As a plant-based family, we typically use coconut in lots of different ways. Coconut oil works as an excellent substitute for butter when it comes to baking, and is also our go-to oil (along with avocado) when it comes to high heat cooking. It also works well for body care, specifically as a make-up remover and skin moisturizer. Coconut milk functions as an excellent replacement for milk and coconut water is an extremely hydrating beverage. We use shredded coconut in a variety of different recipes, including the quick and easy coconut milk recipe below.
Coconut has gotten a bad rap over the years due to the fact that it is a saturated fat. There is some argument that because coconut oil contains medium-chain triglycerides it has a positive rather than negative effect on your cholesterol levels as it causes an increase in HDL levels. Like anything else, consuming large amounts of coconut (or anything else for that matter) wouldn’t be ideal for your health, however, I do feel that the benefits outweigh any potential downsides.
This recipe includes homemade coconut milk, which could easily be subbed with another non-dairy nut or seed milk of your choosing. Before I proceed with the Chocolate Coconut Macaroon recipe, I’d like to share a quick and easy recipe for coconut milk:
Homemade Coconut Milk
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
4 cups filtered water
Add coconut and water to a high-speed blender and process. Strain milk through a nut sack and squeeze to extract liquid. Put coconut aside for the recipe below, and use immediately or store coconut milk in the fridge. Please note: coconut milk separates more than other nut and seeds milks, and may need to be processed in the blender before serving (if it has been stored in the fridge).
Chocolate Coconut Macaroons
1 cup coconut pulp
1 cup almond pulp
1/4 cup raw cacao
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup homemade coconut milk (you can sub any nut or seed milk)
2 tbsp coconut oil
* I used a 1.5″ scoop to form my macaroons, and ended up with 20 total.
Preheat oven at 300 degrees. Bake macaroons for 30 mins, then remove from oven and allow to cool completely before serving. The macaroons are very soft when they first finish baking, but they will firm up as they cool.
Dehydrate at 145 for the first hour, then lower to 115 for approximately 5 hours.