I’m currently on the Autoimmune Protocol, a nutrient-rich elimination diet that removes foods that irritate the gut, cause gut imbalance and activate the immune system. You can read more about the protocol and why I’m doing this here.
It has been my experience that folks who have no vices have very few virtues. (Abraham Lincoln)
It is fair to say that the AIP is a pretty restrictive diet. At day 12, I think we’re trucking along pretty well. I’m becoming the queen of ‘cooking once for eating thrice‘ – braising or roasting a large cut of meat and coming up with new ways to incorporate it into our menu plans. And, it’s the kind of food that LM loves. That’s the good bit.
The more challenging bit is that LM has a sweet tooth. Sugar and the AIP are not a happy partnership. So, there is a small struggle going on.
Given he is undertaking this extreme form of eating largely for my benefit, I thought I could come up with a wee AIP-friendly sweet-treat to satisfy his sugar cravings. After bastardising a couple of recipes I found, I had a bit of a play in my kitchen and came up with these Macaroon Balls. A couple of non-AIP girlfriends gave them a road test for me on Sunday. Two thumbs up!
These macaroon balls are highly adaptable. Today’s recipe is orange flavoured. Over the weekend, the girls sampled lemon & thyme. I think cinnamon & vanilla may by next version. Have a play and see which ones you prefer…
And, just before all you purists out there tell me this is breaking the AIP guidelines – my reckoning is this: if its a choice between one of these babies and something processed, overly sugared and packaged, then its a no brainer.
[recipe title=”Orange Macaroon Balls” servings=”18 balls” time=”30 minutes” difficulty=”easy-peasey”]
225g medjool dates, pitted (16 – 18 dates)
175g desiccated coconut (approx. 2 cups)
Zest of one orange
1 Tablespoon orange juice
Pinch of salt
Desiccated coconut for rolling
1) Preheat your oven to 160°C/325°F.
2) Place dates in a bowl and cover with water. Leave to soak for five minutes.
3) Place dates, desiccated coconut, zest and juice of the orange and salt into the bowl of your food processor. Blitz until fully combined.
4) Using a Tablespoon as a measure, form mixture into balls. Roll each ball in desiccated coconut before placing on a lined baking tray.
5) Bake for about 12 minutes – until they are lightly ‘suntanned’*
*Do keep an eye on them. I set the time for 6 minutes and then rotated the tray.
E N J O Y ! [/recipe]
Here’s what happens when you don’t keep a watchful eye on your balls…