A Holiday Cookie Exchange is always a moral dilemma to a health counselor and last night I was faced with the task of having to bake cookies for such an event. In an effort to stay true to breaking my sugar habits even through the Holiday season and to prove to my clients, friends and family that it is possible, I came up with an alternative.
Next time you need to bring cookies to an event, make these healthy coconut macaroons – they will be the hit of the party!
I tried the vegan recipe and the mixture wasn’t sticking together (I suspect because it needed more agave nectar or coconut butter) so I used the recipe that calls for eggs intead. Either way you go, these are a healthy and delicious alternative to sugar.
1 cup unsweetened chocolate or cocoa powder
3 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
½-¾ cup agave nectar
2 tbsp coconut butter (coconut oil)
1 tsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp sea salt
Combine 1 cup of the chocolate powder and 2 cups of the coconut in a mixing bowl then add the coconut butter, agave nectar, vanilla and sea salt and mix well. Scoop balls of the mixture out with your hands and roll into balls. Place shredded coconut on a plate and roll balls in it to cover. These make a delicious and nutritious pick me up in the afternoon or an after-school treat for your children. If you do not like chocolate, these can also just be made plain by omitting the chocolate powder!
2 cups finelyshredded organic coconut
1 whole eggand 1 egg white (use organic brown free-range eggs if possible)
3/4 to1 cuporganic unrefined local honey
1 tsp organicvanilla extract
dash of organic cinnamon
Preheatoven to 350. Mix all wet ingredients in Large mixing bowl. Gradually fold in the shredded coconut and cinnamon. Mix well until all coconut is coated and the mixture is moist. If mixture is too dry, add another egg white and/or a bit more honey. Should be moist but not at all runny. On a large baking sheet, place a layer of parchment paper (This stepis crucial. It will save you time scrubbing the pan and your macaroons will remain intact.) Form batter into little mounds on the parchment paper. Use about 2 tsp of batter per cookie. Squeeze them as you shape them so they will staytogether. For chocolate macaroons, you can roll the balls in raw cacao powder or add 1 cup of cacao powder to the mixture. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes or until bottom of macaroons are jsut starting to turn brown. Remove from oven and slide parchment paper on countertop or another surface to cool. Wait 10minutes (do not skip this step). Oncecookies are cooled, peel them off of the paper gently. Optional: add a spoonful of peanut butter or a bit of raw cacao powder for a delicious spinon this treat.
Extra Tip: You can combine parts of each recipe. So for my un-vegan macaroons, I used agave nectar instead of honey and also the coconut butter! Play around and find your favorite spin on the recipe.