I love coconut and I love macaroons! My mum used to make them and coat them in chocolate. She added egg whites and sugar but this version is vegan and gluten free!
I came across this recipe by Jordan Bourke, in the Guardian magazine, but adapted it to make it gluten free!
The sweetness comes from maple syrup and the mixture is held together by one of my favourite ingredients, tahini!!
These macaroons are absolutely delicious, chewy, coconutty, sweet with the flavour of Halva, and a crisp topping!
Other stellar ingredients are ground flaxseeds, lemon zest and cranberries, all favourites of our gut microbes !
I like to eat to satisfy my taste buds and also feed my wee gut buddies, when they are fed and happy they are working on my behalf, so we all win!
So back to these delicious macaroons, these are a perfect wee treat for a summers day with a nice cup of tea!
I was feeling a bit fed up this week, so headed out to our old Vw Camper Van Bruce with a plateful of these delicious macaroons, a pot of camomile tea served in my best tea set and I felt quite decadent. Sometimes you just need to use your best tea set and treat yourself to a few delicious cookies to make the world seem a brighter place!
A wee tip, if you have any of these left then put them back into the oven for 5 or 10 minutes or so to crisp them up again, they lose their lovely crispy topping by the next day!
So here is the recipe,
Ingredients - makes around 16
Heat the oven to 180C/160 Fan /Gas Mark 4 and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
Put all the ingredients into a large bowl and mix until thoroughly mixed together.
The mixture is a bit dry but just keep mixing it until it holds together. If its really dry then add a bit more tahini, lemon juice or maple syrup.
Take a spoonful of the mixture and squeeze it into a ball, lightly flatten it and put on the baking tray.
Bake for around 10 to 12 minutes until lightly golden.
Leave to cool and firm up.
Coffee Body Scrub
I love coffee, especially the smell and I start every day with a lovely cup of black organic coffee made in my trusty bean to cup Gaggia coffee machine, which means that I have a lot of used coffee grounds to make use of!
I hate waste and like to put everything to good use and it just so happens that coffee grounds are great for clearing cellulite!
So this simple scrub costs pennies to make and has dual function, it naturally exfoliates and moisturises the skin and the lovely smell of coffee wakes you up in the morning! Don't use your best extra virgin olive oil for this, any oil will do, I tend to use olive oil.
I like to add a few drops of vanilla essential oil to mine but you don't have to, its great as it is!
One word of warning, it does make a mess of the shower!
So here is the simple recipe
Simply mix the ingredients together. I reuse a glass jar to mix and store it in, just be careful you don't drop it in the shower! Add more sugar and/or more coffee grounds for a more exfoliating scrub. This is too harsh to use on your face so you can make a gentler scrub with softer brown sugar and add a tablespoon honey instead of the coffee grounds!
Just use a handful of the scrub on dry skin and massage it in for a minute or so, it really gets your circulation going, then just rinse it off. Your skin will be soft and moisturised!
Dry skin brushing before you go into the shower will also help to boost circulation and get your lymph moving!
So put your coffee grounds to good use in your morning routine, your skin will thank you!!
......your health in your hands....
Who doesn't enjoy a lovely crisp shortbread biscuit! Shortbread is revered in Scotland and often appears in tartan tins and boxes, a representation of our Scottish culture, although not a very healthy one!
My Aunt Nessie was an ace shortbread maker, her shortbread was light, crisp and delicious, just melt in the mouth fabulous and I can still remember it so well! She also made fabulous meringues, in fact all of my aunts were great bakers, as was my mum and my gran! Baking is a creative process and it's just lovely to bake cakes, biscuits and scones. There is nothing as good as home baking
Traditionally shortbread is just flour, butter and sugar but I wanted to make a vegan version and since I am mad on foraging at the moment, I added some dandelion petals and some lemon zest for extra polyphenols and a wee treat for our gut microbes, and of course a lovely subtle lemon flavour!
A tsp of mixed spice and orange zest would also be a lovely addition or a few tablespoons of chocolate chips, just use what you have!
You can make the basic recipe without these additions but its fun to add them if you have them!
I also replaced some of the flour with cornflour, which gives a crispier biscuit with a melt in the mouth texture! You can also use rice flour!
It's important to keep the vegan spread as cold as possible so use it straight from the fridge.
I used Vitalite vegan spread since that's what I had but on hindsight I would use Naturli which comes in a block, more like butter and it tastes great too!
So this is a really simple just add the ingredients to your food processor and process until a dough forms. You really need to rest the dough in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or ideally longer to firm it up a bit.
If you don't have a food processor then just add the flours and sugar to a large baking bowl and add the vegan spread cut up, then use your fingers to roughly rub it in until it resembles breadcrumbs. Then just knead it a bit to bring it into a ball. It really helps to run your hands under the cold tap and handle the dough as gently as possible. Overworking it will result in a less crisp and tougher shortbread.
Then work fast and handle the dough as little as possible. Just roll it out on a floured surface to around 1/4 inch thick and either mark it into squares or rectangles, or use a cookie cutter to cut your biscuits. Dip the cutter into flour to prevent it sticking and quickly transfer your shortbread to a lightly greased baking tray or one lined with a silicone liner. Sprinkle the top with some sugar if you like. You can also prick the biscuits with a fork.
These were really lovely wee biscuits to enjoy with a cup of tea, or just as a wee treat or to keep the kids occupied for a while!
Here is my basic recipe, I hope you give them a go! The recipe also works using butter for a non vegan option!
🍃 Health educator🍃