I have three wonderful words for you all today. Healthy, superfood dessert. Okay, three more words. Chocolate avocado mousse. You might be thinking, “chocolate and avocado together?” Or maybe, “avocado and dessert together?” How can this be?! Well, let me tell you, friends. This is the ultimate combination. Perfectly ripe avocados blended into a silky, smooth mousse with raw cacao powder, maple syrup, coconut milk, cinnamon, vanilla, and a touch of sea salt. It is the definition of decadence, I can assure you. And in case you were still skeptical, I’ll just point out that you absolutely cannot taste avocado in the least! Just rich, chocolatey goodness with a hint of cinnamon and coconut, which in my opinion take the flavor to the next level. The best part about this recipe? It is incredibly nutrient-dense and (mostly) guilt-free! And did I mention quick? It takes a mere 10 minutes to whip up, which could be equally wonderful and dangerous. Assuming you have all ingredients on hand, you could be enjoying this rich, velvety mousse in less time than it takes to wash the dishes afterward!
Avocados contain a wide variety of nutrients, including the fat-soluble vitamins E and K, vitamins B5, B6 and folate, vitamin C, and even has more potassium than bananas! While they are a high-fat food, they are rich in the monounsaturated fat known as oleic acid, which is incredibly heart healthy and anti-inflammatory. They are also a surprisingly excellent source of dietary fiber, with 10g per one cup (or 150g) serving.
Raw cacao contains more antioxidant properties than blueberries, acai berries, and goji berries! It has an ORAC score of 98,000 per 100g, vs 100g of blueberries at a mere 2,400, acai berries at 18,500, and goji berries at 25,300. The ORAC score measures the ability of antioxidants to absorb and neutralize the free radicals which come from pollution and toxins in our environment and cause cell and tissue damage, known as oxidation. Oxidative damage in the body can contribute to common chronic conditions such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, and type II diabetes, as well as accelerated aging, asthma, and leaky gut. Eating antioxidant-rich foods, such as raw cacao, slows the damage done by free radicals because the antioxidants in these foods scavenge and neutralize free radicals before they can cause oxidative damage in our bodies. So, the bottom line is we can eat raw cacao guilt-free! Just keep in mind that all processed cocoa (yes, even dark chocolate) has been heated during the processing and contains much fewer antioxidants than raw cacao does, and milk chocolate in particular contains next to none.
While sweeteners in general should be used in moderation as an occasional treat, it is comforting to know that pure maple syrup contains a variety of nutrients to help offset the risks of consuming it, especially when compared to refined cane sugar. Pure maple syrup has undergone much less processing than refined cane sugar, which means that it retains many of the minerals that are lost in other common sweeteners. It is very rich in manganese, and contains an impressive amount of zinc, potassium, iron, and magnesium as well. While nowhere near as high as raw cacao on the ORAC list, maple syrup does contain antioxidant properties which are known to be anti-inflammatory and help protect against the common chronic diseases mentioned above. While this certainly doesn’t give us an excuse to drizzle maple syrup on everything we eat, it does give us a healthier, more responsible sweetener option to use for the occasional treat than plain, old refined cane sugar.
So, now that we know this vegan, gluten-free chocolate avocado mousse is full of healthy fats, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, shall we get to the recipe?? I thought so, too. 🙂
- 2 small, ripe Hass avocados
- 1/2 cup raw cacao powder
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
- 2 tsp full-fat coconut milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 to 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- Pinch of Himalayan sea salt
- Shredded coconut and dark chocolate shavings for topping (optional)
- Cut avocados in half, remove pits and scoop flesh into a food processor
- Add all other ingredients into the food processor (except toppings) and process until smooth, scraping down sides as needed
- Scoop mousse into serving bowls and top with shredded coconut and dark chocolate shavings
- Serve and enjoy immediately
- Additional toppings I enjoy are fresh raspberries in the summer, lightly toasted pumpkin seeds or pecans, and goji berries. Experiment with your favorite toppings!
- Leftovers will keep in the fridge for three to five days.