, the sort of places the average family looking for a bargain were unlikely to visit. This is why it was decided that the Aussie Bite be simply packaged and moderately priced; consumers needn’t inherit the cost of marketing and advertising to enjoy a healthy snack. So the Aussie Bite became the true bang for the buck and the rest is history.

So what does an Aussie Bite taste like? The current iteration of the Aussie Bite, which is now certified organic and available here, is like the better looking sibling of an oatmeal muffin and the winner of a health bar pageant. It crumbles by design at first bite, packs an oats and honey flavored punch, and is then rounded out by crunchy flax seeds and delicious dried fruit. The more you eat, the more you discover flavor-wise!

Ready to experience? Pick up a pack and tell us what you think!

Peace, Love, and Aussie Bites,

— Best Express Staff

Looking for Aussie Bites near you? Visit our Where to Find page here!

 
Carolina Diaz