Macaroons for Mom

by Gena on May 8, 2011

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This morning, when my Mom checked her email, she was probably surprised to find a message from me saying “Happy Birthday! Check out the blog sometime after 1 p.m..” Since I have exams today, and can’t spend the afternoon taking Mom out to lunch (which is what I wish I could do), I hope that this little thank you note can suffice—at least until our dinner at Josie’s tomorrow!

Mom, if you’re reading, know that I’m sending you birthday wishes all day long. We may not be sharing a long NYC walk or a movie rental or a museum visit, or frothy cappuccinos at an UES cafe, but I’m sending you the following thank you note from campus:

Thank you for teaching me to march to the beat of my own drummer:

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In ways big and small, I stay true to myself, and it’s all thanks to you.

Thank you for teaching me to be self-sufficient, strong, and content with myself:

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…and for showing me that a woman can be independent without ever being incomplete.

Thank you for teaching me the value of strong friendships. I can’t imagine my life without them:

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Thank you for assuring me that what’s popular is not always what’s right:


…and for giving me the courage to stand up for the things I believe in:

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Thank you for teaching me how to keep the spirit of our home alive, even if I’m all grown up and in a place of my own:


Thank you for teaching me to love food…

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And for setting such a great example of healthy body image. I haven’t always been able to follow in your footsteps there, but I’ll always try.

Thanks for teaching me to laugh and be goofy every now and then:

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Thank you for sharing vegan and raw meals with me, even when the food was a little weird:


…and for letting me have a vegan Christmas every. single. year.


Thank you for knowing me better than I know myself, for seeing the best in me, even when I invite you not to, and for teaching me to expect a lot of myself and others. I know you like to joke about how I never listen to you, but the truth is that I listen (and learn) more than you could ever imagine.

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In honor of my Mom’s birthday, I’m sharing a recipe for a raw, vegan spin on her favorite cookies: coconut macaroons. It’s one of the few recipes I make for her that doesn’t involve a sales pitch for raw kale. (It’s OK, Mom. One day you’ll like raw kale. I swear.)

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Raw, Vegan Macaroons (raw, vegan, gluten and soy free)

Makes 24 cookies

2 cups shredded, raw, unsweetened coconut (find this at any health food store)
1/2 cup ground raw almonds (or almond flour)
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp agave syrup
1 tbsp coconut butter
1 tsp vanilla extract OR the contents of 1 vanilla bean, scraped
1/8 tsp sea salt

1) Mix all ingredients together in a bowl with hands, till dough is uniformly sticky and clumps together easily. If you need to, add a touch more agave.

2) Scoop in tablespoons onto a dehydrator tray lined with teflex.

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3) Dehydrate at 115 degrees for about 6-8 hours (6 is probably all you need). Could you use an oven? Sure! Try one set at 325 degrees for twenty minutes—but do experiment with the time, since I haven’t tried it myself yet.

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Serve to a very happy Mom.

I love you, Mom. Happy Birthday.


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{ 38 comments… read them below or add one }

Valerie @ City|Life|Eats May 9, 2011 at 12:27 pm

awww, what a lovely tribute :) and the macaroons look delicious too :) good luck on your exams today!


Kelsey May 9, 2011 at 12:44 pm

what a sweet ode to your mom! :) she sounds like an amazing woman. the macaroons look delicious!


VeggieGirl May 9, 2011 at 12:45 pm

Marvelous macaroons and post in honor of your mom :)


JL goes Vegan May 9, 2011 at 12:47 pm

Gena, what a beautiful post! Happy birthday to your mom!


Claire @ Un Bello Aperitivo May 9, 2011 at 1:09 pm

Happy Mother’s Day to your mom; she sounds like a wonderful woman and she’s lucky to have a daughter like you!


sofia May 9, 2011 at 1:33 pm

gena, what a wonderful post. isn’t it great how our loved ones can support us despite our differences? my mom and i are like night and day, but we still find a way to love each other despite these differences. heck, we don’t even truly understand each other, but are mature enough to get that our way of doing things works for us, and we ain’t changin’ anytime soon. sometimes, we meet in the middle – be it through macaroons, amongst other mediating factors. thanks for the great read!


Maryea @ Happy Healthy Mama May 9, 2011 at 1:45 pm

Very sweet. Happy birthday to your mom!


Tanya @ Vegan Faith May 9, 2011 at 1:50 pm

Can you substitute a different oil for the coconut oil?


Bethany @ Bananas for Smoothies May 9, 2011 at 2:10 pm

Gena – what a beautiful tribute to your Mom. I think you both sound like incredible women! The macaroons look awesome – do they taste anything like the ones from One Lucky Duck??


Abby Bean May 9, 2011 at 2:25 pm

Maybe your mom hasn’t met the right raw kale dressing yet? My vegetarian mom and my omnivorous dad are both addicted, so keep trying!


Tawney (Eat Hike Sleep Repeat) May 9, 2011 at 2:41 pm

You can see your mom in your eyes and smile. Beautiful post.


Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) May 9, 2011 at 2:48 pm

That’s similar to how I make my macaroons, too. I use a slightly tweaked version of Sarma/Matthew’s recipe from their first book. Coconut, almond flour, maple, vanilla, coconut oil. Stir and dehyd. The HARDEST part is waiting b/c the smell of sweet coconut wafting thru the house is in, you want to tear those things out of the dehyd long before they are ready. Alas, why I dont dehyd things all too often anymore…the patience factor. haha!

I love the tribute to your mom. Such wonderful pictures and a wonderful sentiment, Gena.

Have a great week!


Heidi @ Food Doodles May 9, 2011 at 3:18 pm

Aw what a nice post! And your macaroons look amazing, I can almost smell them. Warm coconut has to be one of the best smells :)


Emilia @ Namaste Gurl May 9, 2011 at 3:23 pm

What a beautifully written post, Gena! I’m sure your mom will be quite proud and joyful when she reads this. Such a great testimony of what she’s done for you!
Mmmm, coconut macaroons. Don’t even get me started :)


Christine (The Raw Project) May 9, 2011 at 5:53 pm

Wow, what a beautiful post, so sweet! I’m sure she’ll love the post! And the macaroons look dangerously fabulous. :-)


melissa May 9, 2011 at 6:12 pm

awww i got teary!!! so sweet your mom sounds amazing!!!


Kathleen May 9, 2011 at 6:28 pm

What a lovely gift to your mom! The strong bond you have is very apparent. Two lucky ladies!

My favorite line: …for showing me that a woman can be independent without being incomplete. Love it.


allergy girl May 9, 2011 at 6:35 pm

Hey Gena, do you have an idea for a substitute for the coconut? I just found out I’m allergic. And I can’t eat vanilla or almonds either. Are those necessary? And I don’t have a dehydrator or stove so can you tell me how much time it would take to bake in a sun oven? Or on an easy bake oven? That would work too.


allergy girl May 9, 2011 at 6:37 pm

Happy Birthday Gena’s mom! I hope she enjoys her macaroons. My mom would be all over them.


megan @ the oatmeal diaries May 9, 2011 at 7:01 pm

Aww your mom sounds so wonderful! These macaroons look great; saving the recipe. Also I am SO jealous you are eating at Josie’s; that is one of my very favorite restaurants!


Pure2raw twins May 9, 2011 at 7:29 pm

Happy Birthday to your mom!! Hope you two ladies have a wonderful dinner!

and yay for macaroons!


megan @ the oatmeal diaries May 9, 2011 at 7:36 pm

Oh also- do you think these would taste ok with maple syrup in place of the agave?


caronae May 9, 2011 at 8:11 pm

Very sweet post! Plus, the recipe looks killer too. Good luck with finals!


Ari@ThE DiVa DiSh May 9, 2011 at 10:30 pm

Such a beautiful post! Your mom sounds like an amazing women who loves and appreciates you for who you are :) I love it!
And the macaroons sound delicious!


Michelle | Gold-hearted Girl May 9, 2011 at 10:39 pm

Yummy! My mom would love these.


freesia May 10, 2011 at 12:11 am

Happy birthday to your mom!
Such a lovely post <3
She is not only wonderful, but also has a wonderful daughter!


bitt May 10, 2011 at 12:31 am

You are a sweet sweet daughter and I can tell you gain great strength from her.

And those macaroons look super sweet too. In a delicious raw way. Another dessert recipe, yippee!!


Katherine Pennington May 10, 2011 at 5:56 am

I literally started to cry when I read this message to your mom. What a special, cherished bond you two have!!! Hope things are going well in med school! I have been enjoying your posts!


Karen May 10, 2011 at 6:45 am

What a sweet tribute to your mama, Gena! Wising her the happiest of birhtdays and wishing you the best on your exams today!


Lauren May 10, 2011 at 9:12 am

What a sweet dedication and post! Your mom sounds amazing, just like her daughter!


Jess - The Domestic Vegan May 10, 2011 at 3:30 pm

Okay, this totally made me choke up. So touching!

I absolutely love the raw vegan macaroons from a local cafe, but I have never made them myself. I must try this!


Katelyn @ Chef Katelyn May 10, 2011 at 3:35 pm

Aweeee!!! Today is my daddy’s birthday and this reminds me so much of the card I made for him.

THANK YOU for this recipe! My friends are dying for some roons and won’t stop bothering me about them. This looks like a great recipe!!


Ragnhild May 11, 2011 at 4:30 am

That was a beatiful post! Mums are the best!
And I love the recipe. I dont have a dehydrator, but Ill make these anyways. Love that the ingrediens are still healthy!
Have a nice day Gena!


Mary May 11, 2011 at 3:18 pm

Beautiful post!!

I am making your recipe right now (though we don’t have any agave so I’m using raw honey). My boys tried to eat them completely raw, so I don’t know how they will be able to wait until they get out of the dehydrator.


Blyu May 13, 2011 at 6:29 am

I got so teary over this post. Bravo.


donna December 14, 2011 at 11:37 pm

What a special, featured post about your mom, Gena! Thanks for sharing about her and the wonderful friendship you 2 share! Yes, one day she will like kale, too!
H.A.P.P.Y. B.I.R.T.H.D.A.Y. Gena’s mom!!!


Shade @ Thrift or Treasure June 17, 2012 at 9:46 pm

I definitely teared up at this post…just beautiful!

In other news…after just trying one lucky duck’s macaroons for the first time yesterday…I’m super excited to try your recipe out!

Thank you :)

Reply October 8, 2012 at 8:42 am

these vegan coconut macaroons look delicious! I’ll definitelly try to do them as I unfortunately like sweets … and looking for vegan recipes, so thanks for sharing!


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