Tasty Tuesdays – Coconut Macaroons

It’s that time of year where you may find yourself dreaming of tropical destinations or perhaps consuming too many sweet treats.  Rather than baking the same cookie recipes full of processed sugars, try this recipe.  If you like coconut you will love these little delicacies!!

Ingredients

  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 tbsp white sugar
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 1/4 cup of unsweetened coconut

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 325°.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine egg whites and vanilla.  Beat the liquids on high speed using an electric mixer until soft peaks form.
  • Whiles still mixing, slowly add the sugar and honey 1 tbsp at a time.  Beat until stiffer peaks form.
  • Add the shredded coconut and fold into mix. 
  • Drop little rounds of the mix onto the baking sheet and cook for 18-20 minutes.
  • Cool immediately on a wire rack.

Interesting Facts

The coconut palm inhabits subtropical and tropical climate regions around the globe.  This tree produces a seed, or drupe, that contains the ‘meat’ which is the edible endosperm of the seed (Lever, 1969).  Although fresh coconut tastes different than dried coconut, both contain similar amounts of fiber and macro nutrients (Raghavendra, et al., 2004).  Shredded coconut has notable amounts of essential minerals such as iron, magnesium and zinc.  Iron aids with the transportation of oxygen around the body (Porter and Fitzsimons, 2008) while magnesium and zinc help with proper muscle and nerve function (Lukaski, 2000).  A low concentration of these minerals can lead to fatigue and weakness and are thus important to incorporate into your regular diet.  Coconut is often studied because it contains a unique amount of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA) such as lauric and caprylic acid (Ghosh and Bhattacharyya, 1997).  These lipids can pass directly through the digestive system without requiring any modifications and are immediately oxidized.  A study by Turner et al. (2000), demonstrated that MCFAs improve fat oxidation and have the potential to aid in weight loss and management.  These properties coupled with the high fiber content available in the coconut make it a great alternative to other sugary treats. Fiber is well noted for its ability to improve regular digestion but also has the capacity to reduce the risk of certain cancers (Anderson et al., 2009).  Other research has shown that these molecules are able to decrease total cholesterol, LDL and triglyceride levels more effectively than monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (Functional Medicine Research Centre, 2008).  Crucially, cholesterol reduction is associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases such as atherosclerosis and stroke (Amarenco and Labreuche, 2009). However, it is important to keep in mind that although coconut has been shown to have many positive health benefits, it still should only be consumed in moderation due to its high fat content.  Coconut is tasty in many dishes and can add dimension to both savoury and sweet delights.  Interestingly populations who heavily rely on this seed have developed uses for all parts; the husks and leaves can be used for furnishings while the oil is an excellent moisturizer for the body.  If you have yet to try coconut oil as a moisturizer, please believe me when I say it’s amazing!  It is completely natural, non-drying and will make you smell delicious, just like these macaroons.

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