Subtly sweet, moist and chewy on the inside, and delectably crisp on the outside, coconut macaroons are an irresistible treat. This healthy yet delicious snack can suit your gluten-free diet, and is lactose-free too.
Here’s a quick and easy gluten-free coconut macaroons recipe from Healthy Holistic Living. Try it, and an appetizing batch of these macaroons can be yours in less than half an hour!
- 1 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
- 1 Tbsp. coconut flour
- ½ cup plus 2 Tbsp. coconut milk
- 3 Tbsp. raw honey *says Dr Mercola or vegan substitute
- ¼ tsp. pure vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Place parchment paper or reusable non-stick baking sheet on tray.
- Mix all ingredients in a saucepan over high heat, and then bring down to a simmer for two minutes, or until it thickens.
- Remove from the heat. Scoop mixture into balls and place on the baking sheet.
- Bake until golden brown on top (five to 15 minutes, depending on your oven. Be sure to check every few minutes).
- Allow to cool and set for several minutes, and then enjoy!
This recipe makes 10 to 12 macaroons.
Go Nuts for Coconuts With This Recipe
While coconut is considered exotic in the U.S. and most Western countries, it is a dietary staple in the Pacific islands and tropical countries. Coconut is a healthy, delicious and refreshing tropical fruit hailed for its many nutritional benefits. This recipe uses three kinds of coconut products, all of which have an impressive nutritional profile:
• Unsweetened Shredded Coconut — Also called desiccated coconut, this is a flavorful addition to a variety of foods, including pastries, soups and pies. A 1-cup serving of shredded coconut gives you:
- 2.68 grams of protein
- 1.79 milligrams of iron
- 1.68 milligrams of zinc
Shredded coconut also contains essential minerals, including selenium and manganese, which both stimulate enzymes like antioxidants. Your cells need antioxidants for protection against cellular damage caused by free radicals — the common pathway for aging, tissue damage, cancer and other diseases.
Selenium helps relieve arthritis symptoms by controlling free radicals and reducing the risk of joint inflammation. On the other hand, manganese promotes healthy bone structure and nerve function.
• Coconut Flour — This product is made from finely grated dried coconut meat, with a powder-like texture similar to grain flours. It has a mild coconut scent and flavor that will not overwhelm your recipes, but rather will impart a natural sweetness and rich texture. Coconut flour is light and airy, making it an ideal alternative for baking. Here are other reasons to ditch your regular flour for coconut flour:
- It’s 100 percent gluten-free. Coconut flour is a healthy gluten-free alternative to wheat. Gluten is highly allergenic and can even be fatal for people with Celiac disease, a digestive and autoimmune disorder where gluten damages the lining of the small intestine, and interferes with the absorption of nutrients in food.
- Coconut flour is rich in dietary fiber. Fiber encourages proper digestion and regular bowel movements. It also helps lower cholesterol levels and improve blood sugar control. Each tablespoon of coconut flour contains 6 grams of dietary fiber per serving, which is triple the amount compared to whole flour, and almost double that of wheat bran.
- It’s packed with protein. Coconut flour is exceptionally filling because it contains more protein than other flours. Protein is an essential component in rebuilding cells and maintaining healthy tissues and muscles.
- It helps regulate blood sugar level spikes. It has a lower glycemic index than regular flour, making it a healthier option for diabetics and prediabetics. The glycemic index measures how foods affect blood sugar levels — the higher the glycemic index, the greater an effect a particular food has on raising blood sugar.
However, coconut flour’s composition is very different from other flours, and there are a few things to keep in mind when using it for cooking or baking:
- You cannot substitute coconut flour for wheat or other grain-based flours at a 1-to-1 ratio Generally, you should use only one-quarter to one-third cup of coconut flour for every one cup of grain-based flour.
- You need to increase the number of eggs. Because coconut flour is extremely absorbent and dense, you should add in one egg per ounce of coconut flour to take the place of gluten and help bind the mixture together.
- Coconut flour is clumpy. For this reason, you should mix it thoroughly with the other ingredients in your recipe to end up with a fine-textured dough or mixture.
• Coconut milk — This is the liquid extracted from grated coconut meat. Its rich and creamy consistency makes it a scrumptious ingredient in Southeast Asian cuisine, such as for cooking curries and soups. Coconut milk is lactose-free, so it is suitable for people with lactose intolerance.
In terms of health benefits, the fatty acids in coconut milk may improve immune function because it is a good source of lauric acid, capric acid and antimicrobial lipids, which have antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties.
The medium-chain saturated fatty acids in coconut may help reduce your heart disease risk. These fatty acids help eradicate the three major types of atherogenic organisms, which are bacteria that cause plaque formation in the arteries.
Coconut milk may also aid weight loss on a reduced-calorie diet because it is rich in fiber, which can potentially increase your body’s metabolism.
Raw Honey Adds Sweetness to This Snack
Raw honey, also touted as “liquid gold,” is a natural sweetener with many nutritional and medicinal values. A tablespoon of raw honey gives you 17 grams of carbohydrates. It is fat-free, cholesterol-free and sodium-free as well. Raw honey’s natural unprocessed fructose and glucose directly goes into the bloodstream and can provide a quick boost of energy.
However, since raw honey is high in fructose (averaging around 53 percent), it should be consumed in moderation. If you have insulin resistance or are taking medications for diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure, it would be wise to avoid or reduce your consumption of sweeteners, including honey.
About the Author
Healthy Holistic Living is an independent alternative health news resource that provides innovative, alternative health-related content, resources and product information that empowers individuals to make positive change in their lives and in the world.
*Article originally appeared at Mercola.