Something's going on with my thyroid, thanks to some adrenal issues. That's another story for another post, but I'm pretty sure I can trace the beginning of what is now a full-fledged acceptance of coconut to when I started to suspect that something was awry in the land of hormones. Coconut oil is supposed to be good for your thyroid. This is the heresay I hear.
I am blessed with two smart kids who are mostly pretty adventurous about food, but I think Desmond must have directly inherited my tastebuds. Either that, he knows innately that food is a bonding thing and wants to try what I eat. I don't care; the kid loves coconut. Coconut water instead of OJ in the morning. Coconut steamers at the Cosmic Cup. He asked for coconut milk last week, so I bought it (the non-culinary kind).
He also happens to love lemons. I think a lot of kids when they are super young and exploring food go through a phase where they want to suck on lemons, on purpose. He still seems to want to do this, and he's six. I taught him the word kwasny, which means sour, in Polish. (I'm not Polish; I have no idea why my dad taught us that word as kids.)
You can find raw vegan lemon ball recipes online that call themselves meltaways. I didn't want something that straightforwardly lemon. I wanted something with more nuance, and something so nutrient dense and flavorful that you wouldn't want to eat more than one.
Vegan Lemon Coconut Balls
Yield: 1 dozen
- 1 cup almond flour
- 1/2 cup coconut flour
- 1/2 cup finely shredded dried organic coconut (packaging may say "great for baking.")
- 1/2 cup raw or sprouted organic almonds
- 2 big pinches of Kosher salt
- Zest of 3 lemons and juice, totaling 1/4 to 1/3 cup, separated
- 2 T. unrefined extra virgin coconut oil, melted
- 2 T. honey
- A dash of nutmeg
Combine the almond flour through lemon zest in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Pulse 5-6 times until combined, leaving the almonds chunky, for texture.
Squeeze the lemons into a measuring cup; depending on their size and how fresh they are, you may need another one. Scoop out two tablespoons of coconut oil and melt them in your favorite way (I use the microwave). Add the melted coconut to the lemon juice and whisk it so the clumps dissolve. Squeeze out the honey on the tablespoon measure; it'll slide right out because of the coconut oil you just put on there. Stir together all ingredients in the measuring cup.
Add a dash of nutmeg to the food processor bowl. Slowly, with the food processor on, pour the liquids through the chute until the mixture begins to pull away from the sides. If it feels dry, add a tablespoon of cold water if necessary, like you'd do with pie dough (Ooh! that gives me another idea!).
Scoop out balls of dough approximately 2 T in size (about the size of a walnut) and roll them between your moistened palms. You can roll them in more of the shredded coconut if you like; I went halfsies on it. Place them on a baking sheet, cover loosely and refrigerate for an hour or two until firm before transferring them to an airtight container. They should keep in the fridge for 3-5 days.