These delicious crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside macaroons are vegan and gluten free and you can even make them “raw”* These pretty maple orbs have the added nutritional benefit of coconut oil and almonds. The nuts (you can easily substitute others) add protein which helps slow the entry of sugar into the bloodstream. The coconut oil is a “good fat”, comprised of primarily medium chain triglycerides (MCT) which are utilized by the liver to produce energy in preference to being stored in the body as fat like other dietary oils. Coconut oil also has antimicrobial benefits: containing anti-fungal caprylic acid and high amounts of lauric acid- an antiviral and antibacterial fatty acid.
1/4 cup coconut oil
6 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
2 cups shredded coconut (unsweetened)
½ cup ground almonds* (if you use blanched almonds, this will make them a purer white)
Optional: fine zest of one lemon or ½ tsp ground cardamom
I have also added a few tsp of spirulina OR beet powder to make green or pink macaroons (fun for kids).
Preheat oven to 300˚F or use a food dehydrator to make these “raw”**
Melt coconut butter in large saucepan over low heat.
Whisk in maple syrup, vanilla, and salt.
Take off heat.
Stir in shredded coconut and ground nuts and combine well.
Gently pack coconut mixture into a small ice cream scoop (this makes perfect round spheres) or
press into a teaspoon to make round balls, gently reshaping mounds as needed.
Place on a parchment-lined cookie sheet,
Bake for 12 to 15 minutes (depends on size)—catch them just before they start to brown so that you can get them chewy on the inside!
**To make these “raw” use a food dehydrator, placing on screens and drying at 115 F for 12-14 hours.
Once cooled down, transfer sheet to refrigerator and chill.
Optional: Drizzle with melted chocolate and allow chocolate to harden in a cool place.
*Nuts: if you have an allergy to almonds, I have made these beautifully with pistachios and if allergic to nuts, ground pumpkin seeds work well and have the added benefit of good amounts of zinc!
Store in air-tight container in refrigerator or at room temperature.
Makes approximately 24 small or 12 medium macaroons.