I reckon I love coconut more than anyone I know. I eat it every single day without fail in one form or another. There are so many variations of the beloved coconut and I love all of them just about equally. The following are constantly being replenished in my house: coconut oil, milk, cream, yogurt, kefir, ice cream, dried cubes, flakes, dessicated, shredded and, of course, whole fresh young coconuts with their delectable soft flesh and sweet water. Delicious! Just writing about it makes me want to rush out to the shops and get one. Alas, I won't, but I will continue to bang on about my love affair. One of the best things about coconut is the fact that it is has a beautifully sweet taste (without fructose) so it nips sugar cravings in their tracks. It contains saturated fat which is really good for you and fills you up so you don't need heaps of it to feel good and satisfied. Another awesome thing about coconut is that you can go either savory or sweet with your coconut creations. It works well for both! As for savory, I cook all my veggies in coconut oil. I love adding a bit of coconut milk or cream to soups and curries in winter, and often just sprinkle some shredded or flaked coconut over any lunch or dinner meal. As much as I love coconut added to savory recipes, coconut combined with sweet flavors is where the real magic happens! Coconut milk is the liquid base for most of my smoothies. I eat coconut yogurt with muesli / granola many mornings and coconut ice cream on the reg for dessert. You'll often find me sipping on a baby coconut and then digging in to get the fresh out for a snack. Sometimes I even eat the flakes in handfuls right out of the bag. As I mentioned before, I rarely let a day pass without a dose of coconut-something and I don't see this coconut-love fading any time soon.
When I was invited to a dinner party and asked to bring a yummy dessert, there was really no question in my mind it would feature, and most probably star, my favorite tropical drupe. At the farmers market that morning, I was inspired by some luscious strawberries that were super cheap (helloooo summer!) and I knew berries + coconut was a fool-proof combo. I am no dessert-chef so I wasn't going to get too complicated with this dish. I planned to make it raw (baked desserts and I haven't quite made friends yet), vegan (I knew there were going to be some veggos in attendance), refined sugar-free (aka guilt free), aesthetically pleasing (let's be honest - I wanted a few thumbs up) and delicious (duh). So, I set out on making a chia seed mousse as chia seeds and I certainly are friends and I find these little magic bullets make culinary undertakings virtually un-screw-up-able. The cream on top adds a decadent element to the dish which any good dessert has!
Strawberry Chia Mousse with Cashew Coconut Cream
- 400 grams / 3 cups hulled strawberries (or any other fruits you fancy - blueberries, bananas, mangos, plums would all be yummy)
- 200 mls / half a can of organic coconut milk
- juice of one lime
- 1 tsp vanilla powder, or a 1/4 vanilla bean
- 100 grams / 1/2 cup chia seeds (white makes it prettier)
- 1/8 tsp green leaf stevia powder, or 1 tsp raw honey (depending on sweetness of fruits you're using and your own sweet tooth)
- 4-5 sprigs of mint, chopped (depending on the fruit you choose, you could also use herbs such as lemon balm and sweet basil)
- 160 grams / 1 and 1/4 cup raw cashews
- 200 mls / other half of a can of organic coconut milk
- 1/8 tsp green leaf stevia powder, or 1 tsp raw honey
- 1/2 tsp vanilla powder, or small sliver of vanilla bean
What to do:
Blend all the ingredients except chia seeds in a blender to a smooth consistency. Stir in the chia seeds and allow time (10 min) for the seeds to swell. Mix + wait a few more times until they've absorbed the liquid.
Boil the cashews in water for 15 minutes, drain and rinse cold. Blend ingredients in a blender to a creamy semi whipped consistency.
Spoon the mousse into glasses and top with a separate layer of cream. Garnish with sliced strawberries, mint and a sprinkle of chia seeds.
Hope you enjoy!
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