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I originally created this recipe for the summer. Since then, it has become a BIG favorite in my house. It’s easy to make and is so decadent, and as it goes with raw food – 100% guilt free…. Well, maybe except for the smidgen of guilt that might temporarily sweep through my consciousness now and then for concocting pure trickery.
My mother-in-law, who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease, has days where she refuses to eat anything except for all things bad. Like sugary junk food. During these times of crotchety flare-ups that are reminiscent of trying to coerce a child in her terrible twos to eat their peas and carrots, I pop one of these in front of her nose. And nobody around here dares mention that it’s nutrition in disguise. This little dreamsicle-in-a-cup fast became one of her preferred sweets. Aah, the incredible glory of raw food desserts.
So what does vanilla mousse have to do with sea vegetables anyway? Irish moss.
Irish moss is a sea plant that grows abundantly in the north Atlantic ocean off the coasts of North America and Europe. When soaked, it releases a colorless, tasteless, and virtually odorless gel otherwise known as polysaccharide carrageenan. This gel is an excellent thickener and emulsifier, which makes it perfect for desserts like ice cream, sweet fillings, puddings, and in this case, mousse. Impressively, it’s not just an empty additive.
The carrageenan of Irish moss is rich in nutrients and minerals that includes protein, iodine, and sulfur. Combined with all of the other wholesome ingredients here in this recipe; the coconuts, pecans, and oranges, who wouldn’t want to make a meal out of dessert? You can order Irish moss from Amazon.
Prepare the Irish moss:
In a colander, rinse Irish moss thoroughly and then place in a large bowl. Cover with water and soak for 24-48 hours in the refrigerator. Rinse and change the water at least twice a day to remove excess debris. The moss is ready when it turns milky white and has doubled in size. In a high speed blender or food processor, blend the moss and its soaking liquid until smooth. Strain through a sieve to remove any tiny particles and store in refrigerator. The purée can be stored for up to 3 weeks in an air-tight container.
Orange Vanilla bean mousse:
- 2 heaping cups fresh young coconut meat
- 1 cup Irish moss purée
- 3/4 cup coconut water
- 3/4 cup agave nectar
- 1 tbsp coconut butter
- 2 vanilla beans, seeds only
- 1/8 tsp sea salt
Process all ingredients in a high-speed blender until very smooth. Divide into 4 dessert dishes and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
- 2 medium-sized oranges (such as Valencia or navel), seeds removed, cut into 1/2″ to
- 3/4″ cubes
- 2 tbs dried, shredded, unsweetened coconut
- 1 tbs agave nectar
- 1 tsp vanilla powder
- pinch of sea salt
Combine all ingredients in a bowl, coating the oranges well. Spread on lined dehydrator trays and dehydrate at 110 degrees for 4 to 6 hours, or until the oranges are slightly chewy and the coconut is crusty.
- 1 cup soaked pecans
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- pinch of cayenne
Mix all ingredients in a bowl until the pecans are well coated. Marinate for at least 4 hours or overnight. Spread on lined dehydrator trays and dehydrate at 110 degrees for 4 to 6 hours. Coarsely chop and sprinkle on top of vanilla mousse.