I think of February as “Love Your Heart Month” both emotionally and physically. There’s no better way to cultivate that love than with these Dark Chocolate Macaroons. You can make them in a snap, perfect for unexpected guests or cravings 🙂 Now that doesn’t mean you should stack a massive supply next to the remote control and settle in for the winter, even if you live in snow-bound New England! You can enjoy the glorious taste of dark chocolate guilt-free as long as you consume in moderation. So go ahead, indulge and here’s why.
The Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate!
Dark chocolate contains a high concentration of stearic acid (a saturated fatty acid with a neutral effect on cholesterol), essential minerals and most significantly, flavonoids. The latter are phytochemical plant pigments that act as natural antioxidants, neutralizing free radicals that can damage body tissue and cells. (Since dairy can interfere with the absorption of these antioxidants, only dark chocolate — not milk — offers benefits.) You want anything over 60% cacao.
These flavonoids help to prevent hardening of the arteries by hindering platelets from sticking together and improving the blood vessels’ flexibility. Minimally processed dark chocolate actually contains more flavonoids per gram than any other food tested so far, including green tea, red wine, and blueberries! There’s more good news: the high percentage of cocoa in dark chocolate also gives it a low-glycemic index. This means it produces only small fluctuations in blood glucose and insulin levels (diabetics, take note). Talk about good for you!
Dark Chocolate Macaroons
inspired by Terry Walters
- 2 cups shredded unsweetened coconut
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 cup coconut milk
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 1 cup dark chocolate chips (try Ghiradelli 60% Chocolate Chips) or 6 ounces dark chocolate
- 2 Tbs Goji berries (optional)
- Red Alaea Sea Salt from Soluna Garden Farm, optional
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In large mixing bowl, combine coconut with salt. In separate bowl, whisk together coconut milk, maple syrup and almond extract. Add to coconut and stir until evenly moist.
- Melt chocolate chips or chocolate in double boiler or in small pot over very low heat and pour into coconut mixture. Fold until evenly combined. Scoop batter by the tablespoonful and place on cookie sheet in equal-size mounds. Gently press to make each mound of sticks together. Sprinkle optional Red Alaea Sea Salt on top.
- Bake 15–18 minutes or until tops appear dry. Remove from heat and place on rack to cool.
For an extra anti-aging, anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory punch, top the macaroons with a few goji berries when you remove them from the oven – adds a nice pop of color too!
I’ll be baking these chewy Dark Chocolate Macaroons for my Friday Tastings at Denise’s Table on February 27th. In honor of Heart Health Month, I will be serving up five delicious tastings that are simple to make and good for your heart. Grab a seat before they’re gone!
I hope you enjoy this recipe and have fun sharing some chocolatey love with your Valentine:)