PLANT‑BASED CARROT MACAROONS

No processed sugar, gluten, eggs, or dairy!

Does anyone besides Yours Truly have a sweet tooth that MUST be satisfied, whether from something healthy or not?

Well, rejoice, for you can rely on Grandma Girl Scout to rally her resources and rescue you with a refreshing recipe for your ravenous desire for a relatively healthy rendition of a regular old…coconut macaroon.

Macaroons On Plate

CHEWY, CRUNCHY…SWEET

If anyone has ever made macaroons or looked at an ingredient list of store‑bought ones, you’ll know that often the main ingredients are coconut, sweetened condensed milk or other form of sugar, and egg whites.  Delicious to our “Standard American Taste Buds,” for sure; but if you are on a quest to change your preferred taste for sweets, give this recipe a try!  You’ll still get the chewy interior and coconut crunch on the outside, and you won’t even taste the carrots.  Not that carrots don’t taste great, but macaroons are supposed to be about the coconut, after all.

Important note:  I don’t take ANY credit for developing this recipe.  Aside from a minor tweak or two, this came from Sally Christensen, a retired cooking instructor and editor of the NEWSTART Lifestyle Cookbook.  You can find her recipe here:  http://newstartclub.com/recipes/detail/carrot‑macaroons.

I highly recommend you pay a visit to the NEWSTART Lifestyle Club where I found this recipe, because it also contains many, many other great plant‑based recipes.  The site offers a free membership.  Visit them at newstartclub.com.  You won’t be disappointed!

YOU HAVE TO MAKE THE CUT

Mac Carrots

This recipe uses grated raw carrots, and I’m here to tell you that your macaroons will totally LOVE you if  you grate them into teeny little julienne strips with a cutter like the Borner slicer I’m using in this photo (with my special Microplane anti‑hand‑slicing glove), or even a smaller handheld julienne slicer.  Either one will cut teeny strips that will be about the same size as the shredded coconut.  They’ll get along with each other quite nicely in the cookies that way.  (But a grater will work too, although without the fun of making you emit high‑pitched squeals of joy.)

Mac Carrots Grating

MacCutter

Mac Julienner

This recipe uses oat flour, which you can easily make yourself by processing regular whole oats in a blender or food processor until it turns to flour.  I happened to have some on hand from Bob’s Red Mill.  You can use certified gluten‑free oats if that is a concern.

Mac Oat Flour

You want unsweetened dry shredded coconut that is cut into small shreds, not big flakes.  I bought mine in bulk from my favorite local grocery store, Harmons, but you can also buy it in packages.

MIX AND MINGLE

Mixing up the “dough” is very simple!  Measure coconut, carrots, oat flour, and salt into a bowl, then stir in the vanilla, water, and honey and let it all sit and meditate for a few minutes so the oats and coconut can absorb some moisture.

Mac Bowl

For small bites, drop tablespoons of the mixture onto a nonstick lined baking sheet, then bake at 325 degrees for 20‑25 minutes.  You should get about 32 macaroons.  Enjoy!

Mac Plop

THE RECIPE

CARROT MACAROONS

  • 1 C. finely grated raw carrots, lightly packed
  • 1‑1/2 C. unsweetened coconut, fine or medium shred
  • 1 C. oat flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3 or 4 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 C. water

Mix carrots, coconut, oat flour, and salt in a bowl.  Mix in honey, vanilla, and water.  Let sit for a few minutes to hydrate the coconut and oat flour.

Pack dough into a tablespoon or small scoop and plop onto a baking sheet lined with parchment or a nonstick mat.  Bake at 325 degrees for 20‑25 minutes, until bits of coconut are lightly browned.

Makes about 32

Note:  If the surfaces of stored cookies soften in a container and you want some crunch back, you can put them under the broiler for a minute or two, watching them carefully so they don’t burn.

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