Maple Harvest Mousse: Healthy holiday dessert recipe

November 3, 2015

While I’m all for decadent holiday cooking, it’s nice to have a few tasty, healthy options in your back pocket, too, like this Maple Harvest Mousse. Because decadent is good, but decadent-tasting and healthy is even better.

You know me: I’m always looking for fresh, new ways to use vegetables to make my cooking healthier, especially during the holiday season when there’s so much cream and butter (and butter and cream). Together, with my partner Earthbound Farm Organic, we’ve come up with a creative way to use butternut squash in a slightly sweet and totally delicious no-bake dessert that you can make just as easily for any night of the week as you can for a holiday meal.

In fact, since this is sweetened with just a touch of maple syrup and is packed with nutrient rich butternut squash, I’ve even served this at breakfast.

(Yay, healthy breakfast sweets!)

Healthy holiday dessert recipe: Maple Harvest Mousse | One Hungry Mama

To keep this pretty much no-cook, I use gelatin to thicken the mousse. If you’re concerned about using gelatin or simply want to keep this vegetarian, look for vegan gelatin. It exists.

And, of course, I love making this using Earthbound Farm Organic frozen butternut squash. It’s widely available (all year around!) and keeps me from having to wrestle with a fresh squash. Since the squash is frozen at peak season, it tastes just like fresh, but without all the peeling and chopping. Love that.

And, if you want to keep from cleaning pots and pans, you can cook the frozen squash in the microwave, just enough to be able to puree. Add no-cook to the list of this desserts virtues, too!

Check out the recipe below and also be sure to check out my friends at Earthbound Farm Organic on their fabulous blog, Organic Bound where you’ll find tons of healthy inspiration and mouthwatering recipes.

Maple Harvest Mousse
(Can be shared with kids 6+ mos)
Serves 4

1 10-ounce bag frozen Earthbound Farm Organic butternut squash
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup plain Greek-style yogurt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (or a pinch of pre-ground)
1 envelope (about 1 tablespoon) unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

1. Cook butternut squash according to package directions. In the meantime, sprinkle gelatin over the top of a 1/4 cup cold water; gently stir and allow to sit for 5 minutes before heating the water over medium heat or in a microwave for about 20 seconds until the gelatin is just dissolved. Do not bring the water to a simmer or boil. Set aside.

2. Reserve 1 tablespoon of the squash cooking water and drain. Place squash in a high-powered blender or food processor with reserved cooking water, syrup, yogurt, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg and blend until smooth. Take your time on this step: Butternut squash can be a little grainy if not pureed completely. Using a high-powered blender is best: start low and slowly work your way to high power over the course of 2-3 minutes to get the mixture smooth and silky.

3. One you achieve the right texture with your squash puree, whisk in dissolved gelatin mixture. Set aside in the refrigerator to cool off; you want the squash to be room temp or cooler to the touch.

4. In the meantime, pour whipping cream into a bowl and using an electric mixer (or a whisk, though it will take longer), whisk until stiff peaks form.

5. Once squash mixture is cool, use a silicone spatula or wooden spoon to gently fold in the whipped cream. This will help give the mousse a light and airy texture, so be careful not to work it in so hard that the whipped cream deflates. Divide mixture into 4-6 serving bowls or ramekins and place into the refrigerator for at least 2-3 hours. If leaving in there longer, cover with plastic wrap to keep the mousse from absorbing the flavors or smells in your fridge. Some topping ideas: whipped cream, candied nuts or pumpkin seeds, chopped pecans, dark chocolate shavings, and/or graham cracker crumbs.

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You can also find me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. And be sure to visit Earthbound Farm Organic on their blog, Organic Bound.

One Response

  1. Claire Furukawa says:

    Your recipe sounds very healthy and delicious but probably high in sugar/carbs. I am a diabetic (for more than 40 years) and fear the sugar count would be too high. Am I right?

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