Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Chocolate Mousse

When I went dairy free for health reasons, I started cutting out desserts. My intake easily dropped by half. And then when gluten free was added to the mix, I became too depressed to even want dessert! Over five dollars for a box of gluten free dairy free cookies? Or box mix for the same price? Gone are the days of finding packaged dessert items for under a dollar. I've heard that people on a gluten free diet easily spend three times as much as their wheat consuming counterparts. Whether the number is accurate or not, what remains true is that finding specialty items that are gluten free and not manufactured in the same facility as wheat gets pretty pricey pretty fast.

Even though I've been dairy free for twice as long as gluten free, I never really exploited the dairy-alternatives out there beyond rice milk ice cream and soy dream ice cream (lovingly dubbed "fake ice cream" in my house). When I went gluten free, I knew I needed to get creative and get back in the kitchen.

One of the joys of participating in this plant-strong Engine-2 based diet is that it is vegan. The emphasis is on plant-strong rather than vegan so people are running out to the stores to buy their fruits and veggies rather than the processed meat-alternatives. But for me, I take extra delight in vegan because it means dairy-free. I get to relax my guard for wondering if butter or a tablespoon of cow's milk could be in a dish or racking my brain trying to figure out a replacement for dairy in a recipe, only to give up before I finish reading the ingredient list.

My vegetarian friend opened the door to exploring vegan options for desserts last year when I tried vegan fudge for the first time. If I want a creamy dessert, it doesn't need to be cow's milk based - it is easy to explore other ingredients like tofu! Yes, tofu in dessert. It is what made the fudge so good, too!

One of the recipes I really liked from the Engine 2 book is the chocolate mousse. The ingredients are simple: tofu, cocoa powder, vanilla, and maple syrup (or agave nectar). And the recipe? Toss it all in a blender until well mixed. Refrigerate until firm. Enjoy. For some extra fruit flavor, I added frozen (defrosted on the counter for about 20 minutes) strawberries, blue berries, and raspberries. I ate most of the mousse in one sitting, in case that vouches for the dessert's amazing sweet flavor! Give it a try! It is the perfect snack on a warm Chicago day!

1 comment:

  1. Greetings from Scotland! I enjoyed reading your articles.