I know, I know, I'm a little late to the party. Making chocolate mousse / pudding from avocados has been done so many times, you'd think it would be passé by now... but it isn't, and do you want to know why?
Because it is so damn good, that's why.
For the longest time, I listened to people rave about how rich and creamy and decadent this stuff is, and I'd nod along and think to myself, "mm-hmm... chocolate flavored guacamole. Makes perfect sense."
I was a little skeptical, I'll admit. I am, however, a huge fan of avocados (and of course, chocolate), so finally my curiosity got the better of me.
And now... now I'm a convert. Because let me tell you, this stuff is rich. And it's creamy. And it is so, so decadent.
It isn't just those things, though -- it is also obscenely good for you. I like to tell myself that chocolate is the cure for everything, but this mousse has given me reason to believe it.
Avocados may seem like a strange place to start when making a dessert, but when you think about it, it actually makes perfect sense. Avocados are super rich and creamy, and relatively mild in flavor. A flavor that is easy to hide beneath heaps of chocolaty goodness. The key here is to use the ripest avocados you can find -- if they're at all under-ripe, the flavor will be much harder to mask.
To pick a ripe avocado, look for one that is slightly soft when squeezed. It should feel a bit like there's playdough inside -- not hard, not mushy, but soft. Firm avocados can be ripened by placing them inside a paper bag, rolling down the top of the bag to seal it, and letting them sit at room temperature for a few days. If you want to speed the process up a bit, try adding an apple or banana to the bag. Give your avocados a squeeze every day or two to check their progress. Once they're fully ripened, you can remove them from the bag and store in the fridge for up to a week.
Besides being a perfectly creamy canvas for our chocolate mousse, avocados are also chock full of vital nutrients our bodies need. If any food deserves the title of "superfood", it's the avocado.
What makes this humble fruit so super, you ask? I'll tell you!
Here's what you need to know: avocados are full of fat. But not just any fat... this is premium, top-notch stuff. We're talking omega-3 fatty acids, and monounsaturated fats that our bodies need to function. These fats can help cardiovascular health, lower cholesterol levels, and possibly even prevent cancer. Okay, so we aren't really clear on the cancer prevention, but we're looking into it. They also play a big role in the absorption of vitamins and minerals, many of which are fat soluble (meaning they are no good to us without fats to break them down). Don't even bother taking your multi-vitamin if you don't have some healthy fats to go along with it!
Speaking of which, you might as well pass on the mutli-vitamin all together and eat an avocado instead, because they've pretty much got you covered. Avocados are super rich in things like vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin D, Potassium (more than any banana ever laid claim to, in fact), folate, and a variety of B-vitamins. They also contain a lot of phytonutrients, or plant-based compounds, which have powerful anti-inflammatory properties that can help fight against disease.
As if that weren't reason enough to love them, they've also been shown to help regulate blood sugar levels, are packed with fiber and protein, and despite being high in calories have actually been known to help people lose weight.
Oh, and they make awesome chocolate mousse. Need I say more?
(Plus, a tip for all you ladies out there, the combination of B-vitamins and potassium found in avocados may help relieve some of those painful time-of-the-month symptoms. Do yourself a favor while you get your chocolate fix, and have some avocado, too!)
Oh, it also comes together in about 15 seconds flat. Aaand you probably have all of the ingredients on hand already. Aaaand you aren't even reading this anymore, are you...
Avocado Chocolate Mousse (Raw, Vegan, Gluten-Free)
Makes 4 regular servings, or 2 realistic servings -- let's face it, it's that good
2 medium hass avocados, very ripe*
1/2 cup raw cacao powder (or regular unsweetened cocoa powder)
1/3 - 1/2 cup maple syrup, raw honey, coconut nectar, or other liquid sweetener, to taste**
1/4-1/2 cup unsweetened dairy-free milk (such as almond milk, coconut milk, soy milk, etc.)
1 tsp. vanilla extract (or the seeds of 1 vanilla bean)
pinch of salt
1/4-1/2 tsp. cinnamon, a couple of mint leaves, or other add-ins, to taste
Fresh fruit or berries, for serving
*after pitting and peeling, I had about 280g. of avocado. The amount called for in the rest of the recipe will vary slightly depending on how big your avocados are.
**I used maple syrup, and was surprised at how well it sweetened the chocolate without making it taste too maple-y. The amount of sweetener you use is up to you, depending on how dark you like your chocolate.
1. In the bowl of your food processor, pulse together all of the ingredients. Start with the lesser amounts of sweetener and non-dairy milk, then adjust according to taste. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl, as needed, until everything is evenly mixed and smooth.
2. Remove blade from food processor. Dive in.
Pudding can be eaten immediately, or stored in the fridge with a piece of plastic wrap pressed on its surface for up to a couple of days.
Note: Recipes for avocado chocolate mousse (or avocado chocolate pudding) are all over the internet. I've made a few minor adjustments to my own taste, but variations of this recipe can be found everywhere. If anyone knows the original creator of this dessert, I would love to know so I can give credit where credit is due!
Have you tried avocado in your dessert before? If so, what did you think? Let me know in the comments below. Or, go make this mousse and then get back to me! I'd love to know.