Tag Archive for vegan dessert

Chocolate Avocado Mousse from Cooking With Coconut Oil

I have been friends with Elizabeth Nyland ever since I met her and her husband, Adrian, in a bar in Victoria (it’s a good story). I immediately started following her blog and cooking some of her recipes. So, needless to say, I was utterly thrilled when she told me she’d gotten a cookbook deal (learn more about how that happened here).

Last week, her cookbook, Cooking With Coconut Oil, Gluten-free, Grain-free Recipes for Good Living arrived in my mailbox. The book has been on the market since November 26, and you all should have it on your Christmas lists!

It’s so beautiful! I’m a very novice food photographer (you can read Liz’ advice on food photography here), and I’m pretty proud of the progress I’ve made, but honestly, looking at her photos, I can see how far I have still to go. Every photo is mouth-wateringly delicious.

Liz and her family follow a Paleo diet, which means they use a lot of coconut oil. Every single recipe in this book as coconut oil in it, from appetizers to desserts.

I would have never considered making a dessert with avocado. I mean, avocado is something I consider more savoury than sweet, but it’s amazing how you don’t taste the avocado at all, and it creates this decadent, creamy dessert with no milk whatsoever. This dessert is rich and dense, but is also vegan and gluten-free. As a bonus, there’s no refined sugar, as it’s sweetened with dates and maple syrup.

I got the 10-yr-old to taste-test this, because I’m always curious as to whether things are kid-friendly. His feedback? “It’s made with dark chocolate, and usually kids like milk chocolate.” But he ate the whole thing.

Avocado Chocolate Mousse



By the way, Liz has a second cookbook coming out in July, called Cooking with Avocados, Healthy Recipes for Good Living.

Avocado Chocolate Mousse

(vegan, gluten-free, paleo) from Guilty Kitchen


  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 oz 100% pure dark chocolate (I used 70%)
  • 3 tbsp cacao powder
  • 1 tsp instant coffee (I omitted this because I didn’t have any)
  • 6 pitted medjool dates
  • 2 large ripe avocados, pitted
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla


  • In a double-boiler, heat the coconut oil, chocolate and cacao powder with the coffee, if you are using it, until smooth. Set aside to cool.
  • In a food processor or blender (the more powerful the better–you really need your Vitamix, here, if you have one), puree the rest of the ingredients until smooth.
  • Add the chocolate mixture and puree again.
  • Spoon into dishes, and place in the fridge for a couple of hours to set up.


Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free, Vegan Date Squares

Whew! That’s quite the handle, hey?

My last post, the Jungle Monkey Love Cake? I made that for a dessert when I went over to have dinner with some friends a couple of weeks ago. Well, unbeknownst to me, my friend had some pretty serious dietary restrictions. She is both a diabetic and a celiac, so she didn’t get to eat said cake, but her partner sure did enjoy it.

But I felt bad. I don’t like my friends to have to go dessert-less. And I do love a challenge. Throw dietary restrictions at me, and dare me to come up with something tasty, and I will do it.

Enter the humble date square. Simple ingredients, simple prep, but oh so sweet and tasty. This recipe is adapted from a couple that I found, both raw. I chose to cook mine, but you don’t need to. I like the kiss of golden brown on the crumble topping.

sugar free, gluten free, vegan date squares

Here are the links to the original recipes: My New Roots (h/t @juliaaustine) and Oh She Glows.

Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free, Vegan Date Squares



  • 2 cups walnuts
  • 2 cups oats (gluten-free if you are making these for someone with celiac)
  • 1/2 cup vegan butter (like Earth Balance) or coconut oil. If you’re not vegan, use butter.
  • 2 tsps cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup


  • two packages of dates (375 g each)
  • one orange
  • 1/4-1/2 cup water



  • Put the walnuts and oats in a food processor, and slowly turn up the volume until you are processing them on high. You don’t need it to be a fine flour, but you want it to be fairly crumb-like. Add in the cinnamon.
  • Turn the motor to slow, and add the maple syrup. Melt the butter, and add slowly through the feeding chute.
  • The mixture should be clinging together. Divide into thirds, two thirds will be you bottom crust.
  • Line an 8″x8″ square pan with parchment, and press the mixture into the bottom of the pan.


  • Unwrap the dates and cut them into chunks in a medium sauce pan. Zest the orange and add it to the dates, then cut it in half and add the juice to the mixture as well. Add a 1/4 c of water, and turn the pan on low to medium heat. Let the whole mixture melt together, adding more water if necessary. I usually employ a potato masher to get everything good and squished up and working together. Your final result should be a thickish paste.
  • Spread the filling layer on top of your base, and top with the leftover base, but don’t pack it down as hard as the bottom layer.
  • Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes, or until the topping is golden brown.

UPDATE: from the gluten-free diabetic: “Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! They are most delicious!”

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