Cheat Healthy Chocolate Mousse Recipe

Years ago when I was being trained as a Nutritionist’s assistant, I learned many little tricks to stay healthy. One thing that I now teach — if you are going to cheat on your diet, always cheat healthy. If making the best choice in any situation is all you can do, then you’ve done your best... move on. If I know a food is going to make me sick or lower my pH for a few days, the first thing I ask myself, is this food yummy enough to warrant how bad I will feel later? The little voice in my head usually warns, “nope not worth it!” The following recipe is decadent and satisfying, yet healthy. Believe it or not, it’s possible to achieve both.

Because you will only be eating a small amount, this recipe falls safely into the 20% healthy acid-forming part of your day. Let’s take a brief look at the nutrition profile of some of the ingredients in this dessert.

•    Cashews:  Unlike hydrogenated unhealthy fats that only take from you, the fats found in cashews give back. Rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Studies show that eating foods rich in these types of fats improves blood cholesterol levels and may help manage diabetes. One type of polyunsaturated fat, omega-3 fatty acids, may be especially beneficial to your heart. These good fats don’t make you fat, rather they protect your tissues from acids. Other reasons to eat cashews are the high amounts of naturally occuring vitamin K and various B vitamins such as Thiamin. They also have an alkalizing mineral content including Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Zinc, Copper, Manganese, Selenium and Iron.

•    Flax Seeds:  Loaded with heart healthy ALA Omega-3 essential fatty acids. Part of the good fats your body needs to control triglycerides, regulate inflammation, help reduce the risk of heart disease, aid in the production of brain tissue, eye tissue and healthy sperm. The academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends that people eat Omega-3’s everyday. As an added bonus the 2 grams protein will give you energy and the 3 grams fiber per tablespoon in flax seeds will help keep you regular.

•    Chocolate:  Research has shown that good dark chocolate has; Anti-inflammatory properties; May lower blood pressure; Lower the bad LDL cholesterol; Increases insulin sensitivity; High in flavonoid antioxidants; Theobromine to quiet coughs; Mood boosting properties; Anti-clotting and blood-thinning properties; Increase blood flow to the retina. Resulting in;  Lowering your risk of stroke; Heart disease, Diabetes; Good for your skin offering some UV protection; Flavonoids may increase alertness; Helps relieve stress; Improves blood flow and circulation; Helps vision. One Swedish study found that women who ate more than 45 grams of good dark chocolate a week had 20 percet lower risk of stroke compared to the group who ate 9 grams.

•    Non-alcohol Vanilla:  Once you taste non-alcohol vanilla you won’t go back. Not only does the alcohol in regular vanilla make it acid-forming, it also promotes parasites, usually has gluten and just tastes nasty. Non-alcohol vanilla is preserved in vegetable glycerine rather than alcohol giving it a naturally sweeter taste with only 4 grams sugar per teaspoon. In a recipe like this that’s only 1 gram per serving.

•    Agave Nectar:  New findings about agave is the discovery that it contains fructans, a polymer of fructose molecules commonly found in asparagus, artichokes, leeks, green beans, and other vegetables. New research indicates that fructans might reduce the absorption of fat and cholesterol in the intestine. Inulin, the type of fructan found in agave, could actually help weight loss for these reasons. Agave nectar also has a low glycemic index, meaning it has lower impact on our blood sugar levels.

•    Stevia:  High in potassium, this is natures sweet miracle. Look for a brand that doesn’t contain a lot of unnecessary fillers. I have always liked Sweet Leaf brand and that is what I use when I make this recipe. With a calorie and glycemic load of zero, stevia is safe for diabetics and those trying to control a candida overgrowth. Three hundred times sweeter than sugar, a very little goes a long way. This is the only pH friendly sweet treat safe for everyday use.

•    Dandy Blend:  Tastes remarkably like a rich, full-bodied cup of coffee; Caffeine free, and has no acidity or bitterness; Made of water-soluble extracts of roasted roots of dandelion, chicory and beets, and the grains of barley and rye. Nothing else is added; Contains no gluten; The sweetness some perceive in Dandy Blend is primarily from the fructose that occurs naturally in the roots of dandelion and chicory; Contains over 50 trace minerals in each cup, most of which the body uses to help synthesize compounds needed in metabolism; There are no headaches or other withdrawal symptoms when switching from coffee to Dandy Blend; Costs as little as 7 cents a cup. PLUS there is NO brewing — 100% caffeine-free — Gluten-free — No GMO's — No bitterness — Åcid-free.

Dairy-Free Chocolate Mousse

•    1 cup Raw Cashews, you may also use Roasted Unsalted Cashews.
•    1 teaspoon whole flax seeds
•    1 cup pure source water, just boiled and hot
•    1/2 - 3.5 ounce Dark Chocolate candy bar (at least 70% cacao) broken into pieces
•    1 tablespoon raw Agave Nectar
•    1/2 teaspoon liquid Stevia
•    1 teaspoon gluten-free vanilla extract
•    2 teaspoons Dandy Blend (optional, use only if you want a mocha flavor, adds 1 calorie per serving)
•    pinch Sea Salt
•    fresh Mint leaf and chocolate curls grated cashew as garnish, optional.

Place all in blender or food processor and process. Turn off blender and scrape sides, start blending on low and increase speed to highest setting. Taste, adjust flavors, continue to blend until smooth and creamy. Pour into champaigne flutes, small wine glasses or demitasse cups. For the photo I used cordial glasses a bit smaller than a half cup. This is so rich a few bites is very satisfying. Chill several hours until set, may be made a day ahead of time. The longer it sets the richer the texture and flavors become, a little goes a long way.

If you double this recipe it is suitable for the filling for a chocolate pie. Pour into a prepared gluten-free pie crust and allow to set at least 8 hours.

If you are using a VitaMix;  Soak cashews and flax seeds in the one cup water (no need to boil) over night or for a minimum of 4 hours in the refrigerator. You may then place all the ingredients in the bowl of the VitaMix. Start on low and increase speed until you can turn on the highest speed for up to four minutes. The heat that is created will melt the chocolate. A regular blender may not be able to dissolve the chocolate.

Nutrition Facts per 1/4 cup serving:   267 calories, 7 g protein, 20 g fat, 9.5 g natural sugars, 3 g fiber

Monica Pallares