Sunday, April 30, 2017

April 2017 Favorites

April 2017 Favorites | Sweet Treats/Laura Vein

I’m starting a new series at the end of each month where I share some of my favorite things from the previous month. Some may be things I’m reading or watching. Some may be body or beauty products. Some may be kitchen, food, and recipe related.  Today I’m sharing my April favorites (in no particular order). 

Note: some of these items contain affiliate links, but nothing in this post is directly sponsored by any company... I'm just sharing what I like! 

April 2017 Favorites | "Hope Heals"

Book: Hope Heals: A True Story of Overwhelming Loss and an Overcoming Love*
I haven’t done great on my “Goodreads” progress this month, but I did finish one of the most inspiring/convicting books I’ve ever read. “Hope Heals” chronicles Katherine & Jay Wolfe’s story following Katherine’s massive brain stem stroke in 2008 when she was 26 and a brand new mom. Their hope-filled, positive, joyful outlook despite living with the lasting physically disabling effects of a traumatic brain injury is incredibly inspiring and convicting. I actually had the pleasure of also hearing Katherine and Jay speak at a women’s event at my church the beginning of this month (and I met them after the event). I hope to write a longer reflection post about the book & hearing them speak, so stay tuned for that. In the mean time, pick up a copy of their book (it’s on SALE right now), check out their story on their website, and/or follow them on social media @hopeheals.

April 2017 Favorites | Primally Pure Sensitive Deodorant

Body: Primally Pure Sensitive Deodorant in Lavender
Since going AIP three years ago, I’ve also made a conscious effort to clean up the products I use on my body. However, I’ve tried many, many, many deodorants with terrible results. Many did not work (i.e I smelled less-than-fresh, yikes!), but worse yet, others made my underarms break out so badly I honestly wondered if I possibly had developed the autoimmune condition "hidradenitis suppurativa" (HS). NOT GOOD!! I finally ordered this sensitive deodorant in lavender from Primally Pure, after seeing AIP friends post about it on Instagram.  After testing it out for a few weeks, I’m pleased that it both seems to work (note: it’s not an antiperspirant) AND I haven’t had one underarm break out.

April 2017 Favorites | Muji Pens

Tool: Muji 0.38 mm Pens*
I’m a bit of a pen snob & I really prefer using very fine-tip pens for my journaling, writing, list-making etc. This month, I heard about Muji gel pens via an Instagram video from She Reads Truth. I immediately ordered a 3-pack of black Muji 0.38 mm gel pens on Amazon and now I wish I’d ordered more of them and possibly more colors. I love how fine the tip is, but yet it doesn’t wear down so quickly, like the Microns or LePens I’ve used in the past.

April 2017 Favorites | Large Mesh Strainer/Colander

Kitchen Tool: Large Mesh Strainer/colander*
For the past few years, I’ve used a small mesh strainer that was probably made with less-than-ideal metal. I would have to strain or wash produce in it in batches, which often slowed down my productivity. Somehow, upgrading it to a larger, stainless option wasn’t a priority until the old strainer started becoming rusty. I ordered this one on Amazon and wow! why didn’t I make this upgrade sooner! It’s now SO much easier to wash leeks and chopped greens and to strain bone broth.

April 2017 Favorites | Sweet Potato Chicken Poppers (AIP)

Recipe: Sweet Potato Chicken Poppers from Unbound Wellness
I’ve had my eye on this recipe for a few months, but I was having trouble finding high quality ground chicken. We recently found a local pastured chicken farmer who sells ground chicken at a local farmers market. The first time I made the poppers, I made only a single batch. But I immediately regretted not making a larger batch. This week, I made a double batch and I think we ate them all in three days. A couple tips that I’ve found to be helpful when making these: 1)use the shredding blade in your food processor to shred the sweet potato (especially if making a double batch) and then pulse the shredded sweet potato with the S blade to break them up a little further; 2)use a medium (1.5 tablespoon) cookie scoop to scoop the popper mixture, which both makes the poppers uniform and helps the portioning to go faster; 3)bake the poppers on a baking sheet WITHOUT parchment paper—they get a much better crust that way; 4)make a bigger batch than you think you’ll need because they are SO TASTY ;)

April 2017 Favorites | Tessemae's Creamy Ranch (Paleo & Whole30)

Ingredient: Tessemae’s Creamy Ranch (AIP reintroductions required) 
As I’ve gotten some successful AIP reintroductions under my belt, I’ve been able to eat this Tessemae’s Creamy Ranch without any reactions. Ohmygoodness!! I had forgotten how much I use to love ranch dressing! This delicious product has been an especially nice addition to my diet the past couple weeks as I’ve been doing a Whole30 reset. As I exclaimed to my husband a couple days ago in a hangry episode, “Ranch is LIFE!!” haha! I buy this product at Whole Foods in the refrigerated section of the produce department. Use their store locator to see if you can find it locally

So those are a few of my random favorites from April. What are you loving lately? 

*These items include affiliate links, meaning Sweet Treats makes a small commission off items purchased after an Amazon link is clicked with no additional cost to you. Thanks for your support.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Carrot Cake Macaroons—with video! (AIP, Paleo, Vegan)

Carrot Cake Macaroons (AIP, Paleo, Vegan)

It had been ages, and ages since I made coconut macaroons… I had forgotten what a fun, bit-sized treat they are, and how easy it is to make them!

Carrot Cake Macaroons (AIP, Paleo, Vegan)

With Easter coming up this weekend, I wanted to create a macaroon that mimicked the flavor of a classic Easter favorite: carrot cake. Adding grated carrot, spices, and raisins to the macaroon base recipe worked great! As a bonus, including vegetables in dessert ups the nutrient profile just a bit and helps me feel better about the occasional indulgence. I love creating treats that mimic “the real deal,” but are more healthful and won’t derail my diet and lifestyle choices.

Also, I’ve created another recipe video to show just how easily these macaroons can be made :)

Carrot Cake Macaroons (AIP, Paleo, Vegan)

A note about my recipes: I ALWAYS recommend baking by weighted measurements to ensure the most successful baked goods. I've included volume measures, but they have been determined by math and are not tested. 

Carrot Cake Macaroons
yields 20 macaroons

120 grams (1 1/2 cups) unsweetened finely shredded coconut flakes
7 grams (1 tablespoon) coconut flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground mace (or sub nutmeg, if not AIP)
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
50 grams (1/2 cup) finely grated carrot
28 grams (2 tablespoons) melted coconut oil
78 grams (1/4 cup) Grade B maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
40 grams (1/2 cup) raisins

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a baking pan (I used a half sheet) with parchment paper
  2. In a food processor, pulse together the coconut flakes, coconut flour, cinnamon, mace, cloves and sea salt to combine everything. 
  3. Add the grated carrot, and pulse just until the carrot is distributed throughout. 
  4. Pour the coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla extract over the coconut mixture. Pulse until combined. 
  5. Transfer to a separate bowl and stir in the raisins.
  6. Use a 1 tablespoon cookie scoop, packed with dough, to portion the macaroons onto the parchment lined pan. 
  7. Bake for 8 minutes in the preheated oven, rotate the pan, and bake for an additional 7 minutes. Remove from the oven & allow the macaroons to cool completely on the pan. 
  8. Store leftovers in an airtight container. The macaroons may lose their crispness over time, depending on the humidity. 


  • You can substitute honey for the maple syrup, though they will not longer be vegan.  
  • I do NOT recommend reducing the sweetener or swapping it for a non-liquid one, or else the macaroons will not hold together. 
Carrot Cake Macaroons (AIP, Paleo, Vegan)

This post contains affiliate links, meaning Sweet Treats makes a small commission off items purchased 
after an Amazon link is clicked with no additional cost to you. Thanks for your support.