Monday, March 16, 2009

Raw Almond Macaroons - An Oven Variation

It's that time bloggies - raw almond macaroon time! Woohoo!!

So how about we quickly cover today's eats so we can get to the good stuff?

Breakie this morning consisted of a Green Monster with the usual suspects (mixed berries, yogurt, almond breeze, spinach, kale, banana, and flax seeds). I accompanied this yummy drink with two coconut macaroons. Oh how I tease! :oP lol They were yummers though!

I then headed to work fully revitalized by both my morning eats and my A.M Yoga session with Rodney Yee. In fact even I was surprised by how chipper I was amidst the mountains of files.

Halfway through the morning my co-workers came into my office and invited me out for Crackbucks for a Tall Soy London Fog. Super yummy but kind of an expensive habit I need to break before it gets too serious!

Lunch was a total highlight today! I had a selection of veggies (think tomatoes, cucumbers, celery, cauliflower, and broccoli) with a little bit of dressing for dipping. All accompanied by a low-fat Alpine Grain whole-wheat roll. It was yummers!


Wasn't my lunch ridonculously colourful? A little later in the afternoon I snacked on a banana and two strawberries.

Dinner starred one of my new loves - Soyganic Smoked Tofu!!!! :o)


Review: This stuff is amazing! It has a slight smoked ring that makes it super tasty. To be honest it kind of tastes like meat but without the heavy feeling afterwards!

My favourite way to eat it is sauteed with some wilted spinach, tomato, and sometimes mushrooms. I only add a little bit of salt and pepper and we're good to go!


Since the boy is away on vacation I took some "me time" tonight and really enjoyed my meal. I laid out a lovely table and even lit a candle. After I finished dinner I made it a point of reading the last couple of chapters of Sophie Kinsella's "Remember Me?" Total chick-lit! No thinking involved! But totally enjoyable!!


Dessert was . . . you guessed it! A coconut macaroon! And on that note . . .


Raw Macaroons - A Blondie and a Brunette

I first saw this recipe on the Fitnessista website. I googled a bit more and then discovered that it's originally from "Raw Food, Real World" by Matthew Kenney and Sarma Melngailis. Apparently the book is supposed to be awesome (so awesome that I ordered it from Amazon).


Here are the ingredients for my adaptation:

3 cups of dried unsweetened coconut
1 1/2 cups of finely ground almonds (use your food processor to grind them)
1 cup of E.D. Smith Sugar-Free Syrup (variation - real maple syrup)
1/3 cup of non-hydrogenated margarine, melted (variation - coconut oil, melted)
1 tbs of vanilla
1/2 tbs of almond extract
1/2 tsp of Sea Salt

You will note that my version doesn't include coconut oil. Initially I did this because I couldn't find any. When I found some I still chose to stick to non-hydrogenated margarine because it was much lower in fat and calories.

If you choose not to use coconut oil then make sure you use some type of fat or oil that is a solid at room temperature. This is the key in replicating the properties of coconut oil.

I chose Eating Right margarine but you can likely find another brand at your local supermarket.


I began by grinding my almonds in my food processor . . .


I then combined all ingredients in a big metal bowl . . .


With a spatula mix your ingredients until they reach an even consistency . . .


Using an ice cream scoop place your evenly shaped little macaroons on a baking sheet. I like to cover mine with silpat. I get to reuse it time and time again and I don't have to use butter or oil!


For a yummy brunette (i.e.: chocolate) variation I added 1/2 a cup of cocoa powder to half my macaroon batter. For the full recipe use 1 cup of cocoa powder. This will result in an intensely flavour. It won't be sweet so if you wish you can adjust the ingredients accordingly to taste.


And here is the key to this version of raw macaroons - place the pans in an oven preheated to the lowest possible temperature setting. In my oven the lowest setting was 150F - I probably set it slightly above that.


Leave your macaroons in the oven for 7 - 7 1/2 hours. Ideally you want your macaroons to be crispy on the outside but still moist on the inside. Keep in mind that the macaroons will dry out a bit once they are out of the oven!

And there you have it bloggies . . . a RAW Blondie and Brunette Macaroon!



Progress

Today I was a very good girl! I did 20 minutes of yoga, went for a walk at lunch, had a completely meat-free day, and got my butt kicked by Jillian Michaels during 40+ minutes of circuits.

Tomorrow will be a longer yoga and short run day! :o)


In the Blogosphere

Run Mommy is organizing a virtual 4 mile race in honour of a beautiful 3 year-old with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. Follow this link to find out more information and register!

The awesome Blender is celebrating her blogiversary with a wonderful giveaway. Follow this link and enter to win a mug, some Barney Butter, and more!

Honey Nut Lo' (I love that name!) is giving away a New Orleans themed lot of goodies. I know I would love to win! If you would too then head to this link to enter!

8 comments:

Leah said...

I LOVE macaroons!! This post is such a tease :)

Krista said...

Great macaroon recipe and I'm gonna have to keep my eyes peeled for that smoked tofu!

A Toronto girl out West said...

Leah,

lol It's how I roll! :oP

Krista,

Do! But make sur eit's actually smoked. Apparently there is some smoked tofu on the market which only has liquid smoke added. This one is actually smoked!

K said...

I ADORE that lunch - the roll is what gets me!

The macaroons look great!!

Marianne (frenchfriestoflaxseeds) said...

Have you had the smoked tofu salad from Rebar here in Victoria? It's pretty damn awesome. It's paired with a maple sesame dressing, which goes perfectly with the smokey tofu.

Thanks for your macaroon adaptation. I figured I could simulate a dehydrator with my oven, but mine is so old (the brand name? Eaton's!) that I fear it might die if I tried to do that too often. Of course, I don't own it, so what do I care? HA!

A Toronto girl out West said...

K,

lol Yeah it was a SUPER yummy roll! They may become regulars!

As for the macaroons - they tasted great too! :o)


Marianne,

I've actually only been to Rebar twice. Most of my friends weren't into the Rebar deal so we tended to go to other places. I'll have to try their smoked tofu when I'm back in the fall!

And I hear you on the oven concerns - I dont' know that I want to leave mine on for so long and so often. Which is actually why I'm looking at getting a dehydrator.

Jogger said...

I'm going to try your macaroons tonight! I got my Excalibur yesterday, so this will be its' inaugural run!

A Toronto girl out West said...

Jogger,

Good luck! :o)

If you're going to use a dehydrator then make sure to dehydrate them at 115F for 12-24 hours or until the macaroons are crisp on the outside and nice and chewy on the inside!