Raw Easter Macaroon Nests

A few weeks ago, my Mom and I were discussing what our favorite Easter candies were.  Mine was always Reese's peanut butter eggs, and raspberry cream eggs, and she said hers was "those coconut nests with the eggs".  If you do not know what I am talking about there are a few versions of the nests, some with jelly beans or some with chocolate in the center, some with chocolate coconut nests, some with vanilla or white chocolate coconut macaroon.  My Mom then told me that I needed to create a raw version of them for Easter, since she tries not to eat refined sugar anymore, but she would love to have something similar.
 
 
I accepted the challenge, but I put my own spin on the nests.  Instead of vanilla or chocolate macaroons, I decided on lime coconut.  Since they were to be green, it made sense!  Instead of chocolate candy or jelly beans in the center, I piped some strawberry cream.  It was the perfect combination and lovely for Easter!  
 
 
I thought they were better than the original recipes for the nests and my Mom, whose opinion mattered the most this time loved them!  They were just the right amount of sweet, and the strawberry lime combination was heavenly and so springy!  

Raw Easter Macaroon Nests
(coconut lime macaroons with strawberry cream)
Makes 12

Macaroons:
3/4 cup raw almond meal*
2 Tbsp organic lime zest
2 Tbsp lime juice
a pinch of sea salt
1/4 cup raw coconut nectar a few spinach leaves
2 cups finely shredded unsweetened coconut

Cream "eggs":
1/2 cup raw cashew pieces (preferably soaked overnight)
2 Tbsp lime juice
1 /2 Tbsp organic lime zest
1/2 cup fresh young coconut meat (or additional soaked cashews if not available)
2 Tbsp raw coconut nectar
1/8 tsp sea salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 Tbsp coconut butter, warmed to soft
2 Tbsp raw coconut oil (warmed to liquid)
1/4 cup fresh organic strawberries

Place almond meal, lime zest, lime juice, and sea salt in the food processor and process until well combined. Add the agave nectar and spinach and process until the mixture holds together. Add coconut and pulse until the mixture holds together. Form the mixture into 12 balls, then press down in the center of each to form a nest and place on a dehydrator sheet. Dehydrate for about 12 hours, or until they are dried, but not so much so that they are not a little chewy in the middle.
To make cream, combine all ingredients except coconut oil and berries in the food processor and process until smooth.  With the motor running, add the oil slowly and process a minute.  Add the berries and process until well blended.  Place in a bowl in the freezer to firm up for about 30 minutes. Place the cream in a pastry bag with a large round tip (or a ziplock with the end cut off) and pipe eggs into the nests.  Enjoy!  Store extra in the fridge.
*I used soaked, skinned and dried almonds to make the meal.

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