Tag: holidays

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.

Maple Candy \\ Sweet Laurel

This recipe was inspired by English Toffee. Here’s a paleo, refined sugar-free version of the delicious treat, It doesn’t have the firm ‘bark’ texture of English Toffee, but definitely has ALL the flavor. Once cut, keep refrigerated until serving for best results. Enjoy!

Maple Candy \\ Sweet Laurel

Maple Candy \\ Sweet Laurel

Maple Candy \\ Sweet Laurel

Maple Candy


 

Ingredients:

16 tablespoons grass-fed butter *

1 cup maple syrup

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

2 cups coarsely chopped almonds (divided)

1/2 cup chocolate chips (recipe below)


 

Directions:

Melt butter and maple syrup in saucepan over medium to high heat. Allow to come to a soft boil. Bubbles will deep brown.

Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract, then 1/2 the almonds. Pour onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Top with chocolate chips. After two minutes, spread chocolate chips evenly over toffee. The chips will be melting.

Top with remaining almonds and put in refrigerator until nice and firm. Break into small pieces and enjoy!


 

Homemade chocolate chips


 

Ingredients:

4 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate (100% cacao)

1 tablespoon maple syrup (or more depending on how dark you like it)

Directions:

Break baking chocolate into one-inch piece and place in a thick saucepan or double boiler. Melt baking chocolate over a very low heat.  When melted, add agave and stir.  Pour chocolate onto parchment paper and spread into a rectangle, about 8×12 inches.  Place parchment in freezer. Once hardened (will take a few minutes), break off pieces and use as needed.  Store in freezer.

*Unfortunately, coconut oil or ghee will not work as a substitute for this recipe

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.

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.

New Mommy Faves \\ Sweet Laurel

I love being a mom! In honor of Mother’s Day and my first time celebrating as a mom, I’m sharing some of my most used, and favorite mom-friendly items. This week’s recipe features my Lactation Cookies, which accompanied me to the hospital when Nico was born, and have been made regularly since!

New Mommy Faves \\ Sweet Laurel

First off, Nucifera! I LOVE Nucifera, and the amazing entrepreneur who developed it. Nucifera is the ultimate pregnancy and breastfeeding safe, all in one, beauty product. I use it regularly before bed and on my face as part of my cleansing routine. By now you all know how in love I am with coconut, and this is a coconut based product, and the benefits are unending. It moisturizes, soothes, purifies, and combats various skin conditions. Nucifera can even be used as an all natural deodorant. I personally like using it under my eyes. And by the way, Nucifera is not just amazing for mothers, it is great for fathers and children alike!

New Mommy Faves \\ Sweet Laurel

Second, my Petal Soft Ballet Nursing Bra. Not only is it pretty to look at, it is oh so comfortable. I never thought nursing would change my whole outfit. For some reason, I never made the connection. Well, a good nursing outfit starts with a good bra, and this is my go-to! It is from Bravado Designs, who also makes two other nursing bras I’m digging– the Body Silk Seamless Nursing Bra, also comfy, and the Clip and Pump, which gives me mobility with my hands while I pump!

New Mommy Faves \\ Sweet Laurel

Third, a good notebook. I want to cherish each day with sweet Nico, and this helps me do! I’m a very sentimental gal, so essentially, writing down thoughts, precious moments and words of gratitude have been very therapeutic for me. Nico has made me a more organized person, and this is one tool I’ve begun to use to help in that department.

New Mommy Faves \\ Sweet Laurel

Lastly, Lactation Cookies. Do you every need an excuse to eat cookies? Well, when you’re breastfeeding, you automatically have one! Lactation enriching foods have been used for centuries to help with breast milk production, and my cookies contain just a few of the many nutritious foods know to encourage milk supply nursing. I read a book entitled Real Food for Mother and Baby by Nina Planck, and learned about the foods I should focus on during pregnancy and nursing. I highly recommend this book. Per the words of Planck, two of the most popular lactation foods are oats and beer. I don’t include either of those in my cookies, as I don’t digest either well, but have included several of the other recommended foods. These cookies freeze super well, so I typically make a batch and store them in the freezer to snack on and give to people who come over. Having a baby really ups your weekly visitors!

New Mommy Faves \\ Sweet Laurel

Lactation Cookies

Yields about 30 cookies


 

Ingredients:

2 cups almond flour

1/2 cup flax seeds

1/4 cup sesame seeds or shredded coconut

1/2 cup macadamia nuts or pecans

1/2 date paste or 7 dates, pitted

4 eggs

1/2 cup coconut oil (melted) or grass fed butter (solid)

1 cup chocolate chips (recipe below)

Maple syrup, as needed (these cookies are not very sweet, so add if need be)


 

*For Oatmeal Raisin variation

Exchange flax and sesame seeds for 1/2 cup of oats (if you tolerate). You can also add shredded coconut for texture!

Exchange and 1 tsp. cinnamon and 1/2 cup raisins for the chocolate chips.


 

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

In a blender, combine the flax seeds, sesame seeds, macadamia nuts, dates, eggs, coconut oil and maple syrup (optional). Turn on low speed, and blend until batter is incorporated. Remove mixture from blender and place into a bowl. Stir in almond flour and chocolate chips. Spoon one tablespoon sized cookies onto cookies sheet. Gently press dough down with a piece of parchment paper.

Bake for 8-10 minutes. Lift parchment off pan, and allow cookies to cool all the way.

Enjoy!


 

Homemade Chocolate Chips 


 

Ingredients:

4 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate (100% cacao, organic is preferable)

1-2 tablespoons maple syrup or raw honey


 

Directions:

Break baking chocolate into one-inch pieces and place in thick saucepan or double boiler. Over a very low heat, melt baking chocolate. Once melted, take off heat, and add maple syrup or raw honey and stir. Pour chocolate onto parchment paper and spread into a rectangle, about 8×12 inches. Place parchment in freezer. Once hardened (will take a few minutes), break into small pieces and use as chocolate chips.

 

Rosebud Bath Soak for Mom \\ Sweet Laurel

Mother’s Day is just around the corner, so here’s a fun DIY gift you can give to the mommas you love! This soak includes two of our favorite ingredients at Sweet Laurel: coconut and pink salt. Both are beneficial to your body inside and out! Pink salt and coconut have benefits once digested, and several topical benefits as well. While the coconut milk powder in the recipe works to moisturize the skin, the pink salt acts at a detoxifier. Roses are used for their gratifying and soothing effect to the senses. This bath soak is a simple, yet beautiful little gift! Enjoy.

Rosebud Bath Soak for Mom \\ Sweet Laurel

Rosebud Bath Soak for Mom \\ Sweet Laurel

Rosebud Bath Soak for Mom \\ Sweet Laurel

Rosebud Bath Soak DIY Gift


 

Ingredients:

1/2 cup Himalayan pink salt (I like to use the coarsely ground salt)

1/2 cup coconut milk powder

3 tablespoons dried rosebuds

1-2 drops essential rose oil

1 8 oz glass jar


 

Directions:

Grind a few of the rosebuds in a mortar and pestle until slightly broken. Combine all the other ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine. Spoon into a jar and seal. Keep in a cool. dry place until use.

Festive Snowball Cake \\ Sweet Laurel

This cake is a festive and delicious holiday beauty. We start with our grain-free and refined sugar-free chocolate cake and then top the cake with a super simple, dairy-free cashew based frosting. The whole cake is topped with shredded unsweetened coconut to make it look fun and festive, and giving it the name Snowball Cake. We hope you can include this your holiday baking this season!

Festive Snowball Cake \\ Sweet Laurel

Festive Snowball Cake \\ Sweet Laurel

Festive Snowball Cake \\ Sweet Laurel

Festive Snowball Cake \\ Sweet Laurel

Festive Snowball Cake

Yields one two layer 6-inch cake or one 8-inch cake


 

For the cake:


 

2 cups almond flour

1/4 cup cacao

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt

2 eggs

1 cup maple syrup

1/4 cup water

1 tablespoon vanilla extract


 

Preheat oven to 350.

Grease one 8-9 inch pan or two 6 inch pans with coconut oil.

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

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


 

For the frosting:


 

4 cups cashews (soaked for at least 1 hour)

1 cup water

1/4 cup coconut oil

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon sea salt


 

Blend all ingredients in Vitamix or high-speed blender until smooth and creamy. Refrigerate until use.


 

To Finish:


 

Place one cake round on a cake plate. Cover with frosting. Repeat with next layer (if you chose to make a two layer cake). Smooth frosting all over cake, covering tops and sides.

Top cake with coconut flakes and sprinkle with gogi berries. Enjoy!

Chocolate Dipped Macaroons with Vegan Eggnog \\ Sweet Laurel

Santa is getting an upgrade with these Chocolate Dipped Coconut Macaroons paired with Vegan Egg Nog. This perfect combination of holiday favorites will satisfy all at your next holiday gathering. The eggnog is not too rich and has the perfect pop of flavor. Enjoy, and we wish you all a beautiful holiday season!

Coconut Macaroons with Vegan Eggnog \\ Sweet Laurel

Coconut Macaroons with Vegan Eggnog \\ Sweet Laurel

Coconut Macaroons with Vegan Eggnog \\ Sweet Laurel

Chocolate Dipped Coconut Macaroons


 

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cup almond flour

3 cups shredded coconut

1/2 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt

3/4 cup maple syrup

4 egg whites

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350.

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Using a small ice cream scooper, scoop ball – like rounds onto a cookie sheet.

Bake about 15 minutes. You can bake longer if you’d like your macaroons to be crispy. Allow to cool in pan about 10 minutes. Move to rack to cool.

Dip cooled macaroons in chocolate sauce, then let set for at least 10 minutes. Enjoy!


 

To prepare chocolate sauce:


 

Ingredients:

2-3 ounces unsweetened chocolate

2 tablespoons maple syrup

Directions:

Melt chocolate over low heat. Allow to cool, then add maple syrup.


 

Egg Nog

Makes about 4 cups


 

Ingredients:

2 cups almonds, soaked overnight

3 dates

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ginger

1/2 teaspoon allspice

Directions:

Combine almonds in Vitamix or high-speed blender with 4 cups of water. Add all remaining ingredients. Blend on high for about 1-2 minutes. Strain through cheesecloth into a bowl. You may wish to switch the egg nog to a pitcher, then store in the fridge until serving.

Enjoy!

Braised Chicken with Cranberries and Butternut Squash \\ Sweet Laurel

This mouth watering, one pot wonder has the perfect combination of sweet and savory and is topped with a slight tartness from cranberries, another superfood sensation. Slowly braising the chicken leaves a delightful aroma in the kitchen and a moist and tender chicken dish all will enjoy on a lovely winter day.

Braised Chicken with Cranberries and Butternut Squash \\ Sweet Laurel

Braised Chicken with Cranberries and Butternut Squash \\ Sweet Laurel

Braised Chicken with Cranberries and Butternut Squash \\ Sweet Laurel

Braised Chicken with Cranberries and Butternut Squash

Serves 4


 

3 tablespoons coconut oil

6-8 chicken thighs, chicken thighs (with bone and skin)

1 medium onion, chopped

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

2 cups chicken or vegetable broth

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 butternut squash, peeled and chopped into cubes

1 cups fresh or frozen cranberries

2 tablespoons chopped sage


 

In large dutch oven, heat coconut oil. Add chicken thighs and brown on each side. Once browned, remove chicken from pot and place on a plate.

Add onions to the pan and gently saute. Add apple cider vinegar to pot, followed by chicken or vegetable broth. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt.

Return chicken thighs to the pan, and place butternut squash and cranberries over chicken. Sprinkle chopped sage on top. Cover the pot and allow to simmer over medium/low heat for thirty minutes. Remove pan from heat. Allow chicken and vegetables to cool uncovered.

Enjoy!