This post was created in partnership with Califia Farms.
I had every intention of coming here today with a banana cake. One that’s tall and top-heavy and, as a result, makes for slices that topple over the instant you try to balance them upright on a plate. A banana cake that’s smothered in peanut butter hot fudge sauce and sprinkled with coconut and dry roasted peanut confetti, and – yes, in case you were wondering – it’s outta-this-world delicious. It was the very last thing I made in our old kitchen (RIP) and one of the things I’ve been itching to make in our new one. And because I was hell bent on sharing it with you today, I have bananas in varying stages of decay sitting in an enamel bowl on our countertop. But then, after spending a good chunk of Sunday morning lurking on the forums on bodybuilding.com (suuuuch a creep), I decided I was going to attempt to eliminate refined sugar for an entire week. And then I decided that making a banana cake probably wouldn’t be the best way to ease into a week-long sugar detox (it starts on Monday) (AAAHHHHH).
I know what you’re thinking.* 1) You’re batshit crazy and 2) why? WHY??? Hear me out.
Remember that New Year’s resolution you guys probably thought I wouldn’t keep because no one ever keeps NY resolutions longer than, like, two months? Well, I proved all of us wrong because I’ve kept pretty damn good on my commitment to treat my body better. Although, I’m not gonna lie – I was 99% certain I’d be back to my torturous running ways by the end of winter because, ya know, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. Except I did learn some new tricks. Like how to train properly and eat intuitively. And in the process I went from caring way too much about my jiggly thighs and cellulite to giving absolutely zero shits about my jiggly thighs and cellulite. Do you have any idea how good it feels to no longer let those things define me? It feels pretty damn good; it feels like I won.
Anyway. The sugar thing. Every month I’ve been making adjustments to my diet, training routine, supplementation, etc. And earlier last month I realized I have a serious lack of energy if I do my workouts later in the day. Turns out it’s probably one of two culprits: sugar or coffee. And because I’m not crazy enough to give up coffee just yet (I actually think I’d rather chew off my left hand – my good hand – than give up coffee), I’ve started slooowly removing refined sugar from my diet and, in the process, realized that sugar is all over the damn place. It’s in your coffee creamer. Salad dressing. Ketchup. Peanut butter. Yogurt. Marinara sauce. Fabanaise. Sandwich bread. Kale chips. FREAKIN’ KALE CHIPS! Don’t believe me? Look. And then, if you’re interested, spend a few days adding up how much sugar you unintentionally consume. For me, it was upwards of 50 grams a day. Do you know how much 50 grams of sugar is? It’s a fat slice of cake. Five glazed doughnuts. HALF A PINT OF ICE CREAM. Wouldn’t you much rather be taking spoonfuls of Ben and Jerry’s to the face instead of eating sweetened ketchup or kale chips? Of course you would.
Rest assured: this whole no sugar thing is just trial and error. I’m not really sure what I’m trying to get at because even if it does turn out that I function better without sugar, am I really going to cut out sugar for the foreseeable future? Nope. But it’ll be super helpful just knowing how my body responds to sugar, how to know when I’ve had too much, etc. Also, this is really just my last ditch effort to avoid having to give up coffee (I’ve already cut back by 1-2 cups per day) because I would be a seriously miserable version of myself without it. And I’m really hoping it’s the sugar because DEATH BEFORE (100%) DECAF, you guys.
So this is where today’s recipe comes in. I’ve had this peanut butter mousse in my back pocket for nearly two years. TWO YEARS! And would you believe I’m only just now getting around to sharing it with you? I’ve got some gems in my drafts folder that I’m hoping to put a dent in over the course of the next few months but, for now, my wish for you is this: that you make this mousse. Because it is easily one of the most satisfying and delicious desserts I have ever made (and my husband – who housed two jars last night – can attest to that statement). My other wish? That you, too, will start embracing your body’s imperfections. Because life’s too short to give a shit about some jiggle and dimples. Ya dig?
*Are you sick of me always assuming I know what you’re thinking? (HEH.) Sorry.
Notes: If you use store bought peanut butter the texture and consistency of your mousse will be considerably different. Not bad, just different. And not perfectly mousse-like, as it is with the homemade variety. Homemade peanut butter is super runny when processed throughly, which is what you want for this recipe. If you use store bought creamy peanut butter (it has to be super smooth otherwise your mousse will be gritty), increase the almondmilk to 1 cup (220g). If you happen to overmix the mousse and it cannot be poured into the jars, return the double boiler insert to the pot of water, melt the mixture completely, then set insert over the bowl of ice cubes and start the mixing process again.
Other awesome mousse recipes: Two ingredient chocolate mousse, hot fudge peanut butter pie, and chocolate mousse pie with peanut butter whip + pretzel crust.
This post is sponsored by Califia Farms, maker of my favorite non-GMO + carrageenan-free almondmilk (amongst other delicious beverages). All opinions are my own and I think Califia rules.
TOASTED COCONUT PEANUT BUTTER MOUSSE
2 ounces cacao butter, roughly chopped
1/2 cup (130g) homemade smooth + creamy peanut butter, recipe follows
3/4 cup (165g) Califia Farms toasted coconut almondmilk
1/4 cup (75g) pure maple syrup
Pinch of fine sea salt, optional
You’ll also need
Coconut whipped cream
Ripe bananas, thinly sliced
Homemade smooth + creamy peanut butter
Dry roasted peanuts, roughly chopped
Unsweetened toasted coconut flakes
Good quality dark chocolate, shaved
Fill the bottom of a large mixing bowl with ice cubes; set aside. Place four small jars (or 6 if you’d prefer smaller portions) near your work area. Add the cacao butter do a double boiler set over medium heat and melt completely. Once melted, whisk in the peanut butter and maple syrup, followed by the almondmilk. Cook just until mixture is hot. Remove the double boiler insert from the pan and set it over the prepared bowl of ice cubes. Using a hand mixer on medium-high speed, beat the mixture for 3-5 minutes. During this time it’s going to be super bubbly but then fine lines will start to appear. As soon as you see those fine lines (well, ones that last for about a second), discontinue beating. Test the mousse and add salt, if needed. Divide the mixture between the jars (the mousse should be pourable) (if it’s not, see notes above) and tap each jar on the counter to remove any trapped air bubbles. Top with lid and refrigerate for at least two hours, or until set. Mousse will keep in the refrigerator for up to one week.
When you’re ready to serve, top with coconut whipped cream, sliced bananas, and a drizzle of peanut butter. And while you’re at it, throw some peanuts, coconut flakes, and chocolate shavings on there, too.
Yield: 4 servings
Chocolate peanut butter mousse – Replace the toasted coconut almondmilk with chocolate coconut almondmilk. For a super chocolatey peanut butter mousse, replace the cacao butter with 4 ounces of good quality dark chocolate and replace the maple syrup with additional almondmilk.
Horchata peanut butter mousse – Replace the toasted coconut almondmilk with vanilla coconut horchata.
Almond butter mousse – Replace the peanut butter with homemade almond butter (it has to be super smooth otherwise the mousse will be gritty) and the toasted coconut almondmilk with unsweetened almondmilk.
White chocolate mousse – Omit the peanut butter, increase the maple syrup to 1/3 cup, and add one teaspoon of pure vanilla extract.
Notes: Cleanup is a real pain in the ass so if you use the environmentally friendly dishwashing detergent (like I do), I’m going to go ahead and suggest you get a little bottle of Dawn dish soap to make your life easier. TRUST ME. I do no recommend making this recipe in a food processor, as you won’t be able to get the peanut butter smooth enough. A Vitamix, KitchenAid pro series blender, or any other high speed blender is capable of making super smooth/runny peanut butter.
HOMEMADE SMOOTH + CREAMY PEANUT BUTTER
4 cups (454g) dry roasted unsalted peanuts
2-3 teaspoons unrefined coconut oil
Heavy pinch of fine sea salt
Add the peanuts to the base of a high powered blender, such as a Vitamix. Blend on high speed until the mixture resembles thick peanut butter; using the tamper as needed. Add the coconut oil and sea salt and blend on high speed for about 2-3 minutes. The blender is going to get super hot but this is necessary to pulverize and liquify the peanut butter. Pass the liquid peanut butter through a fine mesh sieve and into a large jar, then let cool to room temperature. Store in an air tight container at room temperature for up to four weeks, or in the refrigerator for months.
Yield: about 16 ounces