A dessert with nutritional benefits may seem too good to be true! However, there is no catch and just by including fruits and vegetables in desserts and selecting choice sweetening agents, this can be a reality. Chocolate (Cacao) Avocado Mousse is a creamy, rich mousse made with avocado and is dairy, gluten and refined-sugar free. Super simple to make, it tastes decadent and is packed with nutritional value and health benefits!
When I was quite young, one of my first memories of the concept of vegetables in dessert happened shortly after I arrived in Canada when someone in a coffee shop ordered a carrot cake. Of course, carrot cake is commonplace now but up until that moment, I had never heard of such a thing. I recall staring at the customer in wide-eyed amazement as my my mind reeled with an array of very unappetizing images of what a “carrot cake” might be.
Fruits and Vegetables in Desserts and Baking
Now I understood the appeal of carrot cake and I have enjoyed experimenting with vegetables in my baked goods. Carrots, beets, zucchini, and pumpkin are all easy to incorporate and they improve texture and add fibre and nutrients as well as a delicious moistness to baking. Avocados are no exception. Before starting the whole food, plant-based (WFPB) eating, I had never enjoyed avocado. The texture was unappealing to me but, since it is a commonly used ingredient in WFPB cooking, I gave it another try.
One of my first uses of the fruit was in a recipe from Deliciously Ella for Cacao and Avocado Mousse. I have never looked back and avocado has now become one of my staple ingredients for savoury dishes, salads and desserts.
Making Chocolate (Cacao) Avocado Mousse
This recipe is easy to throw together and all the ingredients below are added to a food processor and blended until smooth. The blended mixture can be scooped into dishes and kept in the fridge until ready to eat. For serving, add your favourite toppings such as coconut yogurt or cream, fresh fruit, cacao nibs, chocolate chips, chopped nuts or shredded coconut.
- 1 ripe banana
- 1 large or 2 small avocados
- 5 tbs cacao powder
- 5-6 tbs almond milk, or coconut milk
- 6 pitted medjool dates
- 2 tbs date syrup
- pinch of sea salt
- 2 tbs almond butter (optional)
Some of the Basic Health Benefits of Ingredients
Also known as an alligator pear or butter fruit, the avocado is an incredibly nutritious food with a high content of healthy fats and nutrients. It offers approximately 20 vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, including vitamins K, C, E, B, potassium, and lutein. They are rich in monounsaturated fatty acids and these healthy fats help lower cholesterol and boost metabolism. With less than one gram of sugar per ounce, avocados have the least amount of sugar per serving of any fruit and they can act as a “nutrient booster” by helping increase the absorption of fat-soluble nutrients such as vitamins A, D, K and E.
Medjool dates are larger and darker than other common types of dates. With a soft and sticky texture, they are enjoyed for their natural sweetness and can contribute a caramel-like taste to baking. Rich in antioxidants, loaded in fibre and high in nutrients, among other benefits, they may improve heart health, promote digestion, and lower the risk of several chronic diseases.
Cacao is rich in antioxidants and high in nutrient value which can reduce inflammation and improve mood, energy and mental alertness. See Chocolate and the Differences between Cacao and Cocoa.
The more I delve into WFPB eating, the more I discover that healthy eating does not have to mean deprivation. A little indulgence can be healthy for the mind whereas a sense of deprivation tends to have many adverse effects. Desserts like Chocolate (Cacao) Avocado Mouse can taste sinful but when they are as chock-block full of nutrients and health benefits as this one appears to be, it can be truly enjoyed without any guilt!
If you make this dessert, I would love to know your experience and if you enjoyed this article, please like and feel free to share with friends.