Category: winter

Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies \\ Sweet Laurel

In my humble opinion, a cookie party is not a cookie party without a Raspberry Thumbprint Cookie!  My dear friend and partner at Sweet Laurel hosts a festive holiday cookie swap every year.  You can be sure I’m bringing these cookies this year! Complete with our homemade, refined sugar-free jam, this cookie satisfies the sweet tooth and is healthy as a vegan and paleo cookie can be!

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Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies


 

Ingredients:

Cookie dough

2 cups almond flour

1/4 cup coconut oil (melted)

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt

Jam

2 cups raspberries

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons maple syrup

Preheat oven to 350. Prepare a cookie sheet by lining with parchment paper.


 

Directions:

First, prepare the jam:

Place all ingredients for jam in sauce pan and cook raspberries with the maple syrup and lemon while gently smashing berries. Allow berry mixture to come to a soft simmer for about 5 minutes. Continue to gently simmer for about 20 minutes. Jam should be thick. Set as aside and allow to cool.

While jam is cooling, prepare cookie dough.

Place almond flour, maple syrup, coconut oil, baking soda, salt, vanilla extract and cinnamon in a bowl. Stir gently. Scoop 1-2 tablespoons of batter from bowl, and form into a ball. Place cookie dough on prepared sheet. Press thumb into cookie dough ball. Fill imprint with jam. Repeat with remaining dough and jam.

Bake cookies 8-10 minutes until golden brown and jam is bubbling. Allow to cool 10 minutes.  You can finish the cookies with extra jam on top if you’d like.

Festive Cacao + Coconut Butter Bark \\ Sweet Laurel

I just love coconut butter (sometimes called coconut manna) and use it as a frosting most of the time. Today, we’re using coconut butter to make this delicious Festive Cacao + Coconut Butter Bark! The fun thing about this recipe you can add peppermint essential oil to make it taste festive, or add dehydrated raspberries to make it look festive! If you aren’t a coconut butter person,  sub in white chocolate. Enjoy!

Raspberry Coconut Butter Bark \\ Sweet Laurel

Raspberry Coconut Butter Bark \\ Sweet Laurel

Raspberry Coconut Butter Bark \\ Sweet Laurel

Raspberry Coconut Butter

Yields one 8 x 8 sheet of chocolate


Ingredients:

1 cup coconut butter

1/2 cup coconut or almond milk

4 oz 100 % cacao baking chocolate

1/4 cup maple syrup (divided)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Optional:

1 cup freeze dried raspberries, finely chopped

1 small drop peppermint essential oil

 


 

Directions: 

In a saucepan, place coconut butter over very low heat, or over a double boiler. As the coconut butter melts into a liquid, slowly stir almond or coconut milk. If the coconut butter turns brown, it has overheated, so try and keep your stove at its lowest setting.  Off heat, add the 3 tablespoons of maple syrup. If you don’t want your bark too sweet, feel free to leave the maple syrup out. (I prefer it sans maple syrup). Once the mixture reaches a pourable consistency, spread mixture onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Spread evenly over the parchment.

Working quickly, melt the 100% cacao baking chocolate over low heat. Slowly add 3-4 tablespoon maple syrup. This is where you can optionally add the peppermint oil to make a peppermint flavored bark. Take care not to add too much peppermint however.

Dollop one tablespoon of chocolate over coconut butter mixture. I like to do three rows of four round dollops. Using the back of a spoon, spread the chocolate into the coconut butter mixture, making a fun, swirly design. Top the bark with finely chopped freeze dried raspberries. Place in fridge until completely firm, then cut into squares. Keep in fridge or freezer until serving.

Maple Roasted Butternut Squash with Cashew Creme and Pomegranate \\ Sweet Laurel

Fall in a dish! Here’s our take on a classic roasted butternut squash. As you know, we like to keep it simple at Sweet Laurel, and here we let the flavors of the butternut squash shine amongst delicious cashew creme, pomegranate seeds and a dash of fresh parsley.

Maple Roasted Butternut Squash with Cashew Creme and Pomegranate \\ Sweet Laurel

Maple Roasted Butternut Squash with Cashew Creme and Pomegranate \\ Sweet Laurel

Maple Roasted Butternut Squash with Cashew Creme and Pomegranate \\ Sweet Laurel

Maple Roasted Butternut Squash with Cashew Creme and Pomegranate \\ Sweet Laurel

Maple Roasted Butternut Squash with Cashew Creme and Pomegranate


 

Ingredients:

1-2 butternut squash

1 cup cashews

1/2 cup coconut milk

1 tablespoon lemon

1/2 teaspoon salt (divided)

2 tablespoons coconut oil

1 tablespoon maple syrup (optional)

1/2 cup pomegranate

1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)

Chopped parsley for garnish


 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400.

Place cashews in a bowl with 2 cups of filtered water. Set in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours to soak.

Prepare butternut squash by washing the outside, cutting them in half and de-seeding. Lightly salt the squashes with 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Rub the flesh of the squash with coconut oil. Optional: you can add cinnamon & maple syrup here for added flavor. 

Place butternut squash cut side down on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Roast for 1 hour, then remove pan from oven and allow them to cool.

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 refrigerator until serving time.

To serve, place butternut squash cut side up on plate. Drizzle cashew creme over squash, then sprinkle with pomegranate seeds and parsley. Enjoy!

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.

My Favorite Maternity Dresses \\ Sweet Laurel

I’m a dress kind of girl, so I needed to find my go-to swaps when I got pregnant. I discovered some amazing brands in the process with each embodying a completely different style.

My Favorite Maternity Dresses \\ Sweet Laurel
My Favorite Maternity Dresses \\ Sweet Laurel
My Favorite Maternity Dresses \\ Sweet Laurel
My Favorite Maternity Dresses \\ Sweet Laurel
My Favorite Maternity Dresses \\ Sweet Laurel
My Favorite Maternity Dresses \\ Sweet Laurel
My Favorite Maternity Dresses \\ Sweet Laurel

Style #1 The Baby Shower Dress

This whimsical dress is called ‘I Believe In Unicorns’ by Fillyboom Maternity. This dreamy gown has a vintage yet romantic feel, and I loved how I could get my fix wearing this particular style genre while pregnant. The details on this dress are my favorite. The back has a beautiful tassel tie, and embroidery covering the whole dress!

Style #2 The Boss Lady Dress

This dress was the standard for meetings and all of the other times when I needed to look presentable and put together. It is by Seraphine Maternity, which is a London-based brand that outfits fabulous ladies like Princess Kate. I know this sounds cliché, but when I found out I was having a boy, I really wanted to get a blue dress. If you saw my wardrobe before receiving this dress, everything was literally gray, black, or white. This added touch of color to my wardrobe would make me smile about my soon-to-be son whenever I saw it. This dress got lots of wear, and I loved the long sleeves especially through this cold winter! I frequently paired this dress with black tights and booties.

Style #3 The Long Black Staple

My ‘Go-to.’ This is what comes to mind when I think of this dress because this was my standard everyday dress. Everyone knows the feeling when you have to leave the house, and you don’t even want to think about what you’re putting on. This is the dress I grab on days like this. I dressed it up and dressed it down, multiple times. Best of all, this dress is comfortable and it comes in multiple colors and lengths.

These beautiful photos are shot and edited by Elsie Dardon.

Homemade Chicken Vegetable Soup \\ Sweet Laurel

Chicken soup is synonymous with comfort. Warm, savory, flecked with herbs, carrots, and onion – it’s always just the thing. We love to make huge batches of it, and enjoy it all week or freeze it for the next cold night in.

Homemade Chicken Vegetable Soup \\ Sweet Laurel

Homemade Chicken Vegetable Soup \\ Sweet Laurel

Homemade Chicken Vegetable Soup \\ Sweet Laurel

Homemade Chicken Vegetable Soup

Serves 4


 

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons coconut oil

1 medium onion, finely chopped

1 leek, rinsed and chopped

2 ribs celery, finely chopped

3 carrots, finely chopped

1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

8 cups of water

4 cups sliced zucchini

6-8 boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into one-inch pieces


 

Directions:

Over medium heat, melt the coconut oil in the bottom of a large dutch oven.

Add onions, leek, celery and carrots to the pot. Gently saute about 10-12 minutes. Add apple cider vinegar, thyme, and water to the pot, followed by zucchini. Bring pot to a boil, and simmer about 20 minutes. Add chicken thighs and cook 10 to 12 minutes, or until cooked through. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!