Recipe: Ginger Coconut Macaroons (Healthy Coconut Drops)

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Last week, I was lucky to attend the first-annual EMPRESS Women’s Group retreat. In October at our Early Service Conference, a group of my fellow female PCVs decided that we needed a place for female volunteers to talk about some of the issues that we face in Jamaica, like changing body image and dealing with unwanted attention.

A few months later, EMPRESS (acronym TBD) was formed. We have monthly conference calls during which we focus on a topic and have an open conversation. The group has provided a tremendous amount of support to me personally, and for that I am thankful.

After some hard work, my fellow EMPRESSes succeeded in putting on our first-annual retreat. We had guest speakers and Peace Corps staff facilitate discussions, networked with women’s issues organizations and talked about everything. The experience helped me to feel renewed.

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My friend Asha did a healthy cooking demonstration with the group, and out of it came the recipe for these delightful coconut macaroons. I immediately recreated this recipe after returning home from the retreat and decided to add ginger. They’re simple, gluten-free, inexpensive and not terrible for you. Enjoy!


GINGER COCONUT MACAROONS: 

– 2 small dry coconuts, grated
– 2-3 egg whites
– 1/4 – 1/3 cup sugar
– 1 teaspoon vanilla (or, a cap full)
– nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger (optional)
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  1. Mix coconut with sugar. Add vanilla, spices, ginger (optional) and egg whites, mix well. Mixture should form together easily; you may need to adjust the number of egg whites to achieve the right consistency.
  2. Form into 1/2″ balls and place on a baking sheet (or pot cover).
  3. Bake at 425 degrees F for about 25 minutes, until the macaroons are golden brown.
**In the event you don’t have an oven, these cookies can be “baked” on the stovetop! Add in one extra egg white, then “bake” in a dry pan over medium-high heat until golden. This recipe is Peace Corps-friendly!

Jamaicans make a sweet treat out of coconut and sugar called Coconut Drops. These macaroons are like a healthier (read: less sweet) version of the traditional treat. I loved sharing them with my host family, though my host sister did mention that she would prefer a little more sugar. Ha!

I hope that you have a lovely time recreating these at home. They’re guaranteed insta-island flavor, like a mini vacation in your mouth!

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