Recipe: Ginger Coconut Macaroons (Healthy Coconut Drops)


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.


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!


– 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)
  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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