Easy Paleo Strawberry Mousse -- The Perfect Valentine's Day Treat

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Everybody in my family loves dessert, so I try to make some somewhat healthy desserts for my son at least once a week. To make things easy, I love coming up with simple desserts that use only a  handful of ingredients and that can be whipped up in a matter of minutes. This paleo strawberry mousse is just that sort of dessert! It’s super quick and easy to prepare, only uses a few, simple ingredients, and yet it can be served at both faaancy and casual, everyday dinners.

The secret to getting the mousse to hold its whipped texture is adding gelatin mixture to the coconut whipped cream after it has cooled off. The gelatin mixture is immediately cooled when mixed with the cold strawberries which helps keep it from deflating the whipped coconut cream. Even if you decide that it’s too much of a hassle to make a coconut whipped cream separately and instead decide to mix all of the ingredients together in a blender, you still end up with a light dessert. If you’re in a pinch for time or just feeling lazy, you can quickly whip up a nice dessert that is pretty customizable.

I’ve used anywhere between 1 and 2 tablespoons of gelatin in this dessert, and depending on the amount of gelatin used, you can achieve a variety of textures. Using 2 tablespoons of gelatin, I made a more solid mousse (think: Strawberry Cream Pie) that was easily cut into slices that held their shape well. Using only 1 tablespoon of gelatin, I made more of a whipped yogurt texture that easily slid off my spoon. We really liked it either way, but if you are looking to make something with a texture somewhere in between, you can experiment with the amount of gelatin you add to the dessert. Keep in mind that the fat content of the particular coconut milk you use will also affect the texture. Some varieties of coconut milk have less coconut cream than others, in which case they will make a lighter mousse unless more gelatin is used.

Similarly, the sweetness factor can be adjusted to suit your taste. When I first made it, I only used between 1 and 2 tablespoons of honey. While I liked it that way, my kiddo thought it lacked sweetness. So the next time I added in almost an extra tablespoon for good measure. My son loved it that way, but it was slightly sweet for me.
It just goes to show that you can’t please everybody all of the time! 

PALEO STRAWBERRY MOUSSE

Ingredients:

  • 1 can full fat coconut milk, chilled
  • 10-12 large strawberries (enough to make between 1½–2 cups strawberry puree)
  • 2-3 Tbsp. honey (to taste) 
  • 1 Tbsp. gelatin

Directions:

  1. Chill the can of coconut milk in the refrigerator before beginning. This will help separate the layer of coconut cream from the liquid layer below.
  2. Scoop out only the solid coconut cream layer from the top of the can, and place into a chilled mixer bowl. (Keep the bowl of coconut cream cold in the fridge while working on the following steps.)
  3. Pour the remaining liquid from the can into a saucepan with the gelatin, and stir them together while heating over low to medium heat until the gelatin has dissolved. Remove from heat.
  4. Add the honey to the warm gelatin mixture and stir until it is well incorporated.
  5. Clean and cut the strawberries into small pieces and add them to a blender along with the warm gelatin mixture. Blend until smooth. The chilled strawberries should help cool the gelatin mixture, but if it is still warm, allow it to cool.
  6. Whip the coconut cream into a whipped cream using a chilled beater.
  7. Fold the strawberry mixture into the coconut whipped cream, and immediately pour the mixture into serving dishes.
  8. Chill for at least an hour before serving.
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