Chocolate Mousse Squares with a Caramel Walnut Crust (Paleo)
These silky and luscious chocolate mousse squares are beautifully balanced with a sweet and nutty caramel walnut crust. I love "no bake" desserts and this rich, decadent and blissful dessert is pure perfection any time of year. Full of good for you foods like avocados and pumpkin seeds you can have your "cake" and enjoy all the healthy benefits of real food ingredients.
Why I add Avocados to my Chocolate Mousse
These amazing green beauties are a staple in my house every week, not just because I love them with almost everything, but because they are a nutrient powerhouse and it is a no brainer when feeding and fueling a busy family of 5!
Let's talk macros. We all know our macronutrients to be our carbohydrates, proteins and fats, but did you know that the fourth macronutrient is water? An avocado is a great source of all four macronutrients!
Macro Breakdown: 1/2 of an average avocado
70%-75% of the avocado is water: Great for hydration!
2 grams of protein: Plant based protein is a great source of amino acids.
9 grams of carbohydrates: Fuel to keep you going!
15 grams of good fats: Monounsaturated and Polyunsaturated fats that support healthy cholesterol and are essential in cell health!
Plus the avocados in this recipe elevate the creaminess and richness to the next level!!
Why Dark Chocolate is So Good For You
I love dark chocolate, don't you? And I love to find easy ways to add this delicious and nutritious treat to my diet when I can! Made from the seed of the cacao tree, dark chocolate is full of minerals, antioxidants and fiber, yes! fiber!!
Copper: Essential mineral in the formation of red blood cells and in supporting cardiovascular health and immune function .
Iron: Necessary in the formation of hemoglobin and maintaining proper body temperature.
Magnesium: The fourth most abundant mineral in the body, it support healthy nerve functions, healthy blood pressure, and detoxification.
Manganese: Essential mineral in supporting blood sugar regulation, glucose metabolism, and supporting healthy brain and nerve function .
Phosphorus: Supports healthy teeth and bones, muscle recovery after working out, and detoxification.
Potassium: Potassium is the fourth most abundant mineral in your body and it is an essential electrolyte necessary in nervous system function, metabolism, hydration, and in regulating your heartbeat .
Selenium: is a mineral that is essential in thyroid health, detoxification and helps to make DNA .
Zinc: Essential in digestion, thyroid health, and a healthy immune system.
Soluble fiber : Dark Chocolate is a great source of soluble fiber, the fiber that works to support a healthy microbiome and supports healthy blood sugar regulation.
Antioxidants polyphenols, flavanols and catechins
Polyphenols: A powerful antioxidant that has shown to have strong antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer properties . Studies have shown that the polyphenols found in foods such as dark chocolate, help to support a healthy circulatory and vascular system as well as immune support by promoting a healthy microbiome .
Flavanols: Antioxidants that are instrumental in helping protect your cells from oxidative stress as well as having anti-inflammatory benefits . The type of flavinoids found in dark chocolate are found to support blood pressure health and cholesterol.
Catechins: Also abundant in green tea, catechins reduce oxidative stress and prevent cellular damage and have strong anti-inflammatory properties.
So grab some rich dark chocolate chips and let's get cooking!
Chocolate Mousse Squares with a Caramel Walnut Crust Ingredients
For the Caramel Walnut Crust
¾ cup Raw Pumpkin Seeds, unsalted
¾ cup Raw Organic Walnuts
10-12 Pitted Medjool Dates, room temperature
Pinch of Fine Sea Salt or Pink Salt
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
11x7 baking dish
For the Chocolate Mousse Filling
1 Large Hass Avocado
2 cans Full Fat Coconut Cream
1 shot of Espresso or 1 tsp of Espresso Powder
1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
¼ tsp Fine Sea Salt or Pink Salt
12 oz Paleo Chocolate Chips (70% or darker), melted
Coconut Whipped Cream (opt)
Unsweetened Bakers Chocolate for grating (opt)
How to Make Chocolate Mousse Squares with a Caramel Walnut Crust
1. Line the baking dish with parchment paper: I like to cut sheets that overlap the dish instead of trying to press the full sized piece from the roll in.
2. To a food processor, add the walnuts and pumpkin seeds and process until broken down into a crumb texture, do not over process or you may end up with a nut/seed butter.
3. Add the pitted dates and pulse a few times to break them up and then process until a coarse dough comes together. If it's too dry add more dates, 1-2 at a time. If it's too wet, add more walnuts and pumpkin seeds 1-2 Tablespoons at a time.
4. Transfer the date and walnut mixture to the lined baking dish and press into the bottom, refrigerate.
5. To a high speed blender (I love my Vitamix for this!) add all of the filling ingredients and blend on high until smooth and creamy.
6. Pour the chocolate mousse filling into the baking dish and refrigerate overnight.
7. Top with coconut whipped cream if you like and some shaved unsweetened chocolate.
Watch the Video HERE
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Q: Can I use semi-sweet chocolate chips if I can't find Paleo chocolate chips to make the chocolate mousse?
A: Yes, just be sure they are at least 70% dark chocolate chips.
Q: Do you taste the avocado in the Paleo chocolate mousse squares?
A: No, you don't taste the avocado flavor, but you get all the wonderful benefits and it's yields a rich and creamy bite!
Q: What is the minimum number of hours I can let this chocolate mousse set before serving?
A: I recommend waiting at least overnight, but if you're in a hurry you could try and freeze for 2 hours and then refrigerate for another 2-3 hours. You don't want to rush it or it may not solidify.
I hope you enjoy this as much as my family does. - Amy
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