If being delicious were a crime, this dessert would certainly be put in the big house. So incredibly creamy, rich, and satisfying, it tastes like decadent chocolate mousse, but you’d never guess that it’s healthier than a salad!
The inspiration for this sinfully healthy dessert actually came from the film “Go Further” – Woody Harrelson’s documentary about his Sustainable Organic Living Tour in 2003, where one of his friends makes a raw chocolate avocado pie. After many delicious attempts at making my own, I came up with this very quick and easy recipe that anyone can make, and everyone will eat.
The Skinny on Fat
The most awesome aspect of this dessert (besides how incredible it tastes) is the fact that it supplies your body with some of the best fats on the planet. I realize that fats have gotten a bad rap over the years, but there are so many kinds of fats and knowing which ones are harmful and which ones are healing is crucial to good health and happy eating!
The main ingredient in this dessert is the lovely avocado. Avocados are loaded with monounsaturated fats – a good kind of fat also found in olive oil, that boasts all sorts of health benefits, such as lowering cholesterol, reducing the risk of heart disease, and even offering protection against certain cancers like colon cancer and breast cancer. Avocados are also a very concentrated dietary source of the carotenoid lutein, a phytochemical that protects the eyes against macular degeneration and cataracts. They also contain significant amounts of vitamin K, essential for normal blood clotting; calcium to maintain strong bones; folate to combat against Alzheimer’s disease; and vitamin C to boost the immune system. Not bad for a handful of smooth green goodness.
And if that wasn’t enough to fill you up, we’ve got polyunsaturated fats (think those oh-so-elusive Omega 3’s!) from all of the beautiful walnuts. Omega 3 fats are essential, meaning that our bodies cannot produce them and we need to get them from our diet. And why are they so important? Oh, only because they reduce cholesterol, lower the risk of heart attack and stroke, boost the immune system, control viral infections, improve brain function, and relieve symptoms of inflammatory condition such as arthritis. Whatevs. No big deal.
Smooth Criminal Chocolate Mousse Tarts
Maple Walnut Crust
1 ½ cups organic walnuts
2 Tbsp. maple syrup
a pinch fine sea salt
Chocolate Avocado Mousse
4 ripe avocados
10 very soft dates (soaked if necessary)
4 Tbsp. raw agave nectar
2 Tbsp. high-quality raw cacao powder (or cocoa powder if you don’t have the other)
1. Place walnuts in a food processor and pulse until chunky. Add the maple syrup and sea salt and pulse until the mixture is combined. (You can create a smoother crust by blending longer if you like, but in my experience leaving some chunks is a good idea to add contrast against the smooth chocolate pudding).
2. Get out a muffin pan. Scoop out a couple tablespoons of the walnut mixture at a time and press into the bottom of a muffin cup. Press firmly so that the walnut mixture is compact and holds together. You should be able to fill about 8 cups with the walnut crust. Refrigerate.
3. Finely chop the dates.
4. Cut open all the avocados and scoop them out into a clean food processor. Blend. Add the other ingredients and blend to incorporate.
5. Remove walnut crusts by running a knife around the perimeter to loosen, then lift out. If the crust breaks or becomes dented, simply press it back together once it’s out the mold.
6. Spoon a large dollop of avocado mouse on top of the crust base. Garnish with whatever fruit you have on hand (fresh berries, banana, dates, pomegranate, pineapple…). Serve to very lucky people.
Notes: You can change things up by making a whole tart – simply press the walnut mixture into a tart shell, spoon the avocado pudding on top and slice.
If you have any extra filling, just keep it in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 2 days and eat it like pudding. It’s great for breakfast!
This is the kind of dessert that makes you question why on earth you’d ever reach for something full of empty calories, harmful fats, and tons of sugar. It really is one of the most delicious treats I eat and I always make it for company – the fun part is making them guess what’s in it!