Health, Snacks

Surviving February // Mood Boosting Chocolate Dipped Coconut Macaroons

The grey, dark days of winter are starting to grow longer.  The frigid cold seems like it will never come to an end, your skin may be dry and itchy, and the yearning for summer grows ever stronger with each passing day.   For many people, these symptoms of the deep winter of February brings a sweep of uncontrollable sadness.  Last week my tip for surviving February was to force yourself to go outside everyday.  I believe this winter has been bearable for me simply because of the fact that I spend much of my day walking outside just to get around.  While getting out and about has been easy for me, putting good food into my body has not always been so easy.  Often times when we need comfort we seek some of our favorite foods and, let’s face it, most of us don’t consider broccoli to be our favorite food. But the reality is, the food we eat greatly affects our mood.  So theis weeks tip will address this issue.

Tip 2:
Avoid sugar!  Few things will impact your mood in a negative way, with the exception of alcohol, as much as sugar will.  And yet, isn’t that one of the first places we turn when we’re sad.  I have a vivid memory of a rather brutal breakup where the first thing I did to ease my pain was to buy a pint of Ben and Jerry’s.  Chubby Hubby to be precise.  I did a little research, and the consumption of large amounts of sugar causes inflammation of the brain which is linked to depression.  If you’re in the mood for something sweet, opt for honey instead (especially raw honey), which actually enhances mood and collects the cancer causing free radicals that cane sugar releases into the body.

Recipe 2:
In conjunction with the tip for this week, through further research, I have created a recipe full of ingredients known to enhance mood but also gives you a little sweet fix: salted chocolate dipped coconut macaroons.  These sweet and savory cookies are delicious, healthy, and pleasing to the eye.  They will give you that sweet fix without a raging sugar crash.  Oh, and they are super easy to make.  I hope you love them.

Mood Boosting Salted Chocolate Dipped  Coconut Macaroons | Surviving February // Keeping WillowMood Boosting Salted Chocolate Dipped  Coconut Macaroons | Surviving February // Keeping WillowMood Boosting Salted Chocolate Dipped  Coconut Macaroons | Surviving February // Keeping WillowMood Boosting Salted Chocolate Dipped  Coconut Macaroons | Surviving February // Keeping WillowMood Boosting Salted Chocolate Dipped  Coconut Macaroons | Surviving February // Keeping Willow

Salted Chocolate Dipped Coconut Macaroons
makes 16 cookies

Ingredients//
2 1/2 cups unsweetened, shredded coconut
1 1/4 cups canned, full-fat coconut milk
2 eggs, divided
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup honey
1 organic, very dark, chocolate bar
sea salt

Method//
1. Preheat the oven to 350° F.  Combine shredded coconut, coconut milk, egg yolks, vanilla and honey.
2. Beat egg whites until they reach medium, stiff peaks. Fold egg whites into coconut mixture. If the mixture is very runny, add a little more coconut.
3. Onto a parchment paper lined sheet pan, spoon 1 tablespoon of macaroon batter spaced 2 inches apart.  Bake for 15-20 minutes until macaroons are slightly caramelized.  Allow to cool on a wire rack.
4. Once the cookies have cooled, chop chocolate bar into fine pieces.  Over a double boiler, melt chocolate.  Dip each cookie into the chocolate and place on wax paper, chocolate up.  Sprinkle with a small amount of sea salt.  Allow chocolate to set.  Eat and maybe share.

xoxo

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