Does anyone out there remember Jello 1-2-3? This dreamy vegan crimson mousse is similar to the top layer of that treat: exceptionally light and airy, yet rich, sweet, and fruity. The color is vibrant, and the flavor is a tantalizing combination of almond, coconut, and vanilla, but with a surprising source of nutritious sweetness.
Photo credit: Nicole Axworthy
The recipe is from the fabulously healthy new cookbook, Living Candida-Free: 100 Recipes and a 3-Stage Program to Restore Your Health and Vitality by my very good friend Ricki Heller. Ricki is not only an author and a recipe creator, but also founder of the Candida Kick-Start Program.
Ricki is the queen of healthy recipes, in my opinion, churning out goodies that are naturally vegan, gluten-free, and sugar-free! Everything she creates can even be considered diabetic-friendly, yet I can vouch that these virtuous gems are indeed delicious – even for us sweets fiends.
That said, Living Candida-Free is an amazing book for a good sugar detox, something most of us could use. In the first chapters, Ricki starts out by explaining Candida-Related Complex in great detail, with information to help people assess if they may actually have candida overgrowth issues (I’m sure many will be surprised!). She then goes into the details of how to follow an Anti-Candida Diet, from lifestyle issues to stocking your pantry and ingredient substitutes.
Then there are the recipes, all of those amazing recipes from simple staples to full meals. Here are just a few that I’ve dog-eared to trial:
- Grain-Free Pizza Crust
- Homemade Ketchup
- Mojito Smoothie
- Whole-Grain Waffles
- Raw Carrot Cake Energy Balls
- Gingerbread Pecan Butter
- Vegetable Miso Soup
- Creamy Kale Salad with Black Beans and Sweet Potato
- Raw Sushi with Spicy Miso Ginger Sauce
- Eggplant “Parmesan”
- Raw Frosted “Put the Lime in the Coconut” Bars
- S’mores Parfaits
And Ricki gets very creative with adding sweetness and appeal to her recipes. This creamy crimson mousse uses detoxifying beets as a primary ingredient. Besides adding that brilliant fuchsia color and a mysterious sweetness to the dessert, beets are also great blood detoxifiers and liver toners. In addition, they’re a good source of fiber, contain cancer-fighting antioxidants, and help reduce inflammation in the body. What other dessert can boast such benefits?
Plus, according to Ricki:
Going without fruit on the first stage of the diet can be tough for some people. When I was yearning for a fruity sweet treat, I came up with this crimson mousse recipe. boiling the beets helps remove any trace of earthy flavor here; what remains is a vague sweetness and stunning hue. I served this dessert o friends at a dinner party and everyone guessed “berries” as the secret ingredient, even though they couldn’t quite place them!
To note, Ricki has tried baking the beets instead, and while the color becomes even more intense so does the “beety” flavor. She advises sticking with the boiling method.
For delicious samples from Living Candida-Free, enjoy the vegan Crimson Mousse recipe below, as well as Ricki’s recipes for Grain-Free Apple Berry Crumble, Almost Instant Grain-Free Breakfast Porridge, As-You-Like Kale Salad, Chard and Chickpea Soup (also featured on Welcoming Kitchen), “It’s the ONE” Single-Serve Pancakes, The Toronto Sandwich, and Herbed Grain-Free Gnocchi. Her recipes are popular!
Special Diet Notes: Creamy Crimson Mousse
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, grain-free, peanut-free, soy-free, vegan / plant-based, vegetarian and paleo.
- 1 medium beet, peeled and diced very small
- ⅓ cup (55 g) raw cashews
- 1 cup (240 ml) canned full-fat coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) whole chia seeds, measured first and then ground in a coffee grinder to a fine powder
- ¼ teaspoon (1 ml) pure almond extract
- ¼ teaspoon (1 ml) pure coconut extract (optional)
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) pure vanilla extract
- 15-25 drops plain alcohol-free or fruit-flavored pure liquid stevia, or to taste (I like cherry-vanilla)
- 1 tablespoons (15 ml) freshly squeezed lime juice
- Pinch fine sea salt
- Place the beet in a small pot of water and bring to a boil. Cook for at least 30 minutes, until the beet is very soft and the water is deep crimson, and up to 50 minutes (the longer you cook them, the less they will retain their "beety" flavor). Drain well (reserve the liquid for soup or other uses).
- Place the drained beets and remaining ingredients in a high speed blender and blend until perfectly smooth, pushing the mousse down into the blades occasionally as necessary.
- Turn the mixture into a bowl, cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight (refrigerating allows the cashews to absorb some of the liquid and the mousse to thicken).
- Spoon or pipe into serving dishes and top with coconut whipped cream, if desired. Will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- If using a regular blender, blend the cashews, coconut milk, almond extract, coconut extract (if using), vanilla, stevia, lime juice, and salt until very smooth. Add the beets and blend again until smooth, then add the chia seeds last and blend just to combine. Pour into a bowl and refrigerate as directed.