You say cocoa, I say cacao (or whichever you have on hand)

I love chocolate as much as the next person. When I first worked to eliminate refined sugar from my diet, I looked for ways to make honey- or maple syrup-chocolatey treats, and once I came up with these, they were one of my solid go-tos. I'm quite certain you'll delight in them as much as I do.

A word on ingredients:
Cacao powder makes these macaroons raw. The main benefit of the unroasted bean over the more conventional cocoa is greater amounts of antioxidants. It also contains magnesium, iron, calcium and protein.

As for maca, it is said to be an adrenal adaptogen (making it a "superfood"), and fertility-supporting (red maca for women, black maca for men). I like that this Peruvian tuber also has a bit of a malty flavour, which really compliments the chocolate. Gelatinized maca powder is easier to digest, and some say more nutritious, though this processing makes it not technically raw. The jury, as far as I can tell, is out on its safety for pregnancy and breastfeeding, so consult a qualified health practitioner or just leave it out.

A word on scoops:
If you spend a lot of time in the kitchen, I really recommend you get yourself a good cookie scoop or two. Not only are they useful for ice cream, but they're hugely handy for forming cookie dough, macaroons, felafel, and I have a larger one for portioning muffin batter into cups. I have professional ones from my commercial cooking days, but I've heard great things about the ones OXO make.


Maca Cacao Macaroons

I make a double batch and it fill 2 trays in my 5-tray Excalibur dehydrator (you wouldn't be able to make more than that given their height.

3 cups (225g) unsweetened shredded coconut
1 cup local raw honey
1 cup raw cacao powder (or cocoa powder will do)
2/3 cacao nibs
1/4 cup melted unrefined coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp grey sea salt or pink Himalayan salt
2 tbsp maca powder (optional, see note above)

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. I often start with a silicone spatula, and then end by mixing it with my clean hands. Firmly pack tablespoon-sized (approx) scoops and release/portion them onto a mesh dehydrator tray.
Dehydrate on 105 oF for 12 hours. Allow to cool completely before storing in an airtight container, where they will keep for about two weeks (or freeze 'em if you have the willpower!).

Makes about 3 dozen.


If you're looking for support in reducing your sugar intake while still enjoying delicious treats, reach out!