Maybe it’s because I’m officially closer to the 30 than 20 since my last birthday. Maybe it’s because I’ve been finding it fun to cook all kinds of things I didn’t think I’d enjoy. Maybe it’s just because my tastes have changed over the last two decades.
I’ve been attempting to re-try ingredients and recipes that were once appalling to me. For instance, I’ve been putting mushrooms in all sorts of things — ehhh, food-related things. For most of my life I’ve hated mushrooms. Their chewy texture, their earthy flavor, the slimy feel they get when not cooked well. I’ve found I actually like them okay. I don’t go around craving mushrooms, but I can enjoy them. Also, green peas. I’ve considered peas useless for many years. I’ve not appreciated their little green bursts of sweetness in any meal they’ve been a part of. However, it seems unfair to ask the kids to eat ’em here and there if I’m not willing to do so myself. So I’ve incorporated them into my cooking every now and then.
I don’t know when I decided I didn’t like coconut. I fondly remember knocking whole coconuts out of the trees in our backyard, hacking the crap out of their husks with a machete to get to the little brown ball with three eyes on its shell, then piercing those eyes to empty out the milk, before cracking open the rest of the coconut for its “meat.” I don’t think I enjoyed the actual end product; it was just the process and challenge that did me in. Somewhere along the line, I decided coconut wasn’t for me.
I’ve been re-thinking that decision, mostly because I don’t know what ever convinced me that I didn’t like anything coconut-related. As it turns out, my reconsideration has been nicely rewarded. I read recently that you can easily whip up cold coconut milk into vegan whipped cream. Crazy? No, delicious. I wondered what would happen if you whipped that coconut milk with things like chocolate and sugar? Vanilla? The result: this very easy chocolate “mousse” that’s pretty healthy for you. That said, you want to use full-fat coconut milk, as the reduced fat versions don’t thicken up even when refrigerated overnight. Once the coconut milk is refrigerated overnight, it’ll separate. You only want to use the thick cream portion in this recipe.
Easy Coconut Chocolate Mousse
Yields: 3 small servings
1- 13.5 oz. can coconut milk, refrigerated overnight
¼ cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tbsp. cane sugar
¼ tsp. vanilla extract
Scoop the heavy coconut cream that has risen to the top of your can of coconut milk into a medium sized bowl. Whisk in the cane sugar, cocoa powder, and vanilla. Continue whisking until the mixture is very thick (5 – 6 minutes). You can refrigerate it at this point and the mousse will thicken up more, or you can serve it and enjoy! (: