Lush chocolate mousse with a healthy surprise inside
That bowl of summer corn chowder is long, long gone and it’s about time, too.
My personal chef work is keeping me busy, and putting me in touch with all sorts of people, each with their own set of dietary needs, likes and dislikes. But what I’m hearing most often when planning meals for clients is their desire to eat a healthy diet. It can be hard to distinguish what “healthy” really means when you see the word pasted on all sorts of processed food in the grocery store, from boxes of cereal to packaged frozen entrees.
What do most people perceive to be a healthy way of eating? My sense is that we all know that the more real, unprocessed food we eat the better, but it’s still a full time job to keep track of all the information out there about what’s good for us or not.
To educate myself, I’ve veered off my usual reading of glossy food-porn, and started exploring a segment of food and cooking I normally avoid: nutrition and diet.
Among my favorite books in the pile is Renee Loux’s The Balanced Plate. Renee’s approach to food and cooking enthralls me; her recipes and lifestyle ideas are both seductive and wholesome, if that’s possible. It takes a certain talent to meld the subjects of health, diet, and gourmet cooking into what could be a brand new shelf category at the local bookstore.
The biggest surprise ingredient in this seemingly decadent version of Renee’s Chocolate of the Gods Mousse is avocado, possibly one of nature’s perfect foods. Avocados are loaded with healthy monounsaturated fats, potassium and folate. Combined with pure cocoa – another nutritious antioxidant superfood – and natural sweeteners like maple syrup and agave nectar, this recipe has all the ingredients for a supremely healthy dessert or snack.
It also might seem strange to see soy sauce and balsamic vinegar in the ingredient list for a sweet preparation, but they actually add to the sensory experience when you eat a spoonful of this mousse; touching on all the essential flavors that satisfy our palates: sweet, salty, sour and bitter.
The other amazing thing I need to mention about this recipe is how simple it is to whip up – it literally comes together in seconds in a food processor, and the results will simply blow you away.
I’ve been making this mousse on a regular basis and watching my kids devour it brings out a certain motherly deviousness in me (insert menacing cackle here); maybe what Jessica Seinfeld feels when she feeds her kids a slice of beet-laced chocolate cake.
Luscious Chocolate Mousse
Renee recommends Green & Black’s organic cocoa powder – it can be hard to find, but it does add another layer of delicious richness.