Our star ingredient! Avocados are nutrition superstars, loaded with healthy fats, fiber, hydration, and a little protein, plus vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. From a culinary perspective, avocados have a pretty mild flavor that’s easy to cover up (with chocolate in this case) and make a wonderful creamy base for pudding or mousse-style desserts. They’re a no-brainer here.
A few tablespoons of coconut cream add even more healthy fats and a wonderfully smooth texture to this mousse. I use two tablespoons of the cream from a separated can of coconut milk (open a can of coconut milk (upside down) and pour off the water, leaving the cream inside). If your coconut milk has not separated, you can simply use two tablespoons of full-fat coconut milk instead.
Cacao Powder (Raw Chocolate)
You can’t have chocolate mousse without the chocolate. Raw cacao (raw chocolate) powder is packed full of antioxidants. In fact, it’s one of the healthiest foods in the world. It has an earthy taste since it’s still in it’s most natural raw form, as opposed to cocoa powder, which has been roasted and processed. I buy my raw cacao powder on Thrive Market because it’s high-quality and an excellent price. You can substitute no-sugar-added cocoa powder here if desired (but try the raw version, it grows on you and is much healthier).
Bananas are full of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. They add half the sweetness to this mousse with their smooth texture. If you have an aversion to banana, add an extra avocado and double the maple syrup. Plus, what’s cheaper than a humble banana? Keep peeled frozen bananas in your freezer for smoothies and desserts to add natural sweetness to just about anything.
Real Maple Syrup
Look for 100% pure maple syrup, none of that fake pancake syrup crap that’s full of corn syrup. Read the label and only buy 100% pure maple syrup. Some people say grade b maple has a higher nutritional value as it’s darker, but I think that’s up for debate. Whatever you buy, just get the real stuff with nothing added to it. I also get my maple syrup on Thrive Market, but Costco has a great one, too. Real maple syrup contains vitamins, enzymes, and minerals and is a great natural sweetener. It’s still added sugar, so go light on it.
Vanilla extract adds a gourmet sweetness to any dessert without adding any sugar. It also does wonders to mask the avocado flavor here, making this dish really taste just like chocolate pudding. Look for a high-quality vanilla extract without any fillers. I buy the Madagascar vanilla online from The Savory Spice Shop.
Always a pinch of sea salt, especially in a dessert. Salt makes sweet flavors taste even sweeter—always add a pinch to any dessert. It really makes a difference. I use the Real Salt brand sea salt because it has a fine texture and doesn’t have any fillers. Sea salt retains the natural trace minerals present in the salt, so choose unrefined sea salt that doesn’t contain fillers over table salt as much as possible.