Monday Musings

1. Winter Storm Juno dumped 33 inches of snow in our area last week, and we are currently immersed in the early hours of Winter Storm Kari, with an additional 12″-18″ of snow predicted. A blanketing of snow is beautiful, a few inches is fun to play in, but a few FEET of snow is frustrating beyond belief when you have both a dog and a toddler. Shelby has had a tough time finding a spot to do her business outside, and Lily can’t run around our yard because she’d sink into snow up to her waist. All part of being a New Englander, I suppose.

 

2. I was offered the chance to try the GoodBelly 12 Day Belly Reboot with their StraightShot probiotic drink.

goodbelly

I was impressed by the ingredient list of this fruit juice-sweetened dairy-free oat milk that boasts 20 billion live and active probiotic cultures per serving, so I jumped at the chance to try it.

Each serving comes in a shot glass-sized plastic cup; and the contents are creamy and slightly sweet.

goodbelly

I have been feeling great, but in all honesty I don’t know whether that’s due to the addition of a probiotic in my diet or the fact that I haven’t been eating sugar; probably a combination of both!

If you are looking to add probiotics to your health regime, be sure to check out these StraightShots from GoodBelly!

goodbelly

 

 

3. I’m working on a recipe for paleo white chocolate (not sugar-free, but just a bit of honey). It’s a work in progress, but here’s a peek at my first attempt:

white chocolate

 

 

4. I’m not a huge football fan, but it’s always awesome when your home team wins, so GO PATS!

No-Cook Mint Chocolate Mousse {Vegan, Date-Sweetened}

mint chocolate mousse

I’m still in mint chocolate mode from the holidays, but because I’m avoiding sugar I had to get a little creative in order to get my fix. I stumbled across this no sugar added Chocolate Mousse from Vegan Magic and made it immediately. I loved it so much, I decided to make a mint chocolate version.

Now I’m not typically a huge fan of process photos, but I think they’re helpful for this recipe.

mint chocolate mousse

You want to start with a fully chilled can of full fat coconut milk. When coconut milk (canned, not the kind in a carton) is chilled, the coconut cream rises to the top, leaving the coconut water at the bottom. Simply flip the can upside down, open, pour off the coconut water, and you’re left with creamy, thick, delicious coconut cream:

mint chocolate mousse

Scrape the coconut cream into a high speed blender or food processor…

mint chocolate mousse

… along with some plump Medjool dates,

mint chocolate mousse

and blend/process until the mixture looks like this:

mint chocolate mousse

Then add cocoa powder, peppermint extract, salt, and non dairy milk until the mixture is perfectly smooth and silky like this:

mint chocolate mousse

The blended mousse has the texture of pudding straight from the blender, but if you chill it again (yes, there’s a lot of hands-off time required for this recipe), the mousse sets up nicely and becomes thick while retaining its lightness.

mint chocolate mousse

A small serving is definitely enough to satisfy a chocolate craving. I like using tiny cocktail spoons in order to stretch out the time it takes to savor a little cup of this rich mousse.

mint chocolate mousse

If you’re not a mint chocolate fan, you can stick with the original recipe or even add one or two teaspoons of instant espresso powder for a mocha version.

mint chocolate mousse

Dates for the win, yet again!

mint chocolate mousse


No-Cook Mint Chocolate Mousse {Vegan, Date-Sweetened}

by Lauren Zembron

(adapted from Vegan Magic)

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 0 minutes

Keywords: blender dessert vegan sugar-free pudding

Ingredients (2-3 servings)

  • 1 can full fat coconut milk, refrigerated overnight or for at least 8 hours (the coconut cream will separate from the coconut water and rise to the top of the can)
  • 1/2 cup tightly packed pitted soft Medjool dates (for me this was 5 large dates)
  • 6 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp pure peppermint extract (I used 1 tsp and the mousse was very pepperminty)
  • tiny pinch Kosher salt
  • non-dairy milk to thin, about 3-6 Tbsp (the more liquid you use, the less mousse-like the final consistency will be)

Instructions

Without shaking the can of fully chilled coconut milk, carefully turn it upside down and open the can using a can opener. Pour the coconut water into a bowl; reserve for another use.

Scoop out the solidified coconut cream and spoon into a high speed blender or food processor*. Add in the pitted dates and blend/process until fairly smooth. Add in the remaining ingredients and blend/process until perfectly smooth, scraping down the sides of the blender or food processor bowl as necessary, and adding the non-dairy milk, one tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached.

Divide the mixture between two or three small bowls, cups, or ramekins, cover with plastic wrap, and chill for at least 2 hours in the refrigerator before serving (the mousse will continue to thicken the longer it sits in the fridge).

*NOTE: if you are using a food processor, you might want to soak the pitted dates in warm water for 2 hours prior to processing to achieve a smoother texture.

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