Eat Happy, Be Healthy!
Oh AVOCADO….how much I love the. Especially when you are whipped with chocolate to a creamy perfection. So decadent, so rich, and so full of flavor! Who knew that this combination really is all that it could be! I originally posted this recipe on my old food blog Poppies and Papayas in 2015, but wanted to share it with you here as well. If you are looking for a dairy free and gluten free Valentine's Day treat, then this is for you!
Now it's time for you to go to the grocery store and pick out two large perfect avocados, ready to be whizzed to creamy chocolate perfection. You don't want one too ripe, nor one too hard. If you can find one right in the middle, your golden. If the avocado is too ripe, then the mousse has an "avocado flavor". If the avocado is too hard, it doesn't whip up to the right smooth and creamy texture. So here are my grocery store tips to help you find the perfect avocado:
Firstly, when pressed it should give only slightly. If the avocado gives too much this indicates that it is overripe. And if it does not give at all, it still needs to ripen.
Secondly, if you flick off the top nipple, the flesh should be completely green without brown fibers inside. If you see brown spots, this indicates that there could be brown spots inside the avocado.
Thirdly, try to find the avocado with a neck. This indicates it was ripened on the tree. If it is oval, and does not have a neck, it did not have the time to mature on the tree.
Benefits of the AVOCADO
The avocado is simply amazing. It is rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals, healthy fats, antioxidants, and many phytochemicals. Did you know that the dark green part of the avocado contains the most phytochemicals? Therefore when you scrape out the avocado, don't leave behind the stuff on the edges. Makes sure to get it all!
Also, what you may not know is that 1 cup of avocado (about 1 large) contains 10g of fiber, about 40% of your daily recommended intake. Therefore in combination with all the wonderful monounsaturated fats, avocados can be really satiating. The fats also help the body absorb all the wonderful fat-soluble vitamins A, E, and K that are abundant in the avocado and have powerful anti-inflammatory effects. There is so much goodness inside this single fruit it should not be overlooked!
Now when you mix avocado with rich dark cacao you will be feeling happy and satisfied in no time. Dark chocolate and cayenne naturally increase serotonin production. Serotonin is our feel good neurotransmitter, which is mostly produced in the the gut. Therefore, the combination of dark chocolate and cayenne can be a potent feel good therapy.
Decadent Chocolate Avocado Mousse (3 ways)
Makes 4-6 servings
¼ cup semi sweet chocolate chips
2 ripe large avocados
¼ cup extra dark cacao powder (I use Hershey's Extra Dark)
5 tablespoons maple syrup
2 pinches sea salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons creamy liquid (nut milk, soy milk, half and half, etc)
*Mint: Add 1 teaspoon organic peppermint extract
**Spiced Thai Ginger: Add 1 ½ teaspoon ground ginger and ¼ - ½ teaspoon cayenne (depending on your preference)
***Vanilla: Add an additional teaspoon vanilla extract
Set up a small double boiler by filling a small saucepan with a little water and placing a small ceramic bowl inside. Put the chocolate chips inside the bowl and heat the saucepan over medium to melt the chocolate.
Meanwhile add the avocados, cacao powder, maple syrup, sea salt, vanilla, creamy liquid, and additional spices (if you choose to make a variation) to your food processor. Blend until smooth. Add the chocolate when melted and continue to process until smooth. You may need to scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula.
Spoon the creamy smooth mousse into a glass bowl, cover and refrigerate 4 hours or overnight to allow the flavors to develop and the mousse to set. Garnish each serving with chocolate shavings and a strawberry. You can even go an extra step and serve the mousse with a dollop of whipped coconut cream (or regular whipped cream).
Adapted from the Food and Nutrition Magazine, November/December 2013
Enjoy the food bliss!
Low FODMP Chicken Pazole
This soup is so satisfying and so simple. The chicken thighs are more flavorful and tender than chicken breasts and provide a different nutrient profile. Since chicken thighs also have dark meat, they are naturally a bit higher in iron and zinc. Plus, they are cheaper too! Another thing I love about this soup is the toppings! This way you can make everyone happy. If you are not on a Low FODMAP type diet, you can add a clove of garlic to the recipe if you desire, but honestly you don't need to. The Whole Foods Organic Chicken Broth is naturally low FODMAP- but be careful, the low sodium version is not. Serves 4-6
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon butter (or sub with olive oil)
2 teaspoons oregano
1 teaspoon cumin seeds/powder
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon marjoram
1- 28oz can diced tomatoes
1- 28oz can hominy, drained
4 skinless/boneless chicken thighs, fat trimmed
2-3 cups Whole Foods Organic Chicken Broth
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar/lemon juice
Salt and pepper
Green Onions (green parts only for low FODMAP)
Avocado (1/8th avocado is low FODMAP)
Sautéed corn tortilla strips* or Crushed corn chips
Heat the olive oil and butter over medium heat. Stir in the spices and sauté until fragrant. Pour in the diced tomatoes and drained hominy. Bring to a simmer and add the chicken thighs and cover with 2-3 cups of chicken broth. Return to a simmer and cook 15 minutes or until the chicken thighs are done.
Remove the chicken thighs from the broth and shred in a large bowl with two forks. Return back to the soup, and add more chicken broth if desired, and cook another 5-10 minutes. Adjust salt and pepper to taste, and finish with a splash of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice.
Top each bowl with your choice of toppings and enjoy!
*To make sautéed corn tortilla strips, simply cut a few corn tortillas into thin strips. Then pan-fry in olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low until crispy. Season with salt if desired.
Are you going to have pazole tonight??
Fennel, anise, and caraway are known carminatives, helping to expel gas from the GI tract. If you are experiencing uncomfortable gas and bloating, then this tea is perfect to drink after meals to reduce symptoms. Also licorice root helps soothe and heal the gut lining. Together the combination is a naturally sweet beverage perfect to soothe your gut symptoms. You can also make a large batch and reheat as needed. Find these spices in the BULK section of your local co-op.
Pass the Gas Tea
¼ teaspoon fennel seeds
¼ teaspoon anise seeds
¼ teaspoon caraway seeds
Optional: ¼ teaspoon licorice root
Bring filtered water to a boil. Meanwhile, place seeds into a mortar and crush with a pestle. Transfer to a fine mesh tea strainer and place into a mug, and pour over boiling water. Steep for 10-20 minutes. Drink after meals.
Hope this tea helps you pass the gas!!
I hope you enjoy my creative, flavorful, and nutrient dense approach to whole foods cooking. All recipes are gluten free.