This guest post is from Alyssa, The Queen of Quinoa. We met on Twitter before Nourished and I immediately like her. As she says below, we met in person at Nourished and became fast friends. I adore Alyssa’s passion for healthy food and her unique point of view – everything quinoa! Stop by her blog, The Queen of Quinoa, and make sure to follow her on Twitter, Google Plus and Facebook too.
The first time I met Amy was at the Nourished Food Blogger Conference this past April. She had only had Nate a short 6 weeks before, and was missing him like crazy, but of course she looked radiant and you could see the joy in her face as she watched how much we all loved being there.
What struck me most about Amy was her passion for healthy and nutritious ingredients. It practically emanated from her with each word she spoke. As a huge fan of SS&GF, I’ve noticed (and adore) that she loves making desserts healthier, and I have to agree with her. When you bite into a healthy, freshly baked cookie, oozing with warm chocolate (or carob) goodness, it’s bliss. One of the most gratifying things on earth. A smile instantly creeps onto your face.
I too love healthy foods, quinoa being the superfood star in my diet, and I try to add this amazing little seed (yes it’s a seed, not a grain like many believe it to be) into as many meals as I can, including dessert. Especially cookies.
I’m a huge fan of cookies. All kinds. Preferably those with chocolate. But this time my heart wasn’t calling for rich, decadent, chocolatey goodness, but for the tropical taste of coconut instead. I immediately thought of coconut macaroons – they’re easy to make, have very few ingredients and are fairly forgiving, lending themselves well to experiments. And my personal experiments usually involve quinoa.
These macaroons are magnificent. They’re crunchy on the outside, coated with the flavor of toasted coconut, but soft and gooey on the inside. They’re melt-in-your-mouth good. And to add to their fabulousness, they’re naturally gluten-free, refined sugar-free and full of protein from the quinoa. The perfect little treat.
How do you make cookies healthier? And how do you use quinoa?
Serves: Makes 16 cookies
- 6 tablespoons egg whites (from about 3 large eggs)
- ¼ cup honey (raw is preferable; agave or maple syrup would probably as well)
- 1½ cups unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- Pinch of salt
- Combine the egg whites and honey in a heatproof bowl.
- Begin by tempering the eggs, which will create a nice crispy cookie exterior. Place the bowl over a pot with boiling water inside and whisk the eggs and honey together until creamy and warm. Test with your finger - if they’re warm to the touch, they’re tempered.
- When the egg and honey mixture is warm to the touch, take the bowl off the heat and mix in coconut, quinoa and salt.
- Chill in the fridge for at least two hours.
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F and line a baking sheet with a non-stick baking mat or double parchment paper (the bottoms are sensitive and will burn easily).
- Using an ice cream scoop or two spoons, scoop the coconut quinoa dough onto the baking sheet. You will probably need to form the cookies into little round half domes with your fingers, pressing them together tightly so they are sure to stick together while baking.
- Bake in the center of a warm oven for 15 minutes until the cookies are nice and golden brown.
- Let them cool for at least 10 minutes or until completely cooled. Enjoy!
Alyssa Rimmer is the quinoa obsessed girl behind the gluten-free blog, the Queen of Quinoa. She loves experimenting with nutritious and whole-food ingredients, and seeks to encourage the everyday home chef that cooking and eating gluten-free can not only be healthy, but also delicious and fun. With the her blog, Alyssa shares her gluten-free recipes, many of which are focused on the superfood quinoa, and discusses her journey to living a more fulfilled and healthy life. She now also cooks refined sugar-free and although not all her of recipes are vegan, she has loved learning and experimenting with vegan baking.