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!