Kitchen Stories Laura from @asunshinemission
Laura is a ray of sunshine from Los Angeles - and so is her beautiful @asusnhinemission Instagram account. She creates the most delicious bowls of nice cream and her treats always look on point.
Haven't heard of this talented girl yet? Keep reading, because you don't want to miss out on learning more about Laura or her rawnola recipe.
Hi Laura, tell us all a little bit about yourself.
I'm truly a kid at heart and such a homebody. I love spending time in the kitchen more than anything and have the biggest sweet tooth ever. I think my ideal day would be spent at home whipping up a vegan dessert, cuddling up with a hot cup of tea and a good movie, and reading a book. I've found that the best way to stay inspired is to travel and I hope to one day travel to every corner of the world.
You have a blog and Instagram account where you share the most amazing looking healthy and clean treats. I personally have a serious crush on your raw cakes. When and how did you get into cooking. How about plant based foods?
Well, I'm a Southern girl at heart (I was born and raised in the suburbs of Atlanta, GA), but after moving to Los Angeles for college I quickly fell in love with the city. After a couple of unhealthy college years, I really turned my life around and started living such an active lifestyle again: heading to the beach every weekend and shopping for organic produce at the local farmers' market. Before long, I started running outside every day and eased into living a plant-based lifestyle. Since becoming vegan, I've seen such a change in my overall happiness and have really fallen in love with creating vibrant recipes with real, whole foods. I couldn't imagine two years ago that my vegan food blog A Sunshine Mission would grow into what it's become! I think having access to such a wealth of amazingly delicious vegan food in L.A. is what really made my transition to veganism a no-brainer. And once I became vegan, I really felt a million times better both physically and mentally. I had so much more energy and felt like I was truly glowing. Most people think vegans have to restrict themselves, but for me it was the exact opposite. I have such a sweet tooth, so for me nothing is more fun than getting in the kitchen and creating decadent raw desserts that taste so good you wouldn't even believe they're vegan!
Name three must haves in your kitchen.
Dates, almond butter, bananas,
Breakfast, lunch or dinner? Why?
Definitely breakfast!! I'm a big runner, so every morning I look forward to my post-workout breakfast. I always crave banana ice cream (a.k.a. nice cream) in the morning and usually top it with rawnola and a drizzle of coconut nectar. I think nothing's better than ice cream for breakfast, especially when it's healthy and vegan.
Would you like to share a favourite breakfast recipe?
My go-to rawnola recipe:
vegan ● gf ● rfsf
1 cup rolled oats, gluten-free
1/2 cup pitted medjool dates
1 tbsp coconut sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp almond butter (optional)
Add all ingredients except almond butter into a high-speed blender.
Blend on high until oats are broken down.
Add in almond butter and pulse until well combined.
Sprinkle on banana ice cream, a smoothie bowl, or enjoy on its own!
What would your perfect food day look like?
I'd wake up around 9am and go on my 5k morning run. Then, I'd come home and do some ab workouts and yoga stretches inside and after have a big breakfast of banana ice cream. I'd go out on a walk to the park or to the beach until the late afternoon. Then, I'd make a late lunch and curl up with my boyfriend watching Netflix. I'd stay in all night long cooking, reading, playing cards, and just talking, laughing, and snuggling.
You live in Los Angeles. Which places, cafes, restaurants and food shops must one visit while in town? Feel free to share your hidden gems.
You definitely have to try out The Springs in the Arts District! It's this amazingly beautiful converted warehouse that's been turned into a holistic wellness center. They have a yoga studio, spa, and raw vegan restaurant and juice bar all in one place. Not only is the food beyond delicious, but it's such a nice environment to just chill. I could seriously spend the whole day there. I really like the vegan Mexican restaurant Gracias Madre which is perfect for a girls night out. The grocery store Erewhon is great for quick vegan take-out sushi, smoothie, and they even have a fridge full of raw vegan desserts. Lifefood Organic is a juice bar/cafe in Hollywood that has the best selection of raw vegan sandwiches, salads, wraps, and burgers ever. And you have to check out Moon Juice in Silverlake or Venice! It's probably my all-time favourite place to grab a smoothie and snack.
We all have a sweet tooth, don't we? What do you prefer to have when you need that sweet kick?
If I'm craving a sweet snack, I'll have a bowl of rawnola (see recipe above), but if I'm looking for something more on the chocolatey end I'll go for one of my Raw Vegan Snickers Bars. I used to love eating candy as a kid (who didn't!) and Snickers were always one of my favourites. This vegan version is not only dairy-free, but also gluten-free and refined sugar-free so it's much healthier for you and will leave you way more satisfied. It tastes just as good if not better than the original!
You seem to be a big lover of Farmer’s Markets. What do you usually buy on your market trip? Any favourite markets out there?
Here's my usual farmer's market grocery list: dates, kale, avocado, cashew cheese, potatoes, strawberries, mushrooms, any fresh herbs/spices I can find, cauliflower, figs.
In Los Angeles, I'd go to the Silverlake Farmer's Market every Saturday where I'd sell my overnight oats and raw vegan chocolate mousse at a local booth. I'm also a big fan of the Mar Vista Farmer's Market because it's huge and very vegan-friendly. It's just a really cool, fun environment. But I'd always go to the Hollywood Farmer's Market on Sunday to get a big box of dates.
You're obviously a very inspiring young woman. Where do you get your cooking inspiration from? Any specific foodies out there that inspire you?
It all started when I became vegan and literally had no idea what to cook for myself. I started researching some vegan blogs, trying their recipes and experimenting with my own until eventually I found my own style of cooking. I'd say the biggest inspirations for me overall have been This Rawsome Vegan Life because she makes the most GORGEOUS raw vegan desserts and I love all her cooked recipes too. Also, Faring Well and Will Frolic For Food are two of my favourites because they're photography is beautiful and they do such an amazing job of food styling. Not to mention how good their recipes are!