August 18, 2013

Dear Diary… We need a guilt free treat.

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A few summers ago I was living with my parents and they were on a mission to lower their cholesterol.  We all love a little sweet treat and the thought of ending a meal without one wasn’t one we entertained for long, even with the carrot of lower cholesterol.  I’m all about switching things out rather than cutting things out, so I saw a challenge.  I headed to the kitchen to play around and see what I could do to give us all happy cholesterol and happy sweet treats at the same time.

I knew it was going to be free of dairy and any refined sugar.  It was also going to be very chocolatey.  I wanted a mix of textures and something that could fool even the most extreme health food hater.  I’d read about avocado mousse so that’s where I started, I added a crust, gave it cocoa instead of chocolate, changed the sweetener to pureed dates… and hey presto.

It’s now taken on many forms, it comes in individual servings with a dash of liquor for a dinner party, with some fruit for a lighter summer afternoon version, it lives in small squares with no crust in the freezer for easy on the go treats, I have a friend who lives for the crust on it’s own with no filling, and it has fooled many a dinner guest in my parents’ house and mine.  Oh and it even showed up as dessert at our wedding.

Ok, enough story, here’s the recipe.

For the crust: 

2 cups almonds

1/2 cup flax seed (or more almonds)

10 dates (or more as needed)

Blend the nuts in a food processor until they are very finely chopped and beginning to be flour like.  Then add the dates a few at a time and blend until the mixture stays together when you squeeze it between your fingers.  You should probably taste some about now, it’s pretty good 🙂 Now just press it into a springform tin with your fingers and place in the freezer.

For the filling:

2 ripe avocados, blended.

3/4 cup cocoa

1/3 cup coconut oil

2 cups pureed dates. (soak in hot water for 30 mins then blend)

1 tsp vanilla

Pinch salt

Blend the avocados with the vanilla, coconut oil and salt really well until they are completely smooth, they will look paler and almost whipped. Now blend in the cocoa until completely combined.  I like to do it in this order so that now you can add the dates bit by bit until you reach the sweetness that you like.  Once it’s all in, is as sweet as you want it and blended really well, spoon it out onto the crust and smooth out the top.  Make sure you don’t scrape out the mixer too well, you’re going to want to take a spoon to that later 🙂 Now pop it back in the freezer and it’s best left overnight to set.  Place it in the fridge 30 mins before you want to serve to soften slightly… enjoy!!

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