Raw Cacao Caramel & Hazelnut Cacao Macaroons

 

These raw macaroons are loosely based on the signature offerings of one of my favourite raw food eateries Little Bird Organics.

I wanted to create a sweet treat that only contained whole food sweeteners such as dates, raw honey or whole fruit. The definition of a whole food sweetener is a food that is sweet (obviously), still in it’s original (whole) form, and as a result still contains it’s inherent vitamins and minerals as well as many other nutritional properties such as antioxidants and fibre. When these types of sweeteners are consumed in small amounts they can actually be beneficial to your health.

So with this in mind I decided dates and honey would work best for this kind of recipe as I needed something without too much water content that would also act as a binding agent for the macaroon. I use fresh medjool dates as they are nice and moist and have a wonderful caramel flavour. If you can’t find these you could substitute with regular dates and soak them in warm water for half an hour beforehand. You’ll also have to increase the quantity as medjool dates are about twice the size of regular dates.

Raw or unprocessed honey can usually be found at farmers markets and specialty food stores. Most of New Zealand’s Manuka honey is also minimally processed and contains much of it’s inherent nutrients and protective properties. Beware of liquid honey’s, especially the types in squeezy bottles as these have usually been refined and often don’t contain any beneficial properties.

The first batch of macaroons turned out so well that I got excited and ended up with two flavours! Cacao caramel and hazelnut cacao. The cacao caramel macaroons are almost like a caramelised milk chocolate macaroon while the hazelnut cacao macaroons are a dark chocolate hazelnut flavour, a little like Nutella!

Both flavours are amazingly simple to make, all you need is a food processor, some measuring cups and a spoon to shape them.

The cacao caramel macaroons are a combination of raw cacao, medjool dates, brazil nuts, coconut and raw honey. The rich caramel flavour comes from the dates which are a good source of minerals zinc, iron, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus and calcium, vitamins B6 and A, and soluble dietary fibre. Brazil nuts are the best food source of the essential mineral selenium, and contain a good amount of magnesium which is involved in the proper functioning of just about every system in your body. Raw cacao powder is full of antioxidants which are so important for reducing the inflammatory action of free radicals which slows the ageing process. Raw honey is also a good source of antioxidants as well as having antibacterial and antifungal properties.

The hazelnut cacao macaroons are a combination of hazelnuts, brazil nuts, raw cacao, medjool dates, coconut, coconut oil and raw honey. Hazelnuts are an excellent source of many vitamins and minerals, especially vitamins E, B1, B6, folic acid, manganese, copper, iron, phosphorus and magnesium. Who would have thought hazelnuts were such a little powerhouse!

Aside from being super easy to make, these raw macaroons keep well in the fridge for a couple of weeks (although I highly doubt they will last that long) and freeze well if you want to keep a stash hidden in your freezer.

I hope you give these nutritionally dense little pieces of heaven a try and I would love to hear your comments or see any photos you post to social media. Tag @swoonfood #swoonfood so I can come and admire them. Enjoy!

Did you like this recipe post? Any questions or comments about the raw macaroons? Leave me a comment in the section below, I’d love to hear from you!

 

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Raw Cacao Caramel & Hazelnut Cacao Macaroons

 

Raw Cacao Caramel Macaroons

Makes: Approximately 25 macaroons
Prep time: 10 minutes Chill time: 1 hour

1/2 cup brazil nuts
2 cups desiccated coconut
2 Tbsp raw cacao powder
1/4 tsp vanilla powder (or 1 tsp vanilla essence)
pinch Himalayan pink salt
6 medjool dates, pits removed
1 Tbsp raw honey (or Manuka honey)

Place all the ingredients into the bowl of a food processor and blend on high until well combined and starting to come together.

To form the macaroons, use a round measuring tablespoon to scoop up a spoonful of mixture, press the mixture firmly into the spoon and smooth off the top. Once it is compacted nicely, use your thumb to press one edge of the macaroon in and thereby popping it out of the spoon. Place the macaroon either on a tray or straight into your storage container.

Store the macaroons in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

 

Raw Hazelnut Cacao Macaroons

Makes: Approximately 18 macaroons
Prep time: 10 minutes Chill time: 1 hour

1/2 cup brazil nuts
1/2 cup hazelnuts
1 cup desiccated coconut
3 Tbsp raw cacao powder
1/4 tsp vanilla powder (or 1 tsp vanilla essence)
pinch Himalayan pink salt
6 medjool dates, pits removed
2 tsp raw honey (or manuka honey)
1 Tbsp coconut oil, gently melted

Firstly melt the coconut oil by placing it in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of steaming water with the heat turned off.

Place all the ingredients (except the coconut oil) into the bowl of a food processor and blend on high until well combined and starting to come together. Add the coconut oil and pulse until well combined.

To form the macaroons, use a round measuring tablespoon to scoop up a spoonful of mixture, press the mixture firmly into the spoon and smooth off the top. Once it is compacted nicely, use your thumb to press one edge of the macaroon in and thereby popping it out of the spoon. Place the macaroon either on a tray or straight into your storage container.

Store the macaroons in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

 

Raw Cacao Caramel & Hazelnut Cacao Macaroons

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