Easy Mango Mousse #dairyfree #glutenfree #vegan #yum #paleo

vegan mango mousse

“Let us dance in the sun, wearing wild flowers in our hair…”
~ Susan Polis Schutz

 

Mangoes are finally in season here in Australia. This is a super-easy and yummy mango mousse that tastes of summer and is something you can make all year round, even if you can’t access fresh mango. I’ve made this before with frozen mango and canned mango too. Perfect if it’s winter in your neck of the woods but you’re craving a little sunshine.

I’ve adjusted an old recipe of mine that called for cream and loads of sugar, and converted it to a recipe that is dairy-free and refined sugar-free. You can make this as a vegan or a paleo dessert – and it’s so healthy you could eat it for breakfast!

All you need to make this is a blender.

Ingredients:

270ml can of coconut cream – chilled (or use one cup), cheeks of three fresh mangoes, or the drained contents of an 800 gram can of mangoes or 2 cups of frozen mangoes, 1 tablespoon of agar agar (or use 1 tablespoon of gelatin if you aren’t vegan or vegetarian – this is a great option if you follow a paleo diet), 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of maple syrup or sweetener of your choice – natvia is a favourite of mine for sugar-free but coconut sugar also gives a great flavour (if you’re not vegan you could also use honey), a squeeze of lime juice or lemon juice if you have no limes!

Method:

Chill the can of coconut cream in the fridge for an hour or two or until when you shake it there is no liquid sloshing. If you’re in a cold climate it may already be like this at room temperature, but you need your coconut cream cold or it won’t whip.

Slice up your mango flesh or drain canned mangoes.

Soak your agar agar in 1/3 cup of water so it swells. Do the same if you are using gelatin. It’s fine to use the juice from canned mangoes or any squeezed pulp if you prefer.

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Place the chilled coconut cream (omit any liquid), mango flesh and agar agar mixture (or gelatin) into a blender or food processor. Whip on high speed until combined and fluffy. The time for this will vary depending on the speed of your motor, but really it should only take a minute or two.

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Now taste your mixture. Some mangoes are so sweet that they will need little extra sweetening. Add the quarter cup of sweetener (less if you feel it only needs a touch) and the squeeze of lime to freshen the flavour, pulse or blend quickly to combine and then taste again and add more sweetener if necessary until you are happy with the levels.

Pour into individual serving dishes or one larger bowl and refrigerate til set. You’ll need at least one hour for this.

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You can eat the mousse on its own, or garnish with more mango pieces. It’s also fabulous with a side of gelato or ice-cream, or a few gingersnaps.

I had a friend coming for dinner and I wanted to make pretty, so I chose a dollop of coconut yoghurt, some grated dark chocolate and a few fresh blueberries as my garnish. The nasturtium flowers made it feel completely celebratory.

The result?

Mango party for your mouth! <3 So very yum. 🙂

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Easy Berry Parfait Recipe

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“Some of the sweetest berries grow among the sharpest thorns.”
~ Scottish Proverb

 

Ever since I was a little girl I’ve loved parfaits. They’re so pretty with their layers of deliciousness! What’s even better about this dessert is that it’s healthy enough to eat for breakfast, and fancy enough to be served at Christmas Dinner.

This is such an easy recipe that kids can make it. (Making parfaits is fun.) If you’re letting them help, give them a small personal glass where they can make a ‘test’ parfait to eat in advance, like a chef’s reward. 🙂

 

Ingredients to serve 6 or 4 BIG serves:

2 heaped cups of mixed fresh or frozen berries, 2 tablespoons of caster sugar/superfine sugar or natvia, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 2 teaspoons cornflour (corn starch), 2 cups of your favourite yoghurt, 4 tablespoons of roasted coconut chips or toasted flaked almonds.

Glasses for parfaits – the choice is yours, but make sure your spoons can reach comfortably to the bottom of the glass, or there will be tears…

Today I’ve made some breakfast parfaits in short glasses, and some dessert parfaits in martini glasses. My berry mix included strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries. My yoghurt? Greek passionfruit yoghurt for a little summery zip, and a parfait made with coconut milk yoghurt for a friend who is vegan.

If you’re dairy intolerant do try the coconut yoghurt or a good soy yoghurt.

Method:

Sort through your berries and wash. (Not necessary of they are frozen.) Drain, and chop any large berries into smaller pieces if required. Tip into a saucepan with the lemon juice and sugar.

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Squash the berries down a little with a potato masher to release some of their juice.

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Heat and stir for a few minutes so that the berries have broken down a little and the sugar has been dissolved. There should still be some whole berries in your pot.

Mix the cornflour with a tablespoon or so of cold water until it is smooth and milky. Dump into saucepan with berries and stir over medium heat for another minute until mixture thickens slightly. Remove from heat. Mixture will thicken more as it cools.

At this stage you can put mixture in an airtight container and keep in fridge up to one week if necessary. The berry mix will taste sweet and summery. It is also divine when spooned over ice-cream or ladled into little pastry cases with a dollop of cream and a few shavings of chocolate on top.

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To assemble your parfaits:

Have your glasses ready, along with some clean spoons.

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Start with a layer of berry mixture, placing it carefully so that it doesn’t drip down the sides of the glass. It’s better to work with a little at a time than big messy spoonfuls. If you do get a smudge, wipe it off with a piece of paper towel.

Now add a layer of yoghurt, again working slowly and neatly.

Another layer of berries, and then keep layering until you get to the top of the glass.

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Finish with a few whole berries or a splodge of yoghurt with a little more of the berry mix spooned into the centre of the splodge.

If you’re not ready to serve these yet, pop them back in the fridge.

Just before serving, sprinkle your toasted coconut chips or almond flakes over the top for a delicious crunch. The texture of the soft fruit and yoghurt with the crunchy bits is wonderful. Enjoy!

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Easy Lemon Slice Recipe

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“There are times when wisdom cannot be found in the chambers of parliament or the halls of academia but at the unpretentious setting of the kitchen table.” 
~ E.A. Bucchianeri

As promised, here is the first recipe in my ‘Slice Extravaganza’ series – the brainchild of my mother, who must be acknowledge for her great generosity in lending me the Family Recipe Book from which this recipe is taken. Thanks, Mum!

This is a delightful slice – a crispy, crunchy but delicate base with a tangy lemon topping.  Perfect with a morning coffee or an afternoon cup of tea.

It’s also a confidence-building recipe for kitchen beginners and young cooks.

Base Ingredients:

1 x cup of self raising flour (self-rising for my USA friends or 1 cup of all purpose flour, 1 and 1/2 x teaspoons baking powder and a pinch of salt, sifted together), 1 x cup of unsweetened desiccated coconut, 1/2 cup of lightly packed soft brown sugar, 1/2 cup (4 oz or 125 grams) melted butter

*Note – for vegans, use a vegetable butter substitute.  If you’re gluten intolerant, this works fine with a commercial gluten-free flour mix.

Method:

Preheat oven to moderate (160 degree celcius fan-forced or 180 degree oven – 350 degrees fahrenheit).

Line a 28cm x 18cm (9 inch by 13 inch) slice tin with some baking paper.

Measure the dry ingredients into a large bowl and then mix through the melted butter.  The mixture should be moist and crumbly.

base mixture

Press the mixture lightly into the tin. DO NOT PRESS DOWN HEAVILY!

base pressed into tin

Place your slice into the oven and bake for 20 minutes, until the top is a nice golden brown colour.

Lemon Icing Ingredients: (Frosting for you USA folk!)

1 and 1/2 cups sifted icing sugar mixture (confectioners’ sugar or powdered sugar),1 x tablespoon of soft butter, finely grated zest of one lemon, 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons of lemon juice.  Additional coconut to sprinkle on top. (Shredded coconut is lovely for this!)

Method:

Mix the ingredients together with enough of the lemon juice to make a smooth, creamy consistency.

Spread the icing mixture over the slice while it is still warm. Sprinkle coconut over the warm icing and leave to cool in tin. DO resist cutting before it cools, or you will end up with a crumbly mess!

Dollop of icing

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Cut into squares to serve, and store in an airtight container.  I’m sure you’ll agree, it’s delicious!

ready to eat baking

Coconut, Ginger and Cardamom Rice Pudding Recipe – Vegan

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Because my Power Word for 2013 is HEALTH, I’ve been modifying a few of my favourite recipes.

This creamy-sweet rice pudding has the added lusciousness of Indian spices, and is entirely dairy, gluten and cane-sugar free.  And it’s vegan to boot, for those of you who are lovers of plant-based diets.

It can be eaten warm or chilled, so it’s perfect for any time of the year.

Ingredients: 1 x 400ml can of coconut cream, 1/2 cup of rice of your choice, 12 green cardamon pods, an inch of freshly grated or finely chopped ginger root, 1/3 cup of palm sugar, raw honey or maple syrup (or to taste), pinch of salt.

Method:

Using a mortar and pestle, lightly crush the cardamom pods. You could also do this with the blade of a heavy knife. This releases the aromatic oils from the tiny seeds inside the pods.  If you are especially finicky you can pull out all the green pods, leaving just the seeds, but I never bother.  They soften up when you cook them, so you can either eat them or dig them out later.

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Tip your can of coconut cream into a large saucepan, and then use the empty can and add one and a half cans of water to the pot.

Grate your ginger and add the ginger and crushed cardamom to the pot, then bring to the boil.  Now slowly sprinkle in your rice, stirring well.  Let it boil for a minute or two and then bring your pot down to a slow simmer.  Stir every so often so it doesn’t stick on the bottom. It will take about 40 to 60 minutes for your pudding to cook, depending on how low you have your heat. (Add a little more water if needed.) Test the rice – if it is soft, and the mixture is thick and creamy, it is ready.

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Add in your sweetener, checking as you go, so you don’t add in too much. Then add a pinch of good salt and check that you are happy with the taste.

There is nothing more to be done except eat and enjoy!

Some of my favourite serving options include a spoonful of creamy coconut yogurt  (you can often find this in health food stores) over the top, and a little seasonal fruit.

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For a special occasion, layer it into a glass with some fresh or preserved fruit and a good yogurt, and top with some crushed pistachio or toasted crushed cashew nuts.

If you liked this recipe, you might want to try my:

Mandarin and Coconut Jelly Recipe

Healthy Breakfast Parfait Recipe

Here’s a sneak preview of the Breakfast Parfait, which you can use to inspire you about serving suggestions with your Coconut, Ginger and Cardamom Rice Pudding…

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Healthy Apple Crumble Recipe

Apple crumble has been a family favourite in our house for years. Now Autumn has arrived in Australia all the new season apples leave us spoilt for choice, and they taste positively delicious baked into a dessert.

I’ve modified this recipe so that it is gluten-free, sugar-free and so that it can also be dairy free or vegan. It’s quick to make, rich in fibre, and tastes wonderful as a hot or cold dessert, and will even double as breakfast!

The following recipe gives one serve, which I bake in a small ramekin. For more people just keep increasing the quantity, and use a larger baking dish.

Ingredients for the apple base:

One apple (today I’m using Pink Lady apples – very creamy and sweet and they keep a nice firm texture when cooked. I won’t use any sugar or sweetener as the fruit is ripe and sweet already, but a tart apple like a granny smith may need a little sweetening for most palates), six dates (optional – omit if you have diabetes or a sugar issue), 1/3 cup of water, half to one teaspoon stevia if needed (you could also use maple syrup, honey or rice syrup), a shake of powdered ginger or allspice.

Method:

Peel and core apple and chop into small pieces.

Add apple to saucepan with water and sweetener if the apple is tart, and turn to medium heat. After a minute or two add the chopped dates if you are using them.  Add a little ginger or allspice to season.

Stir often over medium heat until the liquid cooks off and the apple has changed colour.

Spoon into a ramekin or small dish, (or enjoy on its own as stewed fruit – great with yoghurt, on porridge or cereal, or even over ice-cream).

Crumble topping ingredients:

One tablespoon dessicated coconut, one tablespoon mixed seeds (optional but great for protein and fibre), one tablespoon rolled oats (if you’re celiac you may want to use a tablespoon of either gluten-free breadcrumbs, puffed rice/millet/buckwheat or a good gluten-free cereal), a little sweetener of your choice if you wish, one teaspoon of butter, vegan/vegetarian butter substitute or if you are mad on coconut like me, one teaspoon of coconut oil or cream.

The seed mix I use is called Kapai Puku. It’s available online but not everywhere – there’s a good post about it, and how you can make your own substitute here.

Method:

Rub crumble ingredients together with your fingers so that it becomes clumpy. (Very un-technical term – sorry!)

Sprinkle over apple mixture.

Bake in moderate oven until the top browns – around ten minutes.

Eat with great gusto – can be served with yoghurt, coconut cream, cream or ice-cream. Or enjoy it on its own. Comfort food at its finest.