Finding a healthy snack can be difficult, especially when you’re craving something sweet. What’s harder is finding a great snack when you have diet restrictions such as lactose intolerance, gluten intolerance, celiac disease, allergies, or lifestyle choices such as going off sugar, or being vegetarian, vegan, paleo, etc.
The good news is that there are simple answers to these cravings! One of which is a smooth and decadent Chocolate Coconut Mousse! It only has three ingredients, and it only takes five minutes to make! Double win!
When making this dreamy treat, it’s important to note that buying organic ingredients, with no fillers, is essential to this recipe being a success. Full fat coconut milk, the first ingredient in this recipe, is often filled with guar gum which helps bind the cream and liquids together. It is essential to not buy a coconut milk that has guar gum because we want the cream to separate. It’s the cream of the coconut milk that is going to make this recipe into a mousse rather than a milk. You can usually find a coconut milk that does not contain guar gum in the organic section. Guar gum, like xanthan gum, can also cause upset stomach or irritate the intestinal lining.
Coconut milk is actually quite beneficial for the body. It can help lower blood cholesterol, is antibacterial, can help reduce overeating, and provides lots of electrolytes. Electrolytes include calcium, potassium, magnesium, sodium, and chloride. These help to prevent muscle cramping, irregular heart beat, fatigue, diarrhea, headache, sickness, and improper immune function. Coconut water seems to get a lot of attention these days, but can be heavily stripped of it’s nutrients. If you’re looking for a smash hit of nutrients, then coconut milk is the way to go.
Cocoa powder, our next ingredient is a powerhouse in antioxidants and is a great addition to any “treat.” Cocoa powder is made from the beans, or seeds, found in the fruit produced from cacao trees. The beans are harvested, roasted, and ground into a powder. When added into our foods they add flavonoids and lots of minerals!
Live Strong notes,
Cocoa also contains approximately 43.6 mg of flavonoids per gram. Flavonoids are part of a powerful group of antioxidants known as polyphenols, and according to Medical News Today, cocoa is one of the highest polyphenol-containing foods. In addition, hot cocoa contains more antioxidants per cup than a serving of red wine or tea, and Science Daily explains it may even be the healthiest choice of the three. Science Daily also states that drinking cocoa may help to fight cancer, heart disease and aging through its antioxidant boosting effect. Medical News Today warns however that most commercial cocoa powders have the antioxidant-containing flavonoids removed because they taste bitter; therefore, in order to obtain the health boosting benefits, consider buying raw cocoa powder, which is a minimally processed cocoa powder.
And, according to SF Gate,
Just 1 tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder contains 3-9% of the recommended daily intake of iron, manganese, magnesium and zinc. In addition to carrying oxygen, iron helps make red blood cells and is essential for your immune system. Manganese is a component of enzymes that form cartilage and bones, metabolize nutrients and function as antioxidants inside every cell in your body. Magnesium helps produce energy and maintain a normal heart rhythm. Zinc is vital for the production and development of new cells, including immune system cells. Without enough zinc, the number of bacteria-fighting cells goes down and you become more susceptible to illness.
So, basically, raw cocoa powder is your friend when making treats! What’s better, is that our third ingredient is also a mighty lion in nutrition and has many medicinal properties. Yep, you guessed it! It’s honey!
As we all know, all sugars are not created equal. When we use honey to replace refined sugar, we’re also adding in lots of nutrients and antioxidants that are beneficial to our health and wellness. Some of the amazing nutrients honey provides are vitamins, trace enzymes, amino acids, and minerals such as calcium, iron, sodium chlorine, magnesium, phosphate, and potassium. It also helps to reduce bacteria growth due to its tendency to be acidic on the pH scale, and its antioxidants help to clear out bacteria and free radicals.
Honey’s most notable medicinal use is for allergies. Raw honey contains bee pollen which helps to build up an immunity against the bee pollen that has made its way into your system. Essentially, it’s like getting a vaccine against seasonal pollen that makes your allergies run amuck. The catch is that the honey needs to contain your local bee pollen for it to be effective. Otherwise, the honey won’t build up the acquired immunity. However, its other medicinal properties can help to rid your body of the unwanted pollen.
On top of this, honey is a great energy source, helps manage blood glucose levels, is a diabetic aid, helps to heal wounds, is abundant with antioxidants, can help promote more restful sleep, and can help soothe sore throats and coughs.
In the vegan world, some consider honey to not be vegan as the bees collect pollen to make food for their colony. However, on the other hand, there are those who argue that since bees pollinate our fruits and vegetables, and therefore make it possible for them to grow and be alive. Since all fruits and vegetables are vegan, and are made possible by bees, so is honey. There are no negative health side effects of raw honey, so rather than this being a question of health, this is a personal choice that one must make as there has been no definitive line drawn in the vegan world.
I personally support local beehives that are organic and use humane methods of harvesting honey. As I have many personal uses, a preferred taste for honey, and do not like that agave has a higher glycemic index and is more processed, raw honey is our choice of sweetener.
That being said, this recipe can be made with agave in place of honey.
Considering all the nutrients and hidden health benefits, can you really call this mousse a treat? I’d like to call it my daily dose of health and wellness!
There’s more where this information came from, so if you found this useful, sign up for our newsletter to receive more information, and give us a share on social media!