Author Archives: sweetlaurel

Keto Cookies \\ Sweet Laurel

Keto Cookies

Our Keto Cake has been such a hit, I decided to share another Keto-friendly recipe with you! I must confess, I am guilty of keeping this cookie dough in my fridge and snacking on it from time to time… Enter the Keto Cookie. A delicious, guilt free dessert, low carb, and sweetened with my new favorite keto friendly sweetener, Lakanto! These cookies are the perfect summer treat and are even better paired with a fresh glass of Almond Mylk! Enjoy!

Ingredients

2 cups almond flour

1/3  cup coconut oil (melted)

1/4 cup Lakanto Sweetener 

1/4 cup water

1 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt

½ teaspoon baking soda

1 cup chocolate chips (recipe below)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place the almond flour, Lakanto sweetener, baking soda and salt in a bowl and stir. Add the water and coconut oil, and stir until dough forms.

Add chocolate chips and spoon 1 tablespoon balls onto a cookie sheet. Gently press balls of cookie dough down and bake for about 12-15  minutes. Allow to cool and enjoy!

 

Homemade Chocolate Chips

Ingredients:

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

1 tablespoon coconut oil

1-2 tablespoons Lakanto Sweetener (or other sweetener)

Directions:

Break baking chocolate into one-inch pieces and place in thick saucepan or double boiler. Over a very low heat, melt the baking chocolate with the coconut oil. Once melted, take off heat, add sweetener 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.

Strawberry Shortcake \\ Sweet Laurel

 

Strawberry Shortcake

Who doesn’t love Strawberry Shortcake? They’re the perfect summer dessert, and not too sweet. These are delicious, gluten\grain free, refined sugar free and vegan! Take advantage of summer’s beautiful berries ASAP! Enjoy.

MAKES EIGHT 3-INCH Strawberry Shortcakes

2 tablespoons coconut butter, cubed

2 tablespoons coconut oil, solid

2 tablespoons maple syrup

212 cups almond flour

1 tablespoon baking powder (check out the DIY version on page 31 of our cookbook!)

12 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt

34 cup coconut yogurt, store-bought or homemade

1 large egg, beaten

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Combine the coconut butter and coconut oil in a small bowl and chill in the freezer for about 5 minutes.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Add the chilled coconut butter and coconut oil and cut in using a pastry blender, until a meal forms. It will look like wet sand, and the fats should be pea sized. Stir in the coconut yogurt and maple syrup. Loosely form the dough into a ball and place on a sheet of parchment paper.

Cover the dough with a second sheet of parchment paper and press into a 34-inch-thick rectangle. Fold the dough over onto itself in three sections, like you would a letter. Again pat down the dough until it’s 34-inch thick, and repeat this entire process two more times. This creates the fluffy layers that will puff and add lift as the biscuits bake.

Press out the folded dough so it’s 1 inch thick, and cut out biscuits with a 3-inch round cookie cutter or the rim of a juice glass. Place the rounds on the prepared baking sheet.

Using a pastry brush, lightly coat the top of each biscuit with the beaten egg. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until puffed up and golden. Allow to cool or serve warm.

To Make the Strawberry Filling

1 pint strawberries, quartered

14 cup raw honey

Juice of 1 lemon

To make the strawberry sauce, put 1 cup of the quartered strawberries, the honey, and lemon juice in a food processor and blend until completely smooth.

To Make the Coconut Whipped Cream

1 13.5-ounce cans full-fat coconut milk, refrigerated overnight

2 tablespoons maple syrup

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Remove the solid coconut cream that has risen to the top of the can, and spoon it into a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat the coconut cream on high speed until it begins to thicken and peaks form. The remaining coconut water can be added, a teaspoon at a time, if the whipped cream is too thick..

Using a rubber spatula, slowly fold in the maple syrup and vanilla. Transfer the whipped cream to a metal or glass bowl, cover, and refrigerate until ready to use.

To serve, cut the top off of each shortcake in half,  add a spoonful of coconut whipped cream, some strawberries, and a touch of strawberry sauce. Add the cupcake top and repeat. Enjoy!

 

Nico’s Transition to Eating Solid Foods

If you read this post I wrote about my nutritionist Margaret, and her approach to introducing solids, you know Nico has been eating some superfoods!

Nico was slow to eating solid foods. Up until about ten months, Nico was pretty much exclusively breastfeeding, with coconut yogurt sprinkled throughout the day. I realize every baby is different, and this post is in no way to say this is THE way to introduce solid foods, this was just my way. I definitely encourage you to work with your doctor or practitioner on your personalized approach with you and your baby.

When Nico was about 10.5 months, he had four teeth come in at one time. This was a pretty gnarly time, as all I remember from it was non-stop nursing throughout the night. We were also doing a lot of travel with press trip to New York for the Sweet Laurel Cookbook, and Christmas vacation. While it was easier to travel with a baby and not have to worry about bringing much food, I was getting very exhausted with the constant nursing. I thought, will this boy ever eat??  I often would offer Nico food, but he wouldn’t chew it, or show much interest.

I started to aggressively introduce foods once those teeth began to rupture around 10-11 months, and sure enough he started eating lots more! I followed Margaret’s plan, heavy on the good fats and superfoods like egg yolk, coconut and grass fed butter.  I started to introduce veggies, like broccoli, cauliflower and sweet potato (he LOVED these fries). One of his favorite things at the beginning was sweet potato mixed with CocoYo. I even loved it! To me it tasted like cheesecake or something. I always offer veggies with a good fat of some sort.

As I rapid fire introduced new foods, Nico began to cut down on nursing. Immediately I contacted Margaret, because I thought since he was cutting back on breastmilk, did he need actual milk? She assured he did not need milk if I was giving him a super nutrient rich diet. She suggested goat cheese instead of milk to start. When I felt the timing was right, I introduced a lovely Holland goat gouda cheese, which Nico quickly fell in love with. It is also full of calcium and has lots of vitamins, so I didn’t need to worry about Nico missing out on milk.

Nico does not eat grains yet. Right now, it is just easier, as I don’t eat any grains, mainly veggies, fruit and well sourced proteins. I’m defiantly planning on introducing well prepared grains down the line.  His diet right now is super simple, but filled with beautiful and nutrient rich food. Thank you Margaret Floyd for helping me navigate the diet of my little superfood baby!

Here’s a day in the life of Nico:

Breakfast: 2 eggs, runny yokes and veggies with grass fed butter, cooked veggies (usually cruciferous) and half a banana

Lunch: Cut goat gouda cheese, cooked sweet potato or carrot

Snack: 1/2 avocado or nut butter (he’s like his mom and snacks on spoonfuls of almond butter!)

A note on snacking: I like to call our snacking system whole food, or real food, snacking (not to be confused with the grocery store chain). I give Nico foods for snack that are one ingredient, usually not prepackaged. This ensures Nico is not eating foods that are highly processed and whole food based. I call it real food.

Dinner: What Nick and I are eating, usually vegetables with some well sourced organic protein: salmon, ground turkey or chicken.

Recently, I started giving Nico some things I don’t eat, like Sprouted Hummus. He absolutely loves it, and eats it straight! I give him some on celery or carrot and he just licks it right off. Nick has also snuck him a few things that I definitely don’t eat, but I’m happy he’s experiencing an assortment of foods. He seems to be likely anything and everything! xoxo, Laurel (and Nico!)

Adorable photo by Elsie Christine.

Summer Cobbler \\ Sweet Laurel

Last year, you loved our Berry Cobbler for it’s delicious simplicity. Here’s a delightful version for this summer’s festivities. Our Summer Cobbler is a combination of peak season fruit: peaches, cherries and blueberries. Feel free to swap any fruit according to your palate. And here’s an added bonus: frozen fruit works wonderfully! Enjoy. xoxox, Laurel

Summer Cobbler

Servies 6

3 cups peaches, sliced

1 cup cherries, pitted

1 cup blueberries

Juice of one lemon

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

2 cups almond flour

1/2 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt

1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

1/4 cup maple syrup

In a 8 x 8 or 8 x10 pan, combine peaches, cherries and blueberries. Pour lemon juice over fruit and stir. Sprinkle cinnamon over the fruit and stir again.

To prepare the topping, place almond flour, salt, maple syrup and melted coconut oil in bowl. Mix with fingers to create clumps of topping and sprinkle over the fruit. If you’d like to prepare the cobbler ahead, you can prepare until this baking step, cover and refrigerate until baking time.

Bake for 13-15 minutes, or until topping is as crisp as you like. Enjoy!

On Mothering \\ Sweet Laurel

 

Motherhood and balance. Not sure if those two words can be in the same sentence! Last year I became a mother, and it has been a beautiful, yet eye opening, experience. I am constantly challenged as I strive for balance while taking on this new role as a mother. It can be very frustrating, and I constantly think about all the moms out there who have been doing this for generations and generations! At the same time, the love and joy I have for Nico has created the deepest bond, and I’m filled with gratitude every day. At the end of the day, I’m finding I need to let go of expectations and realize that everyday, although a challenge, is a sweet gift.

In a perfect world, I would finish all my baking, R&D, emailing, meetings, etc. for Sweet Laurel, work out, make dinner and spend time with Nick and Nico.  And yes, all in one day. I have yet to prove it. This is something I’m striving for. My mentor once told me, balance does not happen in a day, it happens over time. Perhaps I need to let go of the expectations that this will happen every day. As my to-do list get longer, and my dedicated work time remains a variable, expectations must go out the door, right?

And then there’s the beauty of motherhood. I literally look at Nico, and feel so deeply. It’s like he pulls at my heart. I literally sometimes just look at him, and all I can think is he’s so perfect! Even when he throws his food, that was prepped with love, on the floor or insists on trying to crawl down the stairs face forward, the love outweighs the frustration.

Here are some recent photos of my Nico Boy and I. I wanted to share them with you in front of my favorite rose wall. The one of him giving me a kiss is my favorite, and it has a back story. Just last week, I was laying on the floor playing with Nico, and I asked him for a kiss. I had no idea he knew what a kiss was, and he crawled up to my lips and put his lips on my lips. This melted my heart! I was filled with so much instant love and joy the only thing I could think to do was call my husband and share the news that I was Nico’s first kiss!

Enjoy the photos (by my fave, Elsie), and please, mamas share your balance tips!! Happy Mother’s Day!

xoxo,  Laurel