Healthy Writers Series: Chocolate Mousse with a Twist

By guest blogger Catherine Greti

Chocolate mousse served in a tropical dragon fruit cup / Photo Copyright C. Greti

Eggs, 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!



George Bliss – The Avocado Advantage

Dave Lieberman – The 10 Things You Need to Eat

Where to find the unusual ingredients

Coconut Palm Sugar

Raw Coconut Crystals

Raw Organic Cacao

Catherine Greti

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.

11 Responses to Healthy Writers Series: Chocolate Mousse with a Twist
  1. Lois
    April 17, 2011 | 10:23 AM

    I’m a mousse lover, and I haven’t had any in ages. I’ve got to try this. Thanks! 😀

    Love the info. at the end, too. Very informative!

    • purple kangaroos
      April 17, 2011 | 11:39 AM

      Lois ~

      I keep a batch going most of the time! My husband grew up with a major sweet tooth and even if that isn’t totally tamed, this is something we can have a lot of and it definitely does satisfy his sweet tooth.

      bon appetit!


      • Lois
        April 17, 2011 | 3:46 PM

        That’s good, because my hubby has quite the sweet tooth, too. 😉

        • purplekangaroos
          April 17, 2011 | 4:26 PM

          I think he’s gonna like it. But do like Ken is with his family and don’t tell your hubby what’s in it until after! 🙂

          Thanks for your comments Lois!


          • Lois
            April 17, 2011 | 6:38 PM

            I’ll do my best. 😉

            You’re welcome. 🙂

  2. Kenneth Hopkins
    April 17, 2011 | 10:48 AM

    Ok, Catherine, when you first mentioned avocado, I have to admit that I did what everyone else did… my face contorted, as did my mind, and I thought “she’s crazy”… I’m glad I read on.

    and of course, I love a challenge and trying new things, so this might be dessert tonight! Thanks for the health tips too. I’ve read so many things lately about the supposed healthy things that really aren’t, and I have known indivivdually of some of the health benefits of cacao and coconut, but not of avocado. All the more reason to try.

    I think I’ll make it in secret, and then tell the family what’s in it 🙂

    • purple kangaroos
      April 17, 2011 | 11:52 AM

      Kenneth ~

      Good plan to make in secret! And it is such fun to see the expressions on their faces when you reveal the truth.

      I laughed when you said ‘my face contorted, as did my mind, and I thought “she’s crazy”…’ I’m known to be a little odd sometimes, but this one has pushed a few limits of unbelief!

      I mostly only cook with coconut oil now because high temps doesn’t denature it. But when I put it in the chocolate fudge recipe I had gotten from my friend it even blew my mind! BTW I use coconut water instead of water in my mousse but after the avocado stretch I thought I better keep everything else pretty tame. 🙂

      Thanks for your Tweet on this article. It was in first place when I opened my Twitter this morning and when I clicked on the link and it came here, I couldn’t connect and retried it thinking I clicked something else by mistake. I was expecting a recipe from you!

      I’d be interested to know what your family thinks.


  3. Patti Stafford
    Twitter: pattistafford
    April 19, 2011 | 11:49 AM

    Wow! I recently read the same article about George Bliss and his avocado eating habits. Too cool.

    I’m not a fan of it myself, but I would definitely give this recipe a try. The poor avocado has such a bad rap sometimes. But people don’t realize it was created to be–what’s the word–a miracle food to sustain you when other food supplies are low. It’s perfect for hikers who need to pack nutrient rich foods but carry a light load.

    Thanks for sharing this recipe. I’ll have to give it a try sometime. Right now, hubby is on a strict eating plan and I’m trying to hang with him. LOL


    • purplekangaroos
      April 19, 2011 | 7:04 PM

      That’s a nice piece of serendipity Patti.

      When you eventually try the recipe, know this, avocado has such a bland flavor that you wouldn’t even know it’s in there. 🙂 I have no problem with it – it’s one of my favorite foods. I agree, it is a miracle food.

      Wish you much success with your strict eating plan…


  4. Square-Peg Karen
    Twitter: SquarePegKaren
    April 25, 2011 | 10:40 PM

    Catherine – you have NO idea what a chocolate mousse fan I am. It’s my absolute favorite dessert – the idea of being able to make mousse without all the bad-for-you decadence, ohmy!

    I am SO going to try this! What a great idea – and I love your picture of the mousse in a tropical fruit cup – gorgeous. Thanks for adding Source links!!!

    • purplekangaroos
      April 26, 2011 | 1:36 PM

      That’s exciting that you are a mousse fan and this will make it a guilt free experience for you. 🙂

      This morning my husband gathered up all the ripe avocados from our veggie basket and said with a little grin, “Any mousse being made today?” How can I resist that when it only takes a short time to whip up and serve?

      Hope you enjoy it and let me know later what you think.