Valentine’s Avocado Chocolate Mousse
If the endless chocolates, truffles, and candies that surround us on Valentine’s Day leave you craving a treat but wishing there were a healthier option for your chocolate fix, I’ve got you covered.
58 million pounds of chocolate are purchased during the week of Valentine’s Day, but unfortunately those heart-shaped boxes are commonly made with ingredients such as:
High Fructose Corn Syrup
- a sweet syrup made from processed cornstarch that has been linked to obesity1, diabetes, heart disease, and even dementia. The process of manufacturing high fructose corn syrup is less expensive than table sugar, which is why it is so prevalently used as a sweetener. According to medical doctor Mark Hyman, high fructose corn syrup is also capable of damaging the intestinal lining2, leading to inflammation and leaky gut.
- linked to allergies, hyperactivity, and other related behavioral problems. Also, be aware of “caramel coloring” which sounds more natural than it is. According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, this artificial brown coloring is made by reacting sugar with ammonia and sulfites under high pressure and temperatures, resulting in the formation of compounds which were shown to cause lung, liver, or thyroid cancer as well as leukemia in laboratory mice during government-conducted studies3.
Tertiary Butylhydroquinone (TBHQ)
- a food additive used to preserve processed foods and keep them tasting fresh. In a government study, TBHQ increased the incidence of tumors in rats4 and according to the National Library of Medicine, this compound has been found to cause liver enlargement, paralysis, convulsions, and neurotoxic effects5.
Not exactly the kinds of ingredients that say, “I love you.”
The good news is, there are plenty of healthier options available, including this incredibly simple, creamy, and delicious chocolate mousse made with avocado and raw, organic cacao.
In contrast to the disheartening list above, raw, organic cacao is a rich source of antioxidants called polyphenols, which help your body to:
- chronic inflammation is a key risk factor in a large number of common major diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, and arthritis.
Improve cognitive function
- a French study showed that people over 65 years of age who consumed a diet rich in polyphenols had less cognitive decline over a 10-year period6.
Help your heart
- increased consumption of polyphenols has been associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.
While avocados are packed with:
- a critical nutrient that helps the body maintain fluid balance, send nerve signals, and properly contract muscles. Plus, it’s a nutrient that most people don’t get enough of7. It’s common to think of bananas as the go-to potassium-packed fruit, but an avocado contains more potassium than a banana.
- specifically, a helpful fat called oleic acid, which is also the major component of olive oil. Oleic acid has been linked to reduced inflammation and reduced blood cholesterol levels.
- avocados are an excellent source of fiber (about 7% fiber by weight, which is very high in comparison to most other foods). Fiber helps to feed the beneficial gut bacteria in your intestine, which in turn are a crucial component for optimum health.
So, pull out your food processor and whip up this delicious treat for two.
Avocado Chocolate Mousse
- 2 medium avocados
- 4 Tbsp. organic raw cacao powder
- 3 Tbsp. raw honey or maple syrup
- ¼ cup coconut milk (or any milk of your choice)
- ¼ tsp. vanilla extract
- Small pinch salt
- Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.
- Optional: top with sliced strawberries, raspberries, blueberries or blackberries
Enjoy and Happy Valentine’s Day!
1 Bray, G.A., Nielsen, S.J., and B.M. Popkin. 2004. Consumption of high-fructose corn syrup in beverages may play a role in the epidemic of obesity. Am J Clin Nutr. 79(4):537-43. Review.
6 Letenneur L, Proust-Lima C, Le GA, Dartigues JF, Barberger-Gateau P. Flavonoid intake and cognitive decline over a 10-year period. Am J Epidemiol. 2007 Jun 15;165(12):1364-71.