Thursday, July 25, 2013

Delicious Deception

Lying is wrong. I learned that when I was a little girl, mostly because I lied all the time about everything, and my mom told me that if I kept it up, she would never believe anything I said when I was older. So I wisened up, and decided to earn my parents' trust so that I could have priveledges that my younger brothers would lose their minds over when I was in high school.
I'm not sure if I'll be able to do the same with my kids with a straight face, because lately, I've been lying again...

Mmm...look at those cute little hollowed-out, frozen banana pieces generously stuffed with silky smooth, indulgent, dark chocolate mousse. Aren't those sprinkles just adorable?

I made these for my swim team's end-of-the-year potluck. I figured I'm a coach, so maybe instead of bringing more cookies for the kids I've been trying to teach to live active lifestyles, I should bring them something healthier...

Oh, yeah. These are totally healthy. And I'm not just saying that because the mousse is inside of bananas. 
Because the mousse isn't regular mousse.

It's made out of avocados.

I adapted this idea from this via Pinterest, and a recipe I found for an avocado-based chocolate mousse. Having experimented with chocolate avocado frosting in the past, and using it as a dip, I was all for trying it in mousse. And it worked, with delightful results.

First of all, they looked cute. Who can resist a cute thing?
Second of all, they taste just like a banana filled with chocolate creamy goodness.
Childrens' eyes widened with wonder when I walked past holding these. My coworkers begged for some before I set them out to be ravened by the wolves that are swim team families at a potluck. And I withheld my secret from them all...until they tried them and loved them, of course.
Oh, I didn't mention that they only have 70 calories per banana bite?
 If only I could think of a clever name for them the way I do for my smoothies.

Chocolate Mousse-Filled Banana Bites
 Makes approximately 30

6 bananas, cut into 5ths (about 1.5")

2 ripe avocados
1/2 cup 60% dark cocoa chocolate chips
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup agave syrup
2 tbsp unsweetened chocolate almond milk

Peel and slice your bananas into 1.5" pieces. I left mine unpeeled, but the peels turned brown-black and gross looking in the fridge. With the small end of a melon baller or a paring knife, scoop out about half of the center of the banana. Try your best to keep the edges intact to hold your mousse. If you leave your bananas unpeeled, the peel helps to hold to mousse in until it sets even if you mess up, so there's a plus.

Pop the bananas into the freezer while you prepare the mousse.

Peel and dice the avocados and place them into a blender or food processor. Pulse until creamy and no longer chunky. In a microwaveable bowl, melt the chocolate chips for 30 seconds. Stir, and microwave in 10-second intervals until smooth. You could also use a double boiler. Add the chocolate, cocoa, milk, and syrup to the blender and mix until smooth. The mousse should be a creamy consistency, slightly thinner than a frosting.

Scoop mousse into a ziplock bag that has a cute icing tip inside of it (mine apparently got eaten by the garbage disposal), and pipe into the bananas. Add nuts, sprinkles, or raspberries on top for decoration, and place into the freezer or refrigerator for 20-30 minutes, until the mousse is set up.

Serve cold, and enjoy!

Also, I'm super-duper excited, because I just got some new raw honey at Sprouts today. It's new at their store, and I hope they keep it, because so far, I love it! It still has bits of pollen in it, and the honey is slightly crystallized, so there are little specks that kind of work as gentle exfoliators! It also tastes great and comes in an adorable mason jar (how many times have I described something as cute or adorable today?)!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Super Delicious Smoothies - Part 2

I'm still on my conquest to make delicious and healthy frozen drinks, and this week we had so many organic peaches from our co-op that we had to freeze most of them. So naturally, I made smoothies.
Sorry, no grainy, washed-out-color photos today! I'm sure your feelings are all hurt ;)
This smoothie is very basic, with just four ingredients. I call it

The Beaches 'n Cream
(Because it'll help you get that beach body ;) )

1 cup chopped peaches, frozen
1 container (6 oz.) low-fat or fat-free vanilla bean yogurt (I used Brown Cow brand, which uses only real fruit and ingredients for flavoring and sweetening. I really like their vanilla yogurt because they have actual vanilla bean in it, which I love).
3 medjool dates, pitted
1/2 cup almond milk
1 cup ice

Blend all ingredients together until smooth. Makes two 12 oz. smoothies. In case you're curious, here is the nutrition information:
Nutrition Label made on
This smoothie is a great 'energy drink', as its sugar all comes from real food and no processed sugars are added. The protein from the yogurt also helps to slow down the absorption of sugar, which helps stabilize blood sugar rather than giving you an immediate sugar rush and its ensuing sugar crash. It's also a great way to get a serving of fruit and lots of calcium. To give yourself an additional boost, you can replace the almond milk with green tea for some extra antioxidants and, yes, caffeine. Enjoy! :)