Healthy strawberry mousse may sound like a fantasy. However, trust me when I tell you this is the easiest guilt-free dessert you’ll ever make. It takes mere minutes of hands-on effort to yield a sugar free, dairy free dessert that’s creamy, rich and satisfying.
If you’re a regular reader, you will know that my husband and I have been on a journey to improve our health. So, we’ve been learning — slowly but surely — to cook and eat differently.
Needless to say, making any dietary change can be a challenge — especially when it means giving up foods you love. So, it’s important to plan meals that don’t make you feel deprived.
At our house, dessert has always been a treat. Because we’re well aware of the health implications of too much fat and sugar, we rarely eat dessert.
So, as part of our new adventures in eating, I decided to seek out “healthy” desserts that we could add to our meals to make us feel a little spoiled. This strawberry mousse is a perfect example of how you can make a treat that doesn’t sabotage your health.
About the Ingredients
One of the things we’ve been learning on our journey is to examine ingredient lists closely. You’d be surprised at what is hiding in many of your supermarket staples — and not in a good way.
This ingredient fetish has also forced me to learn more about what I put in each and every dish. Learning about the health benefits of ingredients helps you to make better choices and to choose use the foods you eat to heal your body.
I hope the overview of the key ingredients in this healthy strawberry mousse will help you to make the right food choices for yourself and those you love.
Strawberries are a relatively low calorie fruit and an excellent source of vitamin C, manganese, folate, and potassium. In fact, 8 strawberries contain as much vitamin C as 1 orange!
Strawberries are also very high in antioxidants. In fact, research has shown that strawberries can both block the initial formation of cancer cells and suppress the progression and multiplication of cancerous tumours.
In addition, strawberries are rich in anthocyanin, a compound which has been demonstrated to support coronary health. It is also a natural anti-inflammatory! To read more about the benefits of anthocyanins, check out this excellent article from the US National Institute for Health (NIH), Anthocyanins in Cardiovascular Disease.
I understand. Gelatine probably doesn’t sound particularly sexy or healthy. We all associate it with those jiggly, neon-coloured bowls of jelly cubes we consumed as children. However, believe it or not the high-protein content of gelatine, combined with its low calorie content, make it a healthy choice.
Gelatine is excellent for the skin, joints and bones, as it is a natural source of collagen. Scientific studies have demonstrated that daily consumption of gelatine can significantly reduce pain and joint stiffness. Yet other studies have demonstrated a significant increase in skin moisture, collagen density, and hair growth after a 2 to 3 months of consuming gelatine regularly.
Best of all, because gelatine is rich in protein, and almost entirely carb and fat-free, it has been proven to support healthy weight loss!
I could write all day about coconut milk, as it is really an ingredient we should all be consuming more of. Just a few of it’s myriad health benefits include:
- Improves Heart Health: A full half of the fats in coconuts are lauric acid. This special fatty acid helps to reduce bad cholesterol (LDL) while elevating good cholesterol (HDL). It is also naturally antibacterial and antiviral.
- Builds Lean Muscle: You’ve all heard about coconut MCT oil. These are the medium-chain triglycerides in coconut milk which increase energy, enhance athletic performance, and help muscles to recover after workouts. Lean muscle also helps burn fat!
- Helps Regulate Blood Sugar: The natural fats in coconut milk help to control the glycemic load from sugars by regulating the rate at which they are released into the blood. Thus, they help balance insulin levels, naturally.
About the Recipe
This strawberry mousse is an excellent recipe to prepare with young children. It’s that easy! It’s also a great way to start teaching young ones about how to make healthier choices.
I’ve substituted all the sugar with healthier dates. And, using less gelatine results in a light, mousse-like texture. It’s light years away from those rainbow coloured jellies of our childhood!
Working with Gelatine
The only trick to this recipe is handling the gelatine. Be very careful not to overheat your water, or it will interfere with the gelling power of the gelatine.
I like to allow my water to heat just until the point where I start to see small bubbles forming around the edges. At this stage, the water is hot enough to dissolve the gelatine sheets, while still cool enough not to affect its gelling ability.
I’ve used leaf gelatine in this recipe. However, if you are using powdered gelatine, four teaspoons will be the equivalent of the 4 sheets of leaf gelatine called for in this recipe.
Finally, I hope your family enjoys this healthy dessert every bit as much as mine does. Bon appétit!
Healthy Strawberry Mousse
Healthy Strawberry mousse is a fresh take on a classic. It's a super easy, healthy, and lip-smackingly delicious sugar free, dairy free dessert!
- 4 gelatine leaves
- 350 g (12 oz.) strawberries, washed and hulled (fresh or frozen)
- 1 ripe banana, peeled
- 3 dates, pitted
- 1/2 cup coconut milk, preferably organic
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 1/2 cup water
- Step 1 Immerse the gelatine leaves in a bowl of cold water. Set aside.
- Step 2 Meanwhile, place the strawberries, banana, dates, coconut milk and vanilla essence in a blender jug, and process until the mixture is pureed.
- Step 3 Heat the water in a small saucepan just until tiny bubbles form around the outer edge of the pan. Turn off heat and remove the pan from the burner. Squeeze out the soaked gelatine leaves. Then, add them to the warm water and whisk continuously until dissolved.
- Step 4 Add the gelatine mixture to the blender jug and process once again until thoroughly combined.
- Step 5 Divide the contents of the blender jug amongst 4 ramekins. Cover tightly and set aside in the fridge to gel. Gelling should take no longer than 4 hours and the mousse can be held in the refrigerator for up to a day before serving.