Somewhere along the way, cookies have been given a bad rap.

And that’s a shame, because cookies can be much more than a sweet treat. With the right ingredients, they can be an amazingly healthy snack (or even meal).

Now, one of my favorite cookies happens to be the macaroon. But not just any macaroon.

My macaroon would be made out of organic ingredients, the coconut would be unsweetened and not contain any sulfites. It would be crunchy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside. And it wouldn’t be too sweet, or too big either. An adorable little cookie to take along for snacking or even a wonderful breakfast cookie.

Oh, and it would be super easy to make, with as few ingredients as possible!

Sounds like a tall order, but an irresistible urge to have that perfect macaroon is how I came up with this recipe. And, surprise! The resulting macaroons were easy, fast and simple to make – and a big hit with everyone who tried them.

But before I get to this really cool recipe, here’s what you’ll “get” from these delicious cookies. For one thing, there’s that that amazing tropical wonder, the coconut, responsible for most of the health benefits (or healthy “side effects”) of these cookies.

Now, if you’ve been avoiding coconut meat or oil because you’ve heard that it’s high in fat, don’t.

Coconut, as well as the oil that comes from this fruit (or nut), is a source of very healthy saturated fat.

And yes, saturated fat can be healthy! Numerous studies have found coconut can reduce LDL, or “bad” cholesterol, along with triglyceride levels, while increasing HDL, or “good” cholesterol. In fact, Pacific islanders for whom coconut is a staple are known to have an extremely low rate of heart disease.

Coconut is also very high in lauric acid – something that’s anti-bacterial, anti-viral and a very strong immunity booster. And for the icing on the cake (or maybe coconut pie), some new research has discovered that a high-fat diet can reduce, and even postpone brain aging. And the fat found to be most beneficial to our brain is the kind found in coconut oil!

So don’t think of these little cookies as being a guilty pleasure. Think of them as a delicious way to benefit your heart and brain!

Organic macaroon marvels

Makes around 30 small cookies (although it was hard to count them as they kept “disappearing” so fast!)

  • 2 cups Wild Oats organic, unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 3 egg whites (preferably from organic eggs)
  • 1/3 cup organic sugar
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons coconut flour (you can use all-purpose flour if you don’t have coconut flour)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon real vanilla or almond flavoring
  • Optional: around a ¼ cup of chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350.

Separate your eggs, and beat the egg whites with the salt until bubbly.

Add the sugar to the egg whites, and beat some more until it thickens slightly (the whites don’t need to “peak”).

Add the vanilla or almond flavoring to the egg mixture.

In another bowl combine the coconut with the flour and mix it together. If you’re adding walnuts, put them in now, however, I would suggest making one batch without them to see which you like better.

Combine the coconut mix with your whipped egg whites, add honey and stir until everything is mixed together well.

Drop via teaspoon on a well-greased or parchment-paper covered cookie sheet.

Bake at 350 for approximately 15 minutes. Check at the 10-minute mark to see how they look. You’ll want some browning, but once they start to brown they can burn very quickly.

If you have any left over – which is unlikely considering how fast they went in my house – put in an airtight bowl or bag.

The best part is, you get to have some while they’re warm and fresh from the oven!

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