As I mentioned last Tuesday in this post, I am making a great effort over the holiday season to use primarily nourishing ingredients in my holiday baking.
The key word there is primarily. I believe in eating well, I believe in giving it your best shot.
But I also believe that there are occasions where an occasional splurge won’t hurt anyone, and if your great aunt made a tremendous sacrifice to proudly bring a Watergate salad to Thanksgiving dinner one should keep quiet and just eat it.
I think though that this recipe for chocolate macaroons pretty well passes the test when it comes to traditional nourishing ingredients.
Apart from the coconut itself which is a great source of calcium, iron, magnesium phosphorus, potassium, and many trace minerals, these cookies contain finely ground sprouted nuts. You can read more here about why soaking and sprouting are beneficial.
For the bittersweet chocolate I’m using a 70% dark stone ground Taza bar but I encourage you to use whatever you have on hand.
If you wish to use the sprouted nuts for your macaroons, you will need to plan well in advance as these will take some time to process.
To make sprouted almonds:
1. Start with raw nuts (I typically use almonds), meaning that they have not at all been pasteurized.
From what I understand, the sale of unpasteurized nuts is not legal in the US, so one can’t always trust the “Raw” label on the package. If you want to sprout, the nuts need to come from an imported source where pasteurization is not required.
Amazon carries a few pricey ones. On their site, Azure Standard claims that their nuts have been pasteurized according to a flash steam process, but that they will still sprout. Since they have the best deal I’ve found at this point, and cost is a consideration, I have chosen to take their word for it and go that route but I would be interested to get feedback from other sprouters out there.
2. Pour the nuts into a glass jar, add sea salt to taste, and cover with water. I add about 1 T of salt to the amount shown (2 cups ish?). The amount isn’t important, but salt is not optional. It activates the enzymes necessary to break down the enzyme inhibitors in the nuts. The almonds will swell so make sure that the jar is big enough and that the water covers them by a few inches. Cover the jar with a lid or a clean, dry dishrag and rubber band
3. Set the nuts in a warm place eight hours or more. I set mine on top of my refrigerator or on top of my water heater and let them set overnight.
4. The following morning drain off the water and spread the nuts on a cookie sheet or dehydrator trays.
5. Allow them to dry in the oven or a dehydrator at about 145 degrees (keep it lower than 150) until they are no longer moist; a process of about 24 hours.
Proceed with the chocolate macaroons recipe:
- 3/4 cups of crispy almonds
- 1 generous cup of shredded coconut
- 2 oz of bittersweet chocolate
- 2 large egg whites
- 1/3 cup of Rapadura
- 2 t vanilla
- pinch of cinnamon
In the bowl of a food processor with the blade attached pulse the almonds until finely ground. Combine with the coconut and set aside.
Finely chop the chocolate and, in a double boiler or heavy bottomed saucepan over very low heat, stir until melted. Allow to cool to room temperature.
Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar until mixture is stiff and glossy.
Fold in nut mixture, the chocolate, vanilla, and cinnamon.
Drop by tablespoon-fulls onto a parchment lined cookie sheet and bake for about fifteen minutes at 350. Let stand until lukewarm, and then remove to cookie sheet. Store in an airtight container for 3-4 days. May be frozen for up to a month.
If you have trouble finding some of the resources mentioned above:
- Here are some raw almonds.
- Here is the chocolate that I used (although I’m sure it can be purchased much less expensively elsewhere.)
- This is where I have found the best price for Rapadura.
- The recipe was adapted both from the Joy of Cooking Christmas Cookies and Nourishing Traditions.
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You can find this post and others like it linked to: The Homestead Barn Hop, Mostly Homemade Mondays, Frugal Days Sustainable Ways, Tutorials Tips and Tidbits, The HomeAcre Hop, From the Farm Fridays, The Holiday Cookie Swap