Coconut Macaroons with Chocolate

I made a recipe on my To-Make List!!! And boy oh boy was it fantabulous. Pre‘s Raw Macaroons are divine. And the ingredient list is too. These vegan, raw coconut macaroons are like a sophisticated, grown-up Mounds candy bar except so much better & much healthier. I followed Pre’s recipe almost to a T (well I halved it to a T), using slightly more coconut oil & semi-sweet (still vegan) chocolate. Seriously, they were even better than I imagined. They melt in your mouth. Oh, and I also bought dried nettle leaves to make tea after a recommendation on her blog. I think I might love her.

I used organic, unsweetened, unsulfured, shredded coconut. Shredded coconut is much smaller than the longer pieces that you usually see when you buy sweetened coconut & they’re crisper because they’re drier. Sweetened coconut is usually coated in corn syrup, which makes it sweeter, moister, plumper and ultimately less healthy. Combined with coconut oil & maple syrup, the crispy unsweetened flakes are the way to go.

I also used organic extra virgin coconut oil, which can be quite expensive! According to www.live-the-organic-life.com virgin & extra virgin coconut oil are pretty much the same thing, with no industry standard processing. However, virgin coconut oil (VCO) is much different from refined coconut oil (RBD). According to the website, refined coconut oil is of a lower quality, undergoes greater processing, and will clog the pores if used for external use (ie moisturizer). RBD stands for refined, bleached, and deodorized so the oil also loses much of its smell (which I supposed could be handy if you don’t want everything you make to taste like coconut). I think I’ll still choose virgin. Virgin coconut is physically extracted with no chemical processing and the oil remains unrefined in a more natural form. It smells wonderfully delicious.

Pre’s recipe can be found here. I highly recommend it!

I obviously haven’t mastered chocolate drizzling. And mine kind of look like chocolate covered bananas! Lol. I bet they’d be delicious with almonds, hazelnuts, or more chocolate hidden inside. Maybe some kind of raspberry filling? Oh, they’re perfect the way they are too. Enjoy!

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Happy Leap Day!

Happy Leap Day!! A “holiday” you can only celebrate every 4 years!

Leap year occurs in years evenly divisible by 4, except years that are evenly divisible by 100, with the exception of years evenly divisible by 400! Wow. Leap Day traditions include the famous Irish female marriage proposal, which if refused by the man warrants money, gowns, or 12 pairs of gloves (to hide the shame of no ring) to the asker. Also included is the Scottish superstition that marriage on a leap day is bad luck! Leap Day is necessary because it actually takes the Earth 365.2422 days to circle the sun thus the extra day every 4th year.

A Recipe I just tried that I totally love:

Grapefruit, Lime & Ginger Juice from Lottie & Doof

This juice was perfect for Sunday brunch! So clever. Mom & Stephen both loved it.

So after being sick for nearly the entire month of February, I finally feel GREAT. I came home on Friday with a lot of great produce from the “Amish Market” and decided I absolutely had to clean out the refrigerator. I started to throw out all the old food & condiments we’d managed to hoard over the days, months, yeaaars. Then I rearranged everything & cleaned off all the shelves with a white vinegar & baking soda mixture. I organized the whole fridge (except the meat/cheese drawer)! It made me feel like all the food I put into it was that much healthier… living in my clean fridge. Now I just need to clean out the freezers.

Then comes the big one… I cleaned my room. It started with washing my sheets, pillowcases & duvet cover (which I do on a regular basis, be reassured) and then I moved on to some major straightening. I folded every piece of clothing, recycled paper from high school!, threw away random receipts I found, and for the first time in what was probably years I vacuumed! Yes, I still have papers (and probably dirt) from high school! How ridiculous. I swear, I’m not that gross. I do shower. I wash my laundry. I don’t have bugs (except the occasional spider) in my room or old moldy food sitting around. I’m just really messy : ) In the kitchen too!

I also finally get to work out this year! I clocked in 25 minutes on the elliptical for my first (technically second if you count gentle yoga) workout since feeling well again.  I cannot wait to get re-immersed in yoga so I can do a thorough vinyasa routine at home.

Recipes I want to try really badly:

Asian Slaw by Once Upon a Chef

Topped with a peanut ginger dressing. This looks absolutely incredible. And perfect for Spring.

Lemony Saffron CousCous from The Shiksa in the Kitchen

So light & full of flavor. Another dish perfect for spring!

Jam-filled Scones from The Teaspoon

I’ve wanted to make these for weeks. The messy picture makes them look warm & perfectly wonderful.

Raw Macaroons from Simple Medicine

Grown-up, vegan macaroons? Yes, please, and thank you. I’ll take a baker’s dozen.

Sticky Toffee Pudding from Oh She Glows

I love how simple this dessert is. Only a few ingredients and voila – warmth & yum.

Vegan French Toast by Epicurean Vegan

I love the easy ingredients & this just looks killer. Cannot wait to try!

Also, I’ve just noticed in posting these recipes that nearly everything I want to make has sugar in it. Is that just because I have a craving as I write or is that an everyday thing? Oh dear, I better watch myself. I can smell the maple syrup wafting off of the computer screen.