These healthy coconut macaroons are delicious and chewy. They make a perfect teatime treat, or enjoy them as a healthy dessert.
Made from just egg white, honey and desiccated coconut, with a little vanilla or almond extract to taste, they are very easy to make, and only take a few minutes to mix together.
Why are they healthy coconut macaroons?
Coconut is packed with healthy fats and fibre, both of which will keep you fuller for longer. It is also a good source of important minerals such as iron and zinc. Thanks to the high content of desiccated coconut, these healthy treats are surprisingly satisfying. (See here for further nutritional information about coconut)
Low in sugar. The rich taste of coconut means that only a small amount of sweetness is required. Six little coconut cookies have just one tablespoon of honey between them. Healthy coconut macaroons are also low carb. If you want to cut the carbs even further, you could use a alternative natural sweetener such as stevia.
Gluten free, wheat free, dairy free, nut free. These little healthy treats are great for allergy sufferers, as they are naturally free from gluten and dairy. If you want them to be nut free, make sure you use vanilla extract rather than almond extract which is made with almond oil.
Desiccated coconut is a dried form of coconut. It tends to be drier and have smaller pieces than shredded coconut. It is not sweetened, and is usually found in the baking aisle. It's important to use the right kind of coconut for this recipe, as other types of coconut can vary in moisture levels which will affect the recipe.
Note - if you are left with an egg yolk after making this recipe, you could use it up with this easy low sugar homemade custard recipe.
If you prefer you can use almond extract instead of vanilla. Or you could omit the flavouring altogether, or use a sweet spice such as cinnamon or nutmeg.
You can sweeten these low sugar macaroons with maple syrup instead of honey. Or if you want a very low carb macaroon, then use a natural sweetener.
If you want to make the macaroons look even prettier, you could decorate them with some dark chocolate. You could either dip the bases into melted chocolate, or drizzle the chocolate across the top. (If you fancy the combination of coconut and chocolate, you might also like these healthy chocolate coconut truffles!)
- It's important to take care when you separate the egg whites for this recipe. You need to ensure that there are no traces of fat in the whites, otherwise they will not whisk properly. That means separating the yolk and the white very carefully, and ensuring that the bowl that you use is spotlessly clean. If you need further help on how to separate eggs, this link has a useful video. Whisk the white until it is firm, and stands in peaks, holding its shape. You can use either a mixer or a hand whisk.
2. Very gently, stir in the desiccated coconut, mixed with the honey and vanilla extract. Use a metal spoon, and gently mix in a figure of 8 motion until the ingredients are blended. You're trying to ensure that you keep as much air in the egg whites as you can.
3. Place spoonfuls of the mixture onto a lined baking sheet. I find it best to shape the mixture with 2 teaspoons. You are aiming for a slightly flattened dome shape. They won't really spread any further, but it's still good to have a little space between them so they are easier to lift off the tray.
4. Bake in a preheated oven at 150 degrees for 12-15 minutes. You need to keep an eye on the macaroons whilst they are in the oven, as they will catch and burn quite easily. You want them to be lightly toasted, but if they are too dark they will have a bitter flavour. If necessary, turn the tray part way through baking. Remove from the tray when cool.
Healthy coconut macaroons will store well in an airtight container for a few days.
Macaroons or macarons?
As you can see, this recipe is for soft coconut cookies. This type of coconut macaroon is very different to patisserie style macarons, although their origin was probably the same. Macarons are made with egg white and ground almonds. They are very sweet, colourful, almost meringue like in texture, and often seen in French patisseries. However, these coconut macaroons won't disappoint - if you like coconut, you are in for treat!
You might also like to try:
Healthy Coconut Macaroons
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 50 g desiccated coconut
- 1 egg white
- Few drops vanilla or almond extract
- Pre heat the oven to 150 degrees. Line a baking sheet with baking parchment.
- Mix the coconut, honey and vanilla extract in a bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg white until stiff peaks form. (You should be able to tip the bowl and the egg white will keep its shape.) Add the egg white to the coconut mixture, and gently fold together.
- Using 2 teaspoons, place 6 heaps of mixture onto the baking sheet, with space between each. Bake for 12-15 minutes until lightly toasted. Remove from the tray once cool, and store in an airtight tin.
- If you prefer, flavour the macaroons with almond extract rather than vanilla.
- You can also substitute the same amount of maple syrup for the honey. Or if you want very low carb macaroons, use a natural sweetener such as stevia.
- To make the macaroons look extra pretty, drizzle with a little melted dark chocolate once they have cooked down.