Friday, April 9, 2010
Before you skip this post because it has "raw vegan" in the title, hear me out. Raw and vegan they are, yes, but only second to Simply Amazing. I generated this recipe over Passover, when Jews are not permitted to consume leavened products (thus two of my favorite food groups, homemade pizza and vegan baked goods, are taboo). I was also feeling a little bloated on bread and sugar in the days leading up to the holiday (I wonder why), and so I began searching for alternatives to the nutrient-free Passover cake meal and recipes that call for, like, 12 eggs. Passover tends to raise Jewish cholesterol levels with its own newfangled Angel of Death. Plus, being the gastronomic anarchist that I am, I try to avoid brands and products that we all think we need, especially the kosher-for-Passover products that are usually unhealthy, if not strange. See my gefilte fish post for more on this. With all the fruits and nuts available to Passover-observers, it's a wonder how underrepresented they are in Passover cooking.
And we can make most of these products ourselves, which is how I passed Passover without eating one macaroon out of a jar (incredible! I know!). The recipe is based on a macaroon tartlet crust in Ani Phyo's Ani's Raw Food Desserts. I highly recommend this book - the recipes are easy and it's not one of those "out there" raw food cookbooks. I did make the crust and fill it with homemade mixed berry vegan "ice cream" and on another occasion mango "ice cream." But just mushed into little balls, the crust recipe makes killer cookies, rich and buttery with the healthy fats and goodness of coconut and nuts. They don't leave you with that "I shouldn't have eaten that" feeling and they are satisfying. In case you're still worried about the raw vegan thing, know that I could hardly churn them out fast enough for the carnivore enthusiasts in my life. And another perk: you can eat them for breakfast without feeling guilty. At least I do.
Simply Amazing (Raw Vegan) Coconut Macaroons
Prep time: 10 minutes
Can make about a dozen macaroons
2 cups shredded unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup cashews or almonds
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup agave nectar or raw honey
Process the nuts in a food processor until powdery. Add the other ingredients and process for about 30 seconds, or until the ingredients are thoroughly blended. Make balls by scooping out a tablespoon of the mixture and rolling it between your palms. If desired, roll them in a little dried coconut to garnish. They are best served room temperature but can be stored in the refrigerator - if you happen to have any leftover!