Low Carb, Vegan Chocolate Coconut Cream Mousse

by Caterina Borg, Good Food Gourmet on March 7, 2013

Chocolate Coconut Cream MousseThe popularity of low carb diet craze started ages ago with the Scarsdale diet. Initially, the diet itself received only moderate success when first released, and it was not until the unfortunate scandal resulting from the problems erupting in the life of the original creator of the program, that ultimately put the benefits of low carb eating on the map.

Like a good book, I guess there’s nothing like a sordid tale of power, sex and money to get things rolling…

As the Scarsdale diet picked up momentum, along came the Atkins diet. It was the early to mid 80’s when low fat eating was just becoming popular and a focus on carbohydrates as a good fuel became more acceptable.  Susan Powter touted increasing carbs in our diet and we all did joyfully, as we enjoyed one bagel after another. The Atkins syndrome fought valiantly against the low fat diet craze and almost single handedly destroyed the livelihood of many bakeries. It also managed to permanently close many of the Krispy Kreme donut stores due to lack of business. I must confess, I did try the Atkins protein bars for a while, but stopped using them because although I felt good about removing sugar from my diet, I was replacing it with artificial sugars, which was just as bad…or worse.

As the popularity of Atkins waned, the star of the show became the South Beach diet which had everyone from celebrities to politicians claiming its health benefits. All of these plans allowed you to eat real food but there were others like the low carb high protein liquid diets that became popular also…

I would never choose liquid diet program, but they gained some relevance when Oprah Winfrey tried them while on hiatus and lost 60 pounds. We all remember her coming out onstage after achieving her skinny status, and revealed how she had accomplished it. Unfortunately, as she began to incorporate real food back into her life, she regained all of the weight she had lost and never really managed to keep it all off.

Liquid diets don’t teach you how and what to eat and I don’t know about you, but drinking protein shakes for the rest of my life doesn’t sound like a very palatable option. High protein shakes have their place in your diet if you need them, but not for breakfast, lunch AND dinner…

The next low protein diet that swept through Europe was one that never really caught on here (yet) but it was something called the Dukan diet, and it was rumored that Duchess Kate and her family were followers of the plan in the months leading up to the royal wedding.

Nowadays, one of the most forgiving low carb diets that has gained a lot of strength and popularity is one called the Paleo diet that was originally introduced in the 1970’s.

The idea behind this program has you eating like a caveman –well sort of…

Paleo is short for Paleolithic, and in Greek it means old—this low carb diet is based on the way our ancestor’ s ate, and is centered mostly around commonly available foods such as fish, grass fed beef, eggs, vegetables, fruits, roots and nuts. It is based on the premise that modern humans are genetically adapted to the diet of their ancestors, and the belief that these genetics have scarcely changed.  Therefore, an ideal diet for human health and well being is one that resembles this ancestral diet.

It’s still quite controversial, and whether you choose to follow it or not is a personal decision. Ultimately, you have to follow a way of eating that makes you feel strong, healthy and vibrant.

Some delicious food ideas have come out of the Paleo diet, and many include the use of coconut milk. Coconut milk is not the same as coconut water or the coconut stuff you use in your mixed drinks. Coconut milk is extracted from the pulp of the coconut and is used in Asian cuisine. Nowadays, you can find it in the freezer section of most health food stores or you can buy it in a can or even make it yourself.

Coconut products were something that everyone stayed away from because of their perceived high fat level,  but now, many low carb diets and those like the Maker’s diet are embracing coconut products because of its anti bacterial qualities and healthy source of unprocessed fat. The recent surge in sales of unrefined coconut oils for both cooking and baking is a testament to this new way of thinking.

One of the quick desserts commonly enjoyed by both vegans and those following low carb diets is a quick chocolate mousse made from coconut cream. If you buy the coconut milk in the can, all you have to do is put it in the refrigerator and allow the fats to set up and separate from the liquid. Once it has chilled, remove it from the can and whip it up, it’s that easy and unbelievably delicious…

So, throw caution to the wind and try this unique chocolate coconut cream mousse…here’s to your health and mine!

Chocolate Coconut Cream Mousse
1 can full fat coconut milk (NOT the one you use in cocktails)
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 tablespoons of your favorite low glycemic sweetener (you can also use powdered sugar)
2 tablespoons of sifted cocoa powder
cocoa nibs as topping
fresh fruit **optional

Refrigerate the can for a few hours or overnight and once it is well chilled, scoop out the cream that has set up at the top BUT don’t throw the liquid out…reserve this to use in your cooking or baking, it’s delicious in pancakes. Place the solid cream in the bowl of your stand mixer, add your favorite sweetener,vanilla and a good quality cocoa powder and whip it up. This is so delicious and believe it or not, one can is enough for two people! It’s so smooth, creamy and lightly sweet and makes a great mousse to top with your favorite fruits or some dark chocolate coco nibs like I did for added crunch.

start with a can of full fat coconut milk

After refrigerating it, this is what you will see when opening the can

scoop out all of the chilled 'cream' at the top and leave the liquid behind for something else

add it to the bowl of your stand mixer along with your favorite sweetener and whip together

then place on the mixer and whisk again until smooth and well incorporated

vegan chocolate coconut cream mousse


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