Naughty but Nice: Chickpea-Chocolate Mousse

The bank holiday has ended, Easter is now a distant memory, and if you are anything like me, you may have indulged in the chocolate and wine just that little too much. Easter is quite often the time for a revival of new-years resolutions where people get a little disgusted (and impressed) with how much food their body can consume and decide to hit the gym and cut the crap again.

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But let’s be honest, it is really hard to resist over-indulging every now and again. And so to reconcile myself (and maybe give some of you some inspiration in the process) I have tried and tested some delicious recipes which not only taste oh-so-good and a little bit indulgent, but actually are oh-so-good for you! So here is your first ‘serving’:

Chickpea-Chocolate Mousse

Okay so bare with me – chickpeas, in chocolate mousse? I thought the same, just to weird you out more, on top of that, you don’t actually use the chickpeas, you use the water they’re soaked in, (the technical name for it, I have now learnt is ‘aquafaba’). But after some scepticism I decided to experiment, and these are the real deal. What’s best is the recipe only calls for 3 ingredients, making this treat gluten free, and vegan, (dependant on the chocolate you use), but I only used cheap dark chocolate from Lidi’s and turns out it was vegan anyway!

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I can 100% tell you it is very hard to make a can of chickpeas look ascetically pleasing, and I felt sad enough I was having a photoshoot with a can of legumes…

The chickpea water is packed with protein and everyone knows dark chocolate is full of antioxidants, making this chocolate mousse practically saint-like. Bonus – I kid you not, no one can tell the difference between these and regular homemade chocolate mousse. Believe me, my brother is a sniffer-dog for anything out of the ordinary and healthy and even he couldn’t tell the difference and loved them!

Chickpea-Chocolate Mousse:
Vegan, Gluten-free

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

1 can of chickpeas (only need the water)
120g dark chocolate (roughly chopped)
2 tbsp maple surup (or agave/ coconut syrup)
1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)

Method:

  1. Melt the chocolate in a bowl which is sat over a pan of simmering water (make sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water)
  2. Add the vanilla extract and maple syrup and leave to cool slightly whilst you do the next step
  3. Use an electric whisk or blender to mix the chickpea water until stiff peaks form and the mixture is fluffy and white in texture (this step is basically the same as if you would whisk up eggs) – you can hand whisk but you will be mixing for quite a while!
  4. Gently fold the chocolate into the chickpea mixture with a spatula until all is combined
  5. Pour out into bowls/ ramekins and leave to set in the fridge for 30-60 mins (but the longer you leave it the better set it will be).18109902_1470102309708150_478748715_o.jpg

Top with some raspberries or strawberries to balance out the sweetness, and there you have it! Quick and easy, protein packed chocolate mousse. Once you get over the fact you’re using chickpeas and try it, it’s a complete game-changer – and means you have use for something you would usually just chuck down the sink!

Much Love x

Lent: Rebranded

As Shrove Tuesday has come and gone as quickly as we could shovel down ten pancakes dripping in lemon, chocolate and all things delicious, you wake up on a Wednesday morning, with a food hangover. Memories are blurred from the night before, where you seemed to be drunk on maple syrup, and as you look down at your stomach, disgusted, you vow, ‘I am giving up chocolate/ sugar/ fat/ carbs etc. for lent!’. Six whole weeks you spend torturing yourself at the sight of a crème egg, crying internally when a friend offers you a biscuit and then when it’s all over, you scoff six weeks’ worth of your beloved, in one sitting, feeling just as grim as you did on pancake day.

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I mean, six weeks without this?!

 

Now don’t get me wrong, lent does have a genuine and significant meaning to those who follow Christianity, however, as in line with many occasions on the British calendar, religion doesn’t really play a part for much of society today. We give up chocolate because we want to be healthier, have a detox, or just to set ourselves a ‘challenge’. Some attempt to be more inventive, they proclaim six weeks without Instagram, Netflix, alcohol etc., and I highly admire a lot of people that do deny themselves of something they probably do daily, because it’s really hard!

 

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And really, how can you give up booze when you are a student

 

But here is where I differ in 2017. Every year, many of us will spend six weeks having pangs of misery not being able to enjoy something when they want, guilt when we fall off the wagon, and more often than not, feel worse once we binge at the end of our struggle. Why would we put ourselves through this pain and discontent to then inevitably reverse the effects on Easter Sunday?

 

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I’d love to say this was after indulging in too much chocolate, but sadly, it was after too much wine. And it wasn’t even for lent…

So my decision is to do something positive with lent. Every day I am not going to deny myself of anything, I am instead going to DO something. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could all use those six weeks to do some thing positive, such as learning a new language, creating a new (good) habit, de-cluttering your house (for a few off the top of my head examples!).

And so, for lent this year, I have decided that I am going to perform a random act of kindness every day. Be that as small as complimenting my housemate’s hair, or as charitable as helping my university donate food to the homeless. But my aim is simple, to remove the typically negative uses of lent and make it positive. That is 42 days I can use to perform 42 acts of kindness to make someone, a group of people, my family, friends and myself, happy, even for the briefest amount of time. And the same goes for any of these ‘positive lent’ actions, after 42 days you could be able to say a few sentences in Spanish, able to juggle on one foot, or have a stupidly clean downstairs cupboard, my point is, you’ll finish those six weeks not being glad it is all over, but perhaps glad it happened.

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Example: This was in a library book I took out a few weeks ago which made my afternoon infinitely better.

 

And so I challenge you all not to give up something for lent, but to start something new, do something positive, and make your life, or someone else’s better for six weeks, not miserable! Now go and have that chocolate biscuit you have hidden in the cupboard, guilt free and happy.

Much Love x

P.S. I’ll be posting all of the acts on my Instagram feed/ stories so for anyone who is interested, bored or just plain nosey (I would be) – go have a look https://www.instagram.com/hollyambwest/