Author Archives: sweetlaurel

Gingerbread Brownies \\ Sweet Laurel

Gingerbread Brownies

There’s nothing more festive then gingerbread cookies, gingerbread house decorating, and gingerbread lattes to get you in the holiday spirit. Well now, you can go ahead and add this recipe to your list! These gingerbread brownies are the perfect mix of ginger flavor with a fluffy cake like texture. You can spice it up with some holiday decor too! We used a paper cut out snowflake as a stencil and coconut “powdered sugar” for the winter wonderland feel. Enjoy!

Ingredients

2 cups almond, cashew or sunbutter

2 eggs

1 ¼ cups 100% maple syrup

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup cacao powder

1 tablespoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

Directions

Preheat oven to 350.

In large bowl, beat the nut butter and maple syrup until creamy, then slowly add eggs and vanilla extract.

Add cacao, ginger, baking soda and salt. Mix until well incorporated.

Pour batter into 8×8 pan lined with parchment paper.

Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes.

To make the coconut powdered sugar

Ingredients

½ cup shredded dried coconut

½ cup arrowroot powder

Directions

Place coconut and arrowroot in a blender and blend on high for about 30-40 seconds, until mixture resembles powdered sugar texture.

Rose Tea Cookies featuring Diamond of California Heirloom Reserve Walnuts \\ Sweet Laurel

Rose Tea Cookies featuring Diamond of California Heirloom Reserve Walnuts

To be honest, we always have cookies & cake on our mind! I’m constantly trying to think up new recipes to put a unique spin on a classic cookie. For Cookie Week over at Diamond Nuts, Sweet Laurel is celebrating with a delicious cookie recipe to warm up your house during the winter season! Here’s the recipe for these beautiful Rose Tea Cookies, made with real rose petals and perfect with a side of tea. These cookies will blow you away with all the interesting flavors and textures packed right in!

Ingredients

2 cups almond flour

1/4 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup arrowroot

1/4 cup 100% maple syrup

1/4 cup coconut oil (melted)

1/2 cup finely crushed walnuts

1/4 cup dried rose petals

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a bowl, mix together almond flour, arrowroot, pink salt and baking soda. Slowly add maple syrup and coconut oil stirring until dough forms. Add rose petals.

Place dough between two sheet of parchment paper and roll out until about 1 inch thick. Place dough in fridge for about 15 minutes, then remove from oven and cut into squares.

Bake on a pan lined with parchment paper for about 10-15 minutes. Allow to cool, then enjoy!

Healing Journey Update \\ Sweet Laurel

Healing Journey Update

It’s been a while since I have given you an update about my healing journeyHealing through food has been my mantra since 2014. After my autoimmune disease ripped through me with a vicious force, my family intervened and encouraged to not put my health off another year. My top symptoms were energy depletion, extreme hormonal imbalance, lack of menstrual cycle and unexplainable weight loss.

It was very soon after when my dear friend, Eleanor Womack MD, saw me at a family wedding and the first thing she asked me was ‘WHAT?? Is going on with you??’ I responded by saying I had been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Disease. She quickly followed up with by asking me what I’ve been eating. I told her every morning started with sprouted wheat bread topped with peanut butter and coffee. She quickly told me that if I have Hashimoto’s Disease I should NOT be eating gluten EVER. I wasn’t really ready to make such a change in my lifestyle, but I had had enough of being so sick and energy deprived.

That was the day I started my 100% grain free, refined sugar free and dairy free journey, and I have never turned back. A year into the journey, I started Sweet Laurel with long time friend and ever talented lady Claire Thomas. It began with my Instagram, this blog, and experiential workshops and events. I started baking grain free, refined sugar free and dairy free cakes for people in my home kitchen, and it soon turned into a booming business in LA, with loads of private customers and wholesale accounts. A cookbook, national shipping and cake shop later, we’re here. Talk about a whirlwind of blessing.

The best part of it all, is that I’m doing 100% better. My autoimmune disease is in remission, even in these postpartum years, and I have the energy I had in college. Can you imagine? It’s been so great, I actually have been able to start up cardio work outs again. Back when I was healing initially, yoga and walking were the only two forms of physical fitness I could physically do. I’m now going to Platefit regularly and jumping on my rebounder when I have pockets of spare time.

Something that I almost can’t believe is I’m not taking ANY thyroid hormones. From about 2012- until January 2018 I took Synthroid or Armour Thyroid. Because I was in remission from the time I got pregnant, through my breastfeeding year, my nutritionist encouraged me to wean myself off thryoid hormones after weaning Nico. I was a little scared, but I figured I’d give it a try. I ripped the bandaid around Nico’s 1st birthday, and to my surprise I felt normal. After about three months with no thyroid hormone, I checked my antibodies and thyroid numbers, and everything was normal. I checked about 6 months later, and everything was normal again. I can’t explain the science behind, it but all I know is my autoimmune disease has been in remission for over two years, and it appears my thyroid is functioning like it is supposed to. Doctors will tell you that with Hashimoto’s Disease, you always have to be on some sort of hormonal support, so I’be always thought I would be taking Armour or Synthroid forever. So grateful for this deep healing that’s occurred in my body.

Another facet of my healing has been the return of a regular menstrual cycle. Before getting pregnant with Nico, I had not had a period for four years. My doctors were never sure what caused this, but it was most likely linked to Hashimoto’s Disease and the unexplained weight loss I experienced. If any of you are experiencing secondary amenorrhea like this, don’t give up hope! I was able to have my beautiful baby despite this issue.

I’m still 100% paleo, and I’m feeling great. It has truly been an amazing journey. Having a baby was the first miracle, but seriously, the second miracle is how much better I feel these days. My amazing nutritionist has repeatedly told me that this is solely because of the dedication I’ve had to my 100% grain free, refined sugar free and dairy free diet, and because I stuck to her strict gut healing protocol before and during my pregnancy. And I’m so happy I did. As a result, I’m able to put my best foot forward with Sweet Laurel, and the ever-changing, growing business it is, and my adorable son Nico.

Here are a few photos our nanny Ms. Elsie took yesterday. I love this boy so much, I’m so excited for this Christmas, as he is definitely starting to pick up on the holiday cheer. He points to every Christmas tree and loves all the ‘balls’ aka ornaments, on them. Happy healing my friends! xoxo, Laurel

Watch by Movado, Nico’s outfit by Pepa and Co and my adorable Nico necklace by Cutarts.

Laurel’s Stuffing ft. Sweet Laurel Turmeric Bread \\ Sweet Laurel

It’s here! With Thanksgiving only a couple days a way, I thought I’d share one of our most festive recipes while you’re prepping your dishes. This turmeric stuffing is a healthy and delicious version of everyone’s Thanksgiving favorite! The turmeric bread can be used as sandwich bread or toast for those leftovers as well! Happy Thanksgiving from Sweet Laurel!

Ingredients

1 loaf turmeric bread or other grain free \ gluten free bread

2 tablespoons avocado oil or grass fed butter

2 red bell peppers

2 cups chopped celery

2 medium onions, chopped

3 sprigs fresh thyme, stems removed and chopped

2 sprigs fresh rosemary, stems removed and chopped

1 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt

1 egg

Optional – ground turkey or beef

Directions

Cut turmeric bread into one inch cubes. Set aside.

Chop celery and onions. In a large cast iron pot, heat oil or grass fed butter. Add onions and celery and gently sauté until golden brown.

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare baking sheet by lining with parchment paper. Cut bell peppers in half, remove seeds, then cut in half again, and place on baking sheet. Roast bell peppers for 20-25 minutes. Once bell peppers are finished, tent under a bowl and let sit for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, lift tent and then remove the skins of the bell pepper, they should slip right off.

Chop the bell peppers into 1 inch squares and add to the onion and celery mixture. Add salt, thyme leaves, and chopped rosemary. Add cut turmeric bread squares and egg, then stir until completely mixed.* Pour into a casserole and bake covered for 20 minutes at 350, then uncovered for 10 minutes. Enjoy!

*Optional – you can add cooked ground turkey or beef at this step.

Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars \\ Sweet Laurel

Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars feat. Diamond of California Heirloom Reserve Pecan

I was simply elated when Diamond of California asked me to create a few recipes using their delicious California Heirloom Reserve nuts. Their high quality nuts are a baking favorite of mine, and it’s no wonder they’re a century-old producer of specialty nuts. To kick off, I wanted to share a special recipe using Diamond of California Heirloom Reserve Pecans for our mouth watering Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars. Diamond of California worked closely with their beloved farmers to cultivate smaller batches of generation-old heirloom nuts that have more flavor than your average option! These bars are a great grab and go option if you’re a pecan pie or nut lover and are a perfect snack to have in the house around Thanksgiving! They are also make a head friendly, and you can freeze them a save for another day!  Enjoy. xoxo, Laurel

Ingredients

For the crust:

2 1/2 cups almond flour

1/4 tsp Himalayan pink salt

1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

2 tbsp maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla extract

For the filling:

2 1/4 cups pecans

1 cup maple syrup

3/4 cup date paste (or 1 cup dates)

3 eggs

1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

1 tbsp vanilla extract

1 tsp Himalayan pink salt

For the topping:

2 oz 100% baking chocolate

2 tbsp maple syrup

Directions

Preheat oven to 350.

For the crust:

Blend almond flour and salt in a bowl. Add coconut oil and maple syrup, stirring until dough is formed.

Using parchment paper to prevent sticking, gently press dough into the bottom and sides of an 8″ x 8″ pan. Pre-bake the crust for 10 minutes, then allow to cool.

While crust is baking prepare filling.

For the filling:

Mix together the maple syrup and date paste in mixer until blended. Add eggs, coconut oil, vanilla extract and salt. Add pecans and pour into pre-baked crust.

Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the filling has puffed up a bit and the crust is golden brown.

Allow the pie to cool completely to set, then slice and enjoy.

For the topping:

Melt chocolate over very low heat and slowly add in maple syrup. When bars are cool and ready to serve, drizzle over the bars.

To make ahead:

Prepare pecan pie bars up to the chocolate topping step. Freeze the bars until you’d like to serve. Defrost 1 hour before serving, and then prepare chocolate topping and drizzle over bars.