Smooth, dark chocolate. Luscious, creamy banana.
No processed sugars or fats. Two ingredients. One minute prep time. Sound good? Whip up a bowl of this delicious heart-healthy mousse and savor, spoonful by spoonful, while you read about the health benefits (below).
- 1 banana (if you crave sweetness, choose a ripe, speckled banana)
- 1 T – ¼ C unsweetened, minimally processed cocoa powder (healthier if the cocoa has NOT been alkalized or roasted)
- Optional: Sliced almonds, dried unsweetened coconut flakes, unsweetened cocoa nibs, sea salt, vanilla, fresh or frozen berries
Peel and mash the banana. Add cocoa powder to taste (and vanilla if you’re using it) and mix thoroughly. For a smoother, mousse-like consistency, whip the banana-cocoa mixture in a food processor.
Optional: Top with optional goodies. Eat immediately or refrigerate for a cool treat.
Bananas are loaded with fiber, vitamin B6, vitamin C, manganese and potassium. An average banana has a whopping 467 mg of potassium, an essential mineral for maintaining healthy blood pressure and helping prevent atherosclerosis. Bananas are also known to help protect against stomach ulcers by activating cells in the stomach lining to produce a thicker mucus barrier. Also, protease inhibitors in bananas help eliminate bacteria that are the culprits behind stomach ulcers. And the soluble fiber in bananas can help ease constipation by normalizing movement through the digestive tract.
Chocolate, made from ground cacao beans, contains flavonoids that help lower blood pressure and make blood platelets less sticky and liable to clot. They appear to have an antioxidant effect, helping the body’s cells resist damage caused by free radicals formed by environmental contaminants like cigarette smoke and even normal body processes including breathing! Chocolate also contains theobromine, a mild stimulant related to caffeine, that acts as a vasodilator.
Heavily processed chocolate contains very little cacao (thus fewer health benefits), so it’s best to choose a minimally processed chocolate with a high percentage of cacao.