By guest blogger Catherine GretiEggs, sugar, whipping cream, semi or bittersweet chocolate chips, strong coffee, Grand Marnier, dark rum, butter. . . .
Given these ingredients gleaned from a variety of recipes I found online, chocolate mousse is probably only an occasional dessert for most people. I’m not a food purist, I eat from all food groups, but I like to find healthy alternatives wherever I can.
Are you ready to stretch your imagination? I make a healthy chocolate mousse that tastes as decadent as the real thing. The main ingredient in my recipe—the one that makes it “mousse-like”—is avocado.
Yep, you heard right! And wait till you hear my avocado myth-buster later in the article.
More goodness: My adaptation of a raw food recipe ramps down the glycemic index from 103 to a mere 35 by using coconut sugar instead of soaked dates and agave nectar. So no “sugar rush” then “sugar blues,” if you have any blood sugar issues.
“Raw food dessert, yuk!” a friend said when I brought her my mousse as a pie on crumbly crust. “Will you just try a taste?” I said. She scrunched up her face and closed her eyes while I spooned it into her mouth. Then her eyes popped open and she screamed, “Omigod, you were right!”
Another time I was eating my mousse after lunch in the kitchen at work. A co-worker couldn’t believe I was eating such a decadent dessert at work but he’s a chocoholic and asked for a taste. He begged me for the recipe, even though I told him it was made with avocado.
Since then, in numerous “blind” tastings, no one has guessed it wasn’t made with eggs, cream, white sugar, etc.
Here is my simple adaptation of a popular raw food recipe. Beneath it you can read some of the benefits of the healthy ingredients.
Indulge Yourself Chocolate Mousse
Ingredients: I use all organic and “free trade” if I can
Time: about 10 minutes | 6-12 servings
1½ cups ripe avocado (about 3)
¾ cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ – ½ cup raw coconut crystals* or coconut palm sugar* (or use honey)
½ cup cacao powder* (or use cocoa or carob)
*See Sources at the end of the post for where to find these unusual ingredients
Put avocado in food processor (S blade) and blend until mushy.
Stop and add ½ cup water and vanilla, then blend.
Add coconut palm sugar or crystals and cacao, then blend.
Dribble in ¼ cup of water and blend until creamy. The extra water is optional.
George Bliss of Carpenteria, CA lived to almost 90. As an avocado rancher, he ate an avocado for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Quoted on WebMD in 2000 he explained that he was 81, could walk through his orchards without a cane and still ride his bike. He was 6’ tall and a trim 180 lbs.
“Avocados have more fat than virtually any other fruit,” says Dave Lieberman, author of The 10 Things You Need to Eat, “which is why a lot of people shy away from eating them. But all that fat is the incredibly good-for-you, monounsaturated kind that has the power to protect your heart from disease!”
The cacao beans (where cocoa comes from before processing) were so revered by the Mayans and Aztecs they were used instead of gold for currency. The Aztecs often called cacao yollotl eztli, or “heart blood,” and it is connected to heart health support. Nutrients in cacao are too numerous to mention, but one known fact is cacao has four times the antioxidants of green tea.
I use raw cacao instead of processed cocoa (or carob) because it is nutrient dense and I love it’s rich, earthy taste. By now many manufacturers of chocolate have switched some of their products to cacao—such as Ghirardelli, here in San Francisco, who now has a 100% Cacao Unsweetened Baking Bar (and Chips).
There is such a long list of coconut’s benefits I’ll dispense with listing them. But in Sanskrit the coconut palm is known as kalpa vriksha, “the tree that supplies all that is needed to live.”
Coconut palm sugar came to my attention a couple months ago when a friend gave me a fudge recipe where it is used. Even though I use coconut products, it sounded unusual to me, but I found it right there with the myriad of sweeteners in Whole Foods. It tastes good and is naturally high in nutrients. Plus it’s low on the glycemic index (35) for a slow energy delivery to the body.
For this chocolate mousse recipe, agave nectar (35-47) and soaked dates (103!) or honey (55) can also be used, but I prefer coconut palm sugar now.
Vanilla is a flavoring derived from orchids of the genus Vanilla native to Mexico. It is described in aromatherapy as warm, soothing, calming emotions, easing tension, and helping with anger.
Go ahead . . . indulge yourself without guilt!
Where to find the unusual ingredients
Catherine Greti has lived in the California Bay Area for the past 15 years. Having only recently had exposure to creative writing training through the Fear of Writing Online Course, she is enamored, enchanted and in awe of what happens when she sits down to write a story . . . still pinching herself and feeling lucky. You can find some of her musings at purple kangaroos.