Let’s be honest, this week is going to include a lot of treats, right? What are you going to bring to the cookie exchange? What will you have to set out for guests wanting a sweet nibble or two? Everywhere you turn there will be sugar, sugar and more sugar.
Saying no or having any sort of moderation this week is tough, real tough. When it’s all right at your finger tips all day long, having any type of normalcy or healthy eating habits are out the door, right? At work, at your neighbor’s house, at grandma’s and every relative under the sun treats and things that you don’t normally have around are everywhere.
I am telling you, it does NOT have to be an all or nothing kind of deal. A couple cookies is not the end of the world and nor is it reason to just say to heck with it and then just every cookie on the tray and more. There can be balance even in times like these.
First and foremost, throw guilt out the door. None of that. None. Let’s not be the one’s at the lunch table talking about how “bad” we have been this week. Indulging does not make you a bad person. Eating an iced sugar cookie will not land you in jail. You don’t need to confess what you have eaten as you would confess sins. So stop it. In fact, make that a year round habit and not just during the holidays.
Second, remember to move. Clear your head with a nice brisk walk. Make an effort to get moving this week. I don’t mean spend three hours a day at the gym, just get some exercise. Feel good about yourself.
Finally, savor and enjoy your indulgences this holiday. Sit down. Yes, you. Sit. Take the time to really enjoy every last bite of whatever treat it is that you want. And seriously, don’t overload on things that you think are the healthier choices trying to avoid the treat you really want. It’s going to backfire in the end.
All in all, relax, this is the most wonderful time of the year, right? So don’t be so hard on yourself! Look around you and see all of the gifts and love this season brings to you. Be present to the ones around you. This is the time you have together, so let it be one of joy, love and peace.
The cookie trays this holiday don’t all have to be full of refined sugar and flours. It is actually possible to have sweet treats without either. But like I said, even if you do have that sugar cookie, it’s not the end of the world!
This week I will bring you a couple of options for some treats made without refined sugar or flour and still unbelievably delicious. First up? Coconut Almond Macaroons.
I had never made coconut macaroons until this week. I made them three times. Third times a charm, right? Always, always, always make sure you get the egg whites just right or these will be no good. Also, I prefer finely shredded coconut like this. When I used more coarsely shredded coconut, they didn’t seem to really bind together as a cookie. A lot of recipes for these cookies call for sweetened coconut and sweetened condensed milk. I am actually working on a condensed milk without refined sugar but it’s not quite there yet. These macaroons were fine without!
With or without a chocolate drizzle these are amazing! It’s the hint of almond extract that really makes these even better in my opinion. These will be a great addition to your cookie tray or exchange and no one will guess that they are full of real ingredients and no refined sugars! Happy Holidays!
Coconut Almond Macaroons
For the Macaroons
- 2 2/3 c shredded coconut unsweetened
- 3 egg whites
- 1/2 c pure maple syrup
- 1 T coconut oil melted
- 1/3 cup sliced almonds
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp almond extract
- 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
- sea salt
- 1/4 c cacao powder
- 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
- 2-3 tsp maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- dash of sea salt
- Preheat oven to 325°F.
- In a mixing bowl, combine coconut, maple, coconut oil, almonds, vanilla, almond extract, and a dash of sea salt. Stir until all coconut is coated.
- In a medium sized bowl, whisk by hand or use a mixer to beat eggs until they are a frothy, foamy stiff consistency. You should be able to pull the whisk out of the eggs and stiff peaks. Add the cream of tartar and mix to combine.
- Fold egg whites into coconut mixture until combined.
- Using a medium cookie scoop, spoon onto a parchment lined cookie sheet.
- Bake for about 20-25 minutes.
- Allow to cool completely.
- Once cooled, whisk together the ingredients for the chocolate drizzle until smooth.
- Transfer to a small plastic bag or in icing bag and cut small slit in the corner.
- Drizzle desired amount of chocolate over each cookie.
- Allow to set and then enjoy!