The Chocolate Mousse Diet

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.

1 ripe Hass avocado, peeled and pitted
1/4 cup agave nectar or maple syrup
1 tablespoon organic evaporated cane juice or brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon aged balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon shoyu or soy sauce
1/2 cup high-quality cocoa powder

Process all ingredients except the cocoa powder until smooth. Add the cocoa powder and process again until completely blended - you might need to scrape the sides of the workbowl.

Serve in small cups or bowls topped with fresh berries.

Makes 4 servings.

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Liza said...

This sounds great! And I have a ripe avocado at home, too.

Marianne said...

OH,I had just found your blog in August and was looking forward to more posts,so I am glad you are back!! This looks great..and I have some organic cocoa powder made by Dagoba (Ashland ,Oregon) www.dagobachocolate.com which makes me happy to use(I live in Oregon)...I think I will try it with their Xocolatl..it has chilies and cinnamon in it for a nice zing!!!

Marianne said...

ps..would you mind if I submitted your recipe(all credited to your blog of course) to Dagoba chocolate?????? Thanks,Marianne

Karen said...

Liza, grab that avocado and whip up some of this moussey pudding. You'll love it.

Hi Marianne! Thanks for being patient with my lack of posting. I'm going to have to be better about that, plus I miss it while I'm gone.
I think you'll have a fabulous treat if you use the Dagoba cocoa - I really like their products. And yes, please do share the recipe and original source too. Cheers.

Hilary said...

Yum, what a fantastic recipe!

Mary said...

What a fantastic recipe. Thanks for sharing it with us.

RecipeGirl said...

This is so interesting that this all 'works!' I'm totally tempted to try it out on both my son and my husband!

Happy cook said...

WOw avocado in the chocolate mousse.
It sure loooks delicious

maggie said...

I would have never thought of soy sauce in a pudding...I'm fascinated...

Karen said...

Thanks Hilary - give it a whirl.

Mary, thanks for stopping by. I hope you'll try this.

Recipe Girl, trust me - they will never guess what's in it! I played that game with my family when I first made this, and no one had a clue.

Happy Cook, I was intrigued when I saw this recipe and just had to try it. Glad I did!

Maggie, the soy sauce works! You don't taste it at all, but it balances nicely with the sweetness.

LAQ said...

Chocolate mousse is a MUST-HAVE diet food for me. I have a great recipe I got from "French Women Don't Get Fat." Never *ever* would've thought to use Avocado though. Genius!

Liza said...

I made it! We are having it for dessert tonight. The bits I licked off the spoon were delicious, and I found the cocoa powder at New Seasons (right down the street!). Wish you were here to eat it with us.

Arianna Elizabeth said...

I made it! So good! It made me so happy.

Anonymous said...

Glad your business is booming! Very interesting recipe, looks like something i could terrorize my kids with!

Deborah Dowd said...

Are you serious!? I can't believe how chocolate-y this looks and I have got to try it! I am always looking for recipes that are low glycemic index, and this looks great!

Kevin said...

Avocado chocolate mousse sounds good!

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

Okay, this sounds truly improbable -- but the results look delicious, so I'm going to have to give it a try!

Karen said...

Laq, it is genious! I love cooking magic like that.

Liza, I'm so glad you made it! And that you found the cocoa so easily.

Hi Candy! Yes, but the kids will love it. Cheers!

Thanks, Deborah. I think I've become addicted to this mousse. Just made it again over the weekend. Hope you like it too.

Kevin, give it a try...it will become a habit (a good one).

Lydia, isn't it intriguing? Let me know what you think.

free medical advice said...

This looks yummy. Since I love avocado and the chocolate flavor.

bren@flanboyanteats said...

I could get on this diet any day of the week; and stay on it!nice finding you.