Avocados are always in our shopping list, since we use them almost every day. Both their rich flavor and their creamy texture make them extremely useful in many sweet and savory preparations. Specifically in vegan pastry, because of their high fat content, they can be used as a healthy and cruelty-free substitute for whipped cream in a wide range of recipes -from a simple, chocolaty mousse like the one we make today, up to an impressive raw vegan cake or a refreshing and fluffy ice-cream.
Usually when I find avocados at a good price, Ι buy a relatively large quantity, mostly for our salads. I keep them in the fridge and every 2-3 days I take some out and place them in the fruit bowl on our kitchen counter. The simplest way to make our avocados ripen in 2-3 days is to place them next to ripe bananas, apples, pears or other fruits that ripen after being picked from the trees. These fruits produce a natural plant hormone which makes them ripen and so does to the avocados that are placed together with them.
This chocolaty, raw and vegan avocado mousse is my favorite way to use overripe avocados and prepare a wonderful dessert in only 5 minutes. In order to achieve a rich and fluffy texture I also add full fat coconut milk, which, moreover, balances –together with the cacao and the vanilla- the taste of avocados that might not be welcome from everyone.
Finally, pistachios, give to our dessert an even more interesting taste and texture.
- 2 very ripe avocados, medium sized (1 ½ cup flesh)
- ½ cup full fat coconut milk homemade or store bought
- ½ cup agave nectar or another liquid sweetener
- 4 tbsp cacao powder
- 1 tbsp natural vanilla extract
- ½ cup raw pistachios peeled and coarsely chopped
- Pour all the ingredients in a blender and blend on a medium speed for a few minutes until a smooth cream is formed.
- With a spoon add in each bowl a thick layer of the mousse, in between 1-2 Tbsp of pistachios and then end with a nice thick layer of chocolate mousse.
- Garnish with pistachios, cover the bowls and place them in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before serving.
Note: Experiment with additional ingredients such as orange zest and orange juice instead of vanilla extract, or replace pistachios with nuts of your choice!
When I think of vegan milk, nothing can be compared with the freshness, nutrition and taste of the milk we can make at home with fresh raw nuts and seeds! Moreover, I prefer to make my own vegan milks, since it’s super easy and the relatively cost is much lower compared to the store-bought plant-based milks.
The only thing one will need in order to prepare vegan milk at home is a blender – just a regular blender, not a special-super-high-speed device.
This time I decided to make my own pistachio milk and to be sincere I was quite reluctant at the beginning since I had never tasted something similar. Of course I love pistachios and especially the varieties that grow in Aegina, a small island very close to Athens -these must be the best pistachios of the world – and thus I thought that pistachio milk couldn’t be anything but delicious! To spice up things I added some cardamom and a little agave nectar for extra sweetness.
Well I just want to say that pistachio milk may become my favorite! Its texture is rich and creamy, it has a mild sweet and somehow exotic taste while its aftertaste brought to mind freshly cut pistachios and the fragrance of the atmosphere after the first autumn rain.
I have to mention that this recipe was based on the idea of Sotiris and Lory two amazing guys I met in the Cooperative and Solidarity Economy festival. They live in Aegina and they grow their own organic pistachios. I should thank them a million times for their idea and for the delicious, fresh, organic pistachios they offered to me, with which I made this recipe!
- 1 cup peeled, raw pistachios
- 3 cups filtered water
- 1 ½ tbsp agave syrup or raw coconut sugar (optional)
- 3-4 cardamom pods
- Soak the peeled pistachios for 4-6 hours in water.
- Strain the nuts and put them in a blender with 3 cups of filtered water.
- Break the cardamom pods and add them in the mixture.
- Blend for 3-4 minutes on medium to high speed.
- Line a colander with a damp cheesecloth and strain the milk. Squeeze the cheesecloth to get as much milk as possible.
- Add sweetener such as agave nectar according to your taste.
- Keep in a sterilized glass bottle in the refrigerator. Because it has not been pasteurized, it cannot be preserved more than 3 days.
Note: You can omit cardamom and agave nectar if you want a plain flavor, but if you like something more complex and exotic give cardamom a try! The pistachio pulp can be used in sweet recipes such as cookies, raw energy balls and baked goods.