Category: brunch

Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Cake \\ Sweet Laurel

For many, Valentine’s Day equals chocolate, right? This year, I asked Nick what he would like his ultimate Valentine’s Day treat to be. If you remember from last year’s Pink Heart Cake, you know Valentine cakes are my thing! This year Nick wanted a chocolate cake, filled with delicious fresh raspberry. And here you have it! Our delicious and decadent Raspberry Truffle Cake! Completely grain-free, refined sugar-free and dairy-free! Enjoy and Happy Valentine’s Day!

Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Cake \\ Sweet Laurel

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Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Cake \\ Sweet Laurel

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Decadent Chocolate Layer Cake with Raspberry infused Ganache

A Valentine’s Day Cake


 

Ingredients:


 

For the cake

2 1/2 cups almond flour

1/4 cup cacao

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt

2 eggs

3/4 cup maple syrup

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

For the ganache

8 ounces/266 grams Unsweetened 100% baking chocolate

1/2 cup coconut oil

1/4 cup maple syrup

3/4 cup coconut milk

1 cup raspberries, gently smashed, plus extra for garnish

Optional raspberry spread (for garnish)*

2 cups raspberries

3 tablespoons maple syrup

1 tablespoon lemon juice


 

Directions:


 

To make the cake

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease one 8-9 inch pan or two 6 inch pans with coconut oil.

Mix almond flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Add eggs, maple syrup, and vanilla. Stir until batter forms. Pour into prepared pans.

Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

To make ganache

In a double boiler or a heavy saucepan over low heat, melt baking chocolate and coconut oil. When completely smooth, remove from heat and pour in maple syrup, coconut milk, and raspberries. Gently stir and allow to sit a room temperature until you are ready to frost your cake.

To build the cake

When your cakes are completely cool, place on a layer on a cake plate and smooth about 3-4 tablespoons of ganache over the first layer. Repeat with the second layer. Add optional berries spread and garnish with fresh berries!

*To make optional raspberry spread

Place raspberries, maple syrup and lemon juice in saucepan, and then cook on low for about 10-20 minutes, gently smashing down berries as the mixture cooks. Allow mixture to simmer additional 10 -15 minutes, and then remove from heat. Garnish cake with complete cool raspberry mixture.

Enjoy!

Sweet Potato Sliders \\ Sweet Laurel

Super Bowl Sunday is just around the corner and I’m dreaming of last year’s Nachos !! I will definitely be making those, and also my new favorite: Sweet Potato Sliders! These are the ultimate game day special, and an easy and healthy make ahead dish! It’s a slam dunk, or should we say touch down??!! 😉 Enjoy!

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Sweet Potato Sliders \\ Sweet Laurel

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Ingredients:

4-8 sweet potatoes

2 tablespoons coconut oil or avocado oil

1 cup cashews

1/2 cup coconut milk

1 tablespoon lemon or lime

1/2 teaspoon salt (divided)

Pinch of cayenne or chipotle

To garnish- chopped peppers and cilantro


 

Directions:

Allow cashews to soak in 3 cups of water for about 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 420 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare sweet potatoes by washing the outsides and poking the outside of the sweet potato with a fork all around the potato. About 4-5 pokes per potato will do.

Cut sweet potatoes in half. Brush the underside of each sweet potatoes with coconut or avocado oil. Place the prepared potatoes on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or foil, then place in preheated oven. Bake for 1 hour – 1.5 hours, until sweet potatoes are nice and soft.

Meanwhile, finish the cashew creme. After the cashews have soaked for about an hour, remove the cashews from the refrigerator. Pour the cashews into a high-speed blender or food processor, but do not toss the liquid just yet. You may need this during the processing. Combine the coconut milk, lemon and remaining salt in the blender. Blend the cashew creme on full speed until completely smooth, about 1-2 minutes. If the mixture is too thick, add a bit of the soaking liquid, blending until desired consistency is reached. Pour the cashew creme into a container and store in

Combine the coconut milk, lemon and remaining salt in the blender. Blend the cashew creme on full speed until completely smooth, about 1-2 minutes. If the mixture is too thick, add a bit of the soaking liquid, blending until desired consistency is reached. Pour the cashew creme into a container and store in refrigerator until serving time.

When ready to serve, place sweet potatoes on a platter and drizzle cashew creme over potatoes. Sprinkle with chopped peppers and cilantro.

Paleo Energy Bites \\ Sweet Laurel

Mom needs energy! That’s something I’ve learned these past 11 months with the Nico boy! It usually happens like this: Baby is hungry, and you are hungry… At the same time. The only problem is mom only has one hand, because she’s feeding baby with the other hand (breastfeeding, bottle, spoon, etc). I designed this recipes for all the mamas out there! You can pop these into your mouth with one hand! I like to make a batch and keep them in my fridge for snacking when necessary! Hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

Paleo Energy Bites \\ Sweet Laurel

Paleo Energy Bites \\ Sweet Laurel

Paleo Energy Bites \\ Sweet Laurel

Paleo Energy Bites \\ Sweet Laurel

Paleo Energy Bites

Yields about 12 balls


Ingredients:

1/2 cup hemp seeds

1/2 cup collagen protein

1 cup almond butter

3/4 cup shredded coconut, plus extra for coating

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

3 tablespoons chia seeds

2 tablespoons date paste or 3­-4 dates, pitted

Optional: 1 tablespoon cacao nibs


Directions:

Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.

Use a tablespoon to scoop 1 tablespoon at a time from batter and form into balls. Coat with remaining coconut shreds.

Refrigerate or freeze for up to 3 months

Thai Slow Cooker Chicken \\ Sweet Laurel

It’s that time of year when we want to cuddle up at the end of a long day with a bowl of soup. It’s nice when it’s soup you don’t have to fuss over, like this recipe for Thai Chicken in the Crock Pot! By far, this is my favorite slow cooker recipe of the year. I’ve made this twice this year for dinner parties, it’s that good! I like to serve it in a bowl with some sautéed cauliflower rice topped with avocado and cilantro! Enjoy.

Thai Slow Cooker Chicken \\ Sweet Laurel

Thai Slow Cooker Chicken \\ Sweet Laurel

Thai Slow Cooker Chicken \\ Sweet Laurel

Thai Slow Cooker Chicken \\ Sweet Laurel

Thai Slow Cooker Chicken


 

Ingredients:

8 boneless skinless chicken thighs

1 tablespoon Thai curry paste

1/4 cup almond or cashew butter

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon coriander

1 tablespoon coconut aminos or soy sauce

1 tablespoon honey (optional)

2 tablespoon freshly sliced ginger

4 kaffir lime leaves

4 stalks lemongrass, chopped into 2-inch pieces

2 carrots, slices

1 cup sweet potato, chopped

2 cups coconut milk

1/4 cup lime juice

Optional garnish:

chopped thai basil

chopped cilantro

chopped chilies

lime wedges

sliced avocado


 

Directions:

In a blender, mix the curry paste, nut butter, paprika, coriander, coconut aminos, honey, fresh ginger and coconut milk. Pour mixture into Crockpot, followed by chicken, vegetables, lemongrass and kefir lime leaves. Set Slow Cooker to ‘STEW’ phase and cook for four hours, or until chicken thighs are cooked through. If you cook too long, they will fall apart and get stringy.

After four hours, remove the lid and allow the pot to cool for about 5 minutes. Pour in lime juice and stir.

Serve with garnishes. Enjoy!

Grain Free Overnight Oats \\ Sweet Laurel

This is a spin off the ever popular ‘overnight oat’ breakfast scenario, minus the oats! I feel best eating 100% grain free, and all our recipes and baked goods at Sweet Laurel are grain free in entirety. This recipe uses shredded coconut and chia, making a delicious and nutritious breakfast, even Nico loves it!

Overnight Oats \\ Sweet Laurel

Overnight Oats \\ Sweet Laurel

Overnight Oats \\ Sweet Laurel

Overnight Oats \\ Sweet Laurel

Paleo/Grain-Free Overnight Oats 


 

Ingredients:

1/2 cup chia seeds

3/4 cup hemp hearts

1 cup shredded coconut

2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon ginger

1 teaspoon Sweet Laurel Vanilla Extract

1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup (or other sweetener of choice)

1 cup organic coconut milk

1 cup hot water (at least 200 degrees)


 

Directions:

Mix chia seeds, hemp hearts and shredded coconut in a medium-sized bowl. Sprinkle in cinnamon, ginger, vanilla extract and sweetener of choice. Add hot water and stir. Add coconut milk and allow to sit in fridge overnight or for at least 8 hours.

Sprinkle with gogi berries, mulberries, shredded coconut flakes, bee pollen or even extra hemp hearts! Serve with superfood toppings and enjoy.

Cranberry Kombucha Mocktail \\ Sweet Laurel

Mocktails are sometimes necessary. We love making fun mocktails that are pregnant mama and kid approved! Try different flavors of your favorite kombucha to mix it up a bit.

Kombucha Cocktail \\ Sweet Laurel

Kombucha Cocktail \\ Sweet Laurel

Kombucha Cocktail \\ Sweet Laurel

Kombucha Cocktail \\ Sweet Laurel

Cranberry Kombucha Mocktail


 

Ingredients:

1 quart unsweetened cranberry juice, refrigerated

1 quart freshly squeezed orange juice, refrigerated

1 bottle of your favorite kombucha

To garnish:

Frozen cranberries

Orange


 

Directions:

Pour a bit of cranberry juice, orange juice, and kombucha in a cocktail shaker and shake for 1 minute. Pour into cocktail glass and top with frozen cranberries and freshly sliced oranges.

Turkey Hash \\ Sweet Laurel

I’m always looking for a way to use all the turkey after Thanksgiving. This is such a delicious way to use up your holiday leftovers, and something all your loved ones will enjoy. Nick and I have really enjoyed this dish for breakfast, lunch, AND dinner. It is just one of those dishes that tastes even better the next day. Enjoy!

Turkey Hash \\ Sweet Laurel

Turkey Hash \\ Sweet Laurel

Turkey Hash \\ Sweet Laurel

Turkey Hash \\ Sweet Laurel

Turkey Hash

4 servings 


 

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons grass-fed butter, coconut oil or avocado oil

4 cups cooked shredded turkey or cooked ground turkey

2 large sweet potatoes, shredded ( l like to use white hannah sweet potatoes)

2 teaspoons Himalayan pink salt

2 teaspoons coriander

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon paprika

pinch cayenne pepper optional


 

Directions:

In a heavy duty pot, melt your grass-fed butter or coconut oil, or heat your avocado oil.

Add shredded sweet potato, salt to the pot and gently saute for about 10 minutes. Stir constantly.

Add all the spices and the cooked turkey. Stir and continue to heat. Serve.

Best Sweet Potato Fries Ever \\ Sweet Laurel

I tricked Nick with these fries. He used to think sweet potatoes were one the nastiest things ever (can you imagine?). Now these fries are his side of choice. A few years into our marriage and I had enough with the anti-sweet potato antics. I decided to make a batch of fries using white sweet potatoes, which look almost identical to regular potatoes and see if he’d notice a difference. Is that mean? Well, see if you can tell the difference. Bake these up and you’ll see (and taste) why!

Best Sweet Potato Fries Ever \\ Sweet Laurel

Best Sweet Potato Fries Ever \\ Sweet Laurel

Best Sweet Potato Fries Ever \\ Sweet Laurel

Best Sweet Potato Fries Ever \\ Sweet Laurel

Yields 4 servings


 

Ingredients:

4 pounds sweet potatoes (I use the white ‘Hannah’ or ‘Japanese’ sweet potatoes)

1/4 cup coconut oil (melted) or avocado oil

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 -2 tablespoons Bragg Organic Sprinkle Seasoning or Italian Seasoning (blend of oregano, basil, thyme, sage, rosemary and marjoram)

1 -2 teaspoons garlic powder

1 tablespoon Himalayan pink salt

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper


 

Directions:

Preheat oven 420 convection.

Prepare a cookie sheet by lining it with parchment paper. This makes for an easy clean up!

Wash sweet potatoes and cut in half, then cut into strips.

Place fries in bowl with remaining ingredients and toss to coat. Put cut potatoes on prepared cookie sheet.

Bake at 425 convection for 40 minutes. Halfway through baking, scrap from pan with spatula and continue to bake.

After 40 minutes, remove from oven and enjoy!

***You can prep a day or two before, place the marinated fries in a sealed container, and bake 40 minutes before you plan to serve.

Our Favorite Chia Seed Pudding \\ Sweet Laurel

 

 

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School is back in session, and it is time for a quick and easy breakfast classic. Our favorite chia seed pudding is simple and nutritious. We start with delicious and organic coconut cream. Coconut cream is the solid coconut fat that firm up at the top of canned coconut milk. You can find canned Coconut Cream at grocery stores now with higher percentages of fat, and lower percentages of coconut milk, yielding more creamy deliciousness. If you cannot find coconut cream, feel free to use good canned coconut milk, with no additives. Simply scoop the solids from the top of the can for your use in this recipe.

And back to the chia seed pudding… I said it was simple, and I mean it’s simple! We mix the coconut cream with chia, slightly mashed berries, raw honey and lemon juice to create a satisfying and delightful breakfast or even a special after dinner treat!

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Our Favorite Chia Seed Pudding

Serves 2

1 cup refrigerated coconut cream* (Lets Do Organic and Trader Joe’s both have delicious organic canned Coconut Creams)

1/2 cup fresh blueberries and raspberries, lightly smashed

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon raw honey (optional)

3 tablespoons chia seeds

1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)

In a bowl, stir together all ingredients until well mixed. Pour into two 4 ounce glass jars and cover with lid. Store in fridge overnight. Serve with extra berries. Enjoy within 3 days.

* I always keep my coconut cream in the refrigerator. This is because I make a lot of coconut whipped cream and coconut yogurt. These recipes work better when the coconut is solid and not liquid. Refrigerating coconut milk causes the fat to rise to the top of the can and solidify.

What’s In My Fridge \\ Sweet Laurel

I love this interview I did with The Chalkboard Mag! They took a look in my fridge and I got to share a little about my love of all things Sweet Laurel! One thing that’s apparent here, is that I’m a veggie lover! Yes, I know Sweet Laurel is all about sweets, but let me introduce you to savory Laurel! I sure eat my fair share of veggies. If you have any questions about some of my go – to’s, leave them in the comments! xo, Laurel

What's In My Fridge \\ Sweet Laurel

What's In My Fridge \\ Sweet Laurel

What's In My Fridge \\ Sweet Laurel

What's In My Fridge \\ Sweet Laurel

FOOD PHILOSOPHY IN ONE SENTENCE:

Eat wholesome yet delicious food every day.


 

ALWAYS IN MY FRIDGE:

Kale, coconut, chocolate, and crudité.


 

7 RECIPE STAPLES ALWAYS ON HAND:

For my recipes, pretty much any of them can be made if you have almond flour, coconut oil, Himalayan pink salt, 100% maple syrup, organic eggs, coconut milk, and cacao.


 

MUST-HAVE MUNCHIES:

I am into accessible veggies: half an avocado, cut up celery, cucumber, carrots and cooked sweet potatoes. I am not a big snacker, but I am a big vegetable eater!


 

FAVE CONDIMENTS:

Our all-time favorite condiment is Sweet Laurel vegan caramel! Other condiments on the savory side I enjoy are Primal Kitchen Foods mayo and Kerrygold butter. Yes, butter. I developed a strong craving for it during my pregnancy, and I’ve been tolerating it well, so I enjoy it in moderation.


 

INGREDIENT THAT MAKES EVERYTHING TASTE BETTER:

When I cook, I love to use some delicious savory staples like garlic, Himalayan pink salt, apple cider vinegar and fun things like cayenne pepper. When I bake, a balance of moisture enriching, yet nutrient-dense ingredients make everything taste better. I work with five core ingredients at Sweet Laurel: almond flour, coconut oil, 100% maple syrup, organic eggs, and Himalayan pink salt. These are my star ingredients and the secret to a delicious grain-free, refined sugar-free and dairy-free treat that tastes delicious!


 

GO-TO PROTEINS:

Organic eggs, wild-caught fish, organic chicken, turkey, and beef.


 

BEST BARGAIN:

I buy in bulk whenever I can through health food stores and co-ops. This is great for spices, organic nuts and other frequently used items and pricier items.


 

BEST LABEL-READING TIP:

I always check for whole-food ingredients. If the foods originate from earth and are used in their natural form, I’m good with them.


 

FAVE VEGGIE + WHAT YOU MAKE WITH IT:

This changes, but currently I’m obsessed with making kale chips in the oven. It takes just a few minutes, and my salty, crunchy craving is usually taken care of shortly thereafter.


 

MUST-HAVE PANTRY STAPLES:

Sweet Laurel vanilla extract. We make our own, grain- and gluten-free, with tequila!


 

CRAZIEST THING I BUY:

The $30 coconut yogurt. Jam packed with probiotics, a little goes a long way. I’m definitely addicted.


 

SWEETS AND OTHER INDULGENCES:

I indulge in 100% cacao from Chocovivo every day. It is not a sweet per se, but an indulgence for sure. Made from cacao beans and stone ground into chocolate right here in Los Angeles.


 

DAIRY OR NON-DAIRY FAVES:

Like I said, hooked on coconut yogurt.


 

SKIP LABELS THAT READ:

‘High-fructose corn syrup,’ ‘cane sugar,’ etc.


 

FAVORITE SPLURGE:

I love supporting small food businesses. From time to time I will go to natural food stores and just pick up a few random food products, just to try them out!


 

FOR LAST MINUTE ENTERTAINING:

I whip up my snickerdoodles! Just five ingredients and delicious.


 

FAVORITE PLACES TO SHOP:

Erewhon Natural Foods, Rainbow Acres.


 

SIMPLE GO-TO RECIPE:

My brownies. Topped with our vegan caramel, you’re instantly in dessert heaven.


 

BEST FOOD MEMORY:

Making banana bread with my mom when I was five or six. I remember tasting the batter and being instantly hooked!

 

(Photo credit: Elsie Dardon)