A healthy chocolate dessert…
Instead of the suspicious fats usually lurking in rich desserts from eggs and heavy cream and butter, this chocolate pudding hides a Secret Agent known far and wide for his success in fighting disease. His name? Detective Avocado. Once he was a little green. But in this recipe, he’s matured to a ripe, dark brown.
Eating this creamy dessert is like eating chocolates from a box of Laura Secords. One goes down real easy. Two tastes even better. But after the third one, you start feeling like that’s pretty much enough for now.
In fact, this recipe is so chocolatey delicious, you can use it to ice your cakes and muffins! Best of all, you won’t even begin to guess how healthy it is.
The Omega affair
Detective Avocado’s secret weapon is Omega-9. It’s nothing like the Nimbus 2000 or even the Flammenwerfer 35. The omega-9 I’m talking about is a fat… a fatty acid more particularly.
“Huh?” you’re asking. “Isn’t it omega-3 that is the light saber of choice to battle chronic heart disease?”
Well, it’s complicated. That’s why I haven’t weighed in too heavily yet on the subject of dietary fats. Kind of scary.
So for today, I’m just going to say that the oil in avocados is a great choice for your heart. Its fat is two-thirds omega-9, a monounsaturated fat that goes easy on the heart.
Another indicator of an oil’s usefulness is its ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids. Diets in Canada and the US have too much omega-6 for good heart health. Omega-6 wrestles omega-3 out of the ring, so omega-3 can’t do the job for which it is intended, namely keeping good cholesterol at healthy levels.
If there are more than four omega-6s for each and every omega-3, heart health starts to suffer. Corn oil, for instance, has 46 omega-6s for every 1 omega-3 molecule. Grapeseed oil’s ratio is a whopping 676 to 1!!! I stopped using corn and grapeseed oils a long time ago.
Avocado oil, in comparison, has a much healthier ratio… it’s 13 to 1. Along with all that omega-9 and other anti-inflammatory compounds, avocado is a great source of healthy fats. Go, Agent Avocado!
Here’s a delicious way to pack lots of avocado into your meal plans.
Detective Avocado’s chocolate mousse
Serves six (a little goes a long way)
- 4 ounces (110 grams) dark, good-quality chocolate 72% or higher
- 1/2 cup (60 ml) chocolate almond milk (or coconut milk or any kind you happen to have on hand)
- 3 tablespoons (30 mg) pure maple syrup (or honey)
- 2 tsp (10 ml) pure vanilla extract
- 2 completely ripe avocados, about 1 cup or 225 grams
- 4 tablespoons unsweetened dark cocoa powder, about 30 grams
- 1 teaspoon (10 ml) cinnamon
- 2 mangos, chopped
- 2 ginger snaps, crushed into crumbs with a rolling-pin or mortar-and-pestle
- Melt the chocolate gently in a heat-proof bowl over simmering water with the milk, sweetener and vanilla.
- Scoop out the avocado flesh into a food processor. Add cocoa powder and cinnamon. Blend.
- Add warm chocolate mixture to the avocado puree. Blend until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl a few times until the mix has the consistency of a super-thick pudding and no green flecks of avocado can be seen. Taste for sweetness and add more, if you like. I’m not a huge fan of super-sweet desserts, so you might like a little more than I do. Also, the ripeness of the avocados can affect the taste. But taste, taste, taste! That’s the only way to be sure you’ll like it.
- Lighten up the pudding with more milk or Greek yogurt if it is too thick, 1 tablespoon at a time. Taste again to check.
- Serve immediately or, if you like, you can refrigerate for a day or two. If you refrigerate, you may need to thin the pudding before serving it with some more of the milk you used, as it tends to set over time. I like to reheat briefly at serving time to make it creamier.
- Serve in small bowls and garnish with chopped mango and gingersnap cookies crushed with a mortar and pestle.
- Garnish with raspberries or other berries in place of mangoes. Or use chopped pineapple.
- Blend a ripe banana or mango into the avocado mix.
- Alternate fruit and pudding in a clear glass for a pretty effect at the time of serving. Use more fruit than you do pudding.
- A quick grind of sea salt can also make a delicious, final addition.
- Use shortbread crumbs in place of gingersnaps.
Nutrition (per serving, when making 6 desserts)
- 347 Calories
- 21 grams Fat, nearly half your daily requirement, most of which is the amazing omega-9
- 17 grams Protein
- 28 grams Carbohydrates
- Amazing source of fiber (nearly half your daily needs) and B vitamins (a third of your daily needs)
- Excellent source of potassium, vitamin C and iron
- Good source of calcium
- The Night Circus: A Black-and white torte – A magical chocolate-almond cake full of nutrition and topped with a creamy chocolate avocado icing.