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Chocolate Chili Pepper Mousse

May is Celiac Disease Awareness Month. Celiac Disease is an autoimmune disorder that effects the small intestine’s ability to process gluten protein. Common side effects are fatigue, severe digestive problems, and even growth problems in children.

Although I do not have a gluten allergy, I have several friends who do and I am always more than happy to post recipes they can eat too. If you do not have Celiac Disease or another type of gluten allergy, than there is no reason for you to cut all gluten out of your diet. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a gluten-free meal every once and awhile, give your body a break from processing the same gluten-heavy stuff over and over again. Like corn, it’s pretty much in every processed food today.

Gluten is a protein that comes from the wheat family, which include rye, barley, and oat. It is a great binder and leavener, which is wheat-flour breads are so common. It’s also used as a thickener, so it is used in a wide array of processed foods.  Because of it’s chewy texture, it is also used in many meat alternatives so gluten-free vegans and vegetarians need to read labels carefully.

My gluten-free friend Michelle asked for a chocolaty dessert, and I instantly thought of this Chocolate Chili Pepper Mousse recipe my mom found on VegWeb awhile ago. Remember in the movie Chocolat when Vianne said that chili enhances the flavor of chocolate? She wasn’t kidding. It doesn’t overpower the dish at all, just gives it that perfect little kick. Try chocolate with other spices too, like a cup of Mexican Hot Coco with a dash of cinnamon. Chocolate and spices are loaded with antioxidants.

The only change I made to the recipe was I used grade B maple syrup instead of agave because that is what I have on hand. In the American  maple syrup grading system, grade B just means it is darker and less sweet than grade A.

Chocolate Chili Pepper Mousse
1 package of silk tofu, drained
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/3 cup maple syrup
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tps peanut butter
1/4 tps chili pepper flakes
Berries, fresh or frozen

Throw everything into a blender, except the berries and blend until smooth. I was going to take photos, but this dessert is so simple there really is no need for visual aide. You may want to mix with a spoon after blending to make sure everything is incorporated.

Pour into bowls or decorative glasses. I used martini glasses.

Refrigerate for at least two hours. The flavors develop more the longer it sits.

Top with the berries or any desired fruit. Also good with vegan whip cream or some crushed nuts. Sprinkle a bit more chili flakes if you like an extra kick.

Topped with sugar-covered frozen strawberries.

The texture is so smooth and creamy, it’s hard to believe it’s not dairy—or gluten. It also makes a great pie filling and comes out kinda torte-like if you freeze it. Hope this is chocolaty enough for you Michelle!

P.S. My next two posts will also be gluten-free. Check out the Cinco de Mayo one tomorrow.

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