Is there anyone who doesn’t adore chocolate mousse? It’s one of my all-time favorite out-to-dinner desserts because it’s difficult to screw up. Even a mediocre restaurant tends to get it right. Probably because it’s so simple: Heavy cream, sugar, and lots of chocolate. Would wouldn’t love it? The only problem is…it doesn’t love me. After eating a serving (or two) of the traditional version, I usually feel throat-coated and sluggish.
During the dieting years, I made a failed attempt to make chocolate mousse a part of a healthy eating plan via a rather, shall we say, marketing savvy celebrity whose cottage empire of diet books centered around the declaration that all carbs are vile and fat is your friend. This product-hawking sweetie’s diet plan was similar to Atkins, only about ten times more decadent. She even had a chocolate mousse mix, made easily available by ordering off her website, or from the home shopping channel that helped her rake in millions. Do I sound annoyed at her? Well maybe a little. Let’s just get real for a minute: anyone who knows anything about healthy eating, weight loss, or maintaining a healthy weight will probably agree with me when I say: STAY THE HECK AWAY FROM HEAVY CREAM! Have it in moderate amounts in coffee if you must. Or in larger amounts, make it an annual event, like the creamed pearl onions I love at Thanksgiving…but look around you. Most restaurants are phasing it out of their cream soups and are coming up with dessert alternatives that don’t involve artery-clogging ingredients.
Yes, fat is your friend, but with one important caveat – in order for it to be a friendship that’s a two-way street, it’s gotta be a plant-based fat. No one’s gotten ill over a diet generous in olive, macadamia, coconut, or sunflower oil. Ditto for nuts of all kind, and my all-time favorite: The Avocado! You probably won’t find this version of chocolate mousse in many restaurants so go ahead and make it for yourself when you want something creamy, comforting, and unmistakably chocolatey!
Ingredient amounts are mutable – adjust according to your preference for sweetness and chocolate decibel level. This isn’t low in fat but I suggest you not fret about it. The mousse is loaded with monounsaturated fat, potassium, folate, panothenic acid, vitamin E, and several B vitamins. It may taste good, but heavy cream doesn’t even begin to touch that list of attributes.
So go get some avocadoes, wait a few days until they ripen (they will give a little when pressed, but not be mushy) and whip up a treat that treats your body like royalty!
Utterly Harmless Chocolate Mousse
1 ripe avocado
8 drops of Stevia or one packet (or 1-2 TBS. honey or agave. I use Stevia because of its low glycemic index)
1-2 TBS. unsweetened baking cocoa or raw cacao powder
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Peel and pit avocado and cut into large chunks. Place in a food processor along with the other ingredients and whir till smooth. You may need to add a tablespoon or two of water if it’s too chunky. Scrap sides with scraper to make sure all the cocoa is evenly distributed. Whir some more until all the lumps are eradicated. Serve in something proper like a wine glass or dessert glass. Enjoy!