February 11, 2013

Chocolate Coconut Macaroons (raw and naturally sweetened)

raw and naturally sweetened with dates

One of my favorite natural food stores in Los Angeles is Erewhon market. There are always things that I can find there that are not in other grocery stores such as a variety of fresh juices, well prepared foods that are fresh and clean, a plethora of organic produce as it is an all organic market, and an amazing section of raw foods. Among my favorite finds from the raw foods selections have been these remarkably addictive coconut macaroons. The last time I was in the store, I went hunting for them, but they were out of stock! I was quite disappointed, but it turned out to be a blessing in disguise that forced me into creating a recipe of my own. After all, how difficult could it really be?

The best thing about my recipe is that I actually improved on the macaroons I was aiming to come close to. Made from start to finish in about 10 minutes, they are about the quickest and easiest things to make, and are the perfect treat when I am seeking out something sweet. The ingredients actually have some significant nutritional benefits as well. Raw Cacao is a super superfood that is loaded with more antioxidant flavonoids than blueberries or even green tea. It also happens to be rich in essential minerals and particularly high in magnesium as it has shown to show some of the highest levels of it in any food. Raw cacao can be enjoyed without the guilt of most chocolate products as it is unprocessed without all of the added sugar and fat. If you feel like using raw cacao in another easy recipe, I heartily suggest my recipe for a chocolate banana smoothie. It makes a great breakfast and will give you more energy than a cup of coffee. I might also bring it to your attention that these cookies are sweetened with the natural goodness of medjool dates which happen to be a great source of B vitamins, iron, protein, and potassium. Try using dates or date syrup to sweeten smoothies, baked goods, or beverages.

Chocolate Coconut Macaroons

Makes about 20 macaroons

For all ingredients, please consider using those that are grown organically.

2 cups unsweetened reduced fat shredded coconut
2/3 cup raw cacao powder
6 medjool dates, pitted or 1/4 cup maple syrup if you do not have dates
3 tablespoons unrefined coconut oil
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Measure all of the ingredients into the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Process for about a minute until all of the ingredients are thoroughly mixed and moistened.

Remove the blade and use a 1 1/2 inch ice cream scoop or your hands to form the macaroons making sure to compact them to prevent the cookies from being too crumbly. Lay them out on a parchment lined tray as you make them. They will firm up after an hour or so.

Store the macaroons at room temperature in an airtight container.


raw and naturally sweetened with datesraw and naturally sweetenedraw and naturally sweetened

Categories: Cookies, Brownies & Bars, Desserts, Kids in the Kitchen, Vegan Desserts

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