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A Sweet Holiday Treat!

So the holidays are upon us. People always ironically joke and jest about how much weight they are going to be gaining during this season. Does it have to be so?

I’d like to share one of my favorite dessert recipes that will not compromise your fitness and fat loss goals. This is a very quick recipe too! During the holidays, when I am going to someone’s house and may not have control over the menu, I like to bring a dessert that I have prepared that I know is “safe” for me to eat. That way I can enjoy the sweet taste as well, indulging my sweet tooth and having dessert with family and friends. And, most of the time, these desserts are a big hit!

Coconut and dark chocolate are the stars of this dessert. Coconut is rich in fatty acids that the body uses for fuel and will help rev up the metabolism. Coconut is rich in fiber and also contains lauric acid, which will help boost your immune system.

Dark chocolate is very satiating and contains antioxidants and polyphenols that promote cardiovascular health. And of course, it contains precursors to all of those “feel-good” hormones which are perfect for the holiday season…

Coconut Macaroons

1 -8oz bag of shredded, unsweetened coconut

6 egg whites

4-5 TB erythritol (Z sweet), xylitol, or agave nectar

1 TB vanilla extract

5-6 oz dark chocolate

Preaheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a flat baking pan with non-stick oil spray. Break up dark chocolate into chunks and place in a small saucepan and put on low heat to melt the chocolate. You will want to stir the chocolate occasionally to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pan.

In a large bowl, combine coconut, egg whites, erythritol, and vanilla; stir until egg whites are completely incorporated into the coconut and the dough is sticky – it is actually easiest (and fun!) to use your hands for this.

Roll coconut into balls about the size of a golfball and place on baking sheet about an inch apart.

Bake until macaroons are golden, about 12-15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool about 5 minutes.

Roll each macaroon in melted chocolate and place on glass plate or a plate lined with wax paper. Alternatively, you can drizzle the melted chocolate over the macaroons. Put chocolate-covered macaroons in the fridge to set. You can eat them right away but they may be sticky. If you are going to bring them to someone’s house let them set for at least 30 minutes.

Variation: Instead of vanilla extract, use almond extract. Place a roasted almond in the center of each macaroon before you put them in the oven, then follow the rest of the instructions as written.

Enjoy!!

I’d love to hear your questions and comments – email me at [email protected]

Jillian Sarno ND

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