Getting Through the Holidays without Wrecking Your Diet

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This Mocha Nut Mousse recipe, is delicious and satisfying; it is dairy-free, low-sugar (containing a little honey and stevia) and one of my favorites for special occasions. For many, this recipe works as a little indulgence without health consequences.

Karen Falbo, our guest blogger, will be receiving her Natural Foods Chef certification next week through Nutrition Therapy Institute. She is an all star learner and leader, ready to use her passion of cooking to create a healthier world!

Since my late 20’s, due to health reasons, I have adhered to a gluten-free, dairy-free, extremely low-sugar, clean-food diet void of pesticides, GMOs, food additives, and refined grains. During the holiday season, like most of us, I am tempted to eat things I would normally not include in my diet.

A cheat here and there isn’t the end of the world for most people, but for me having had very serious digestive problems and Hashimoto’s disease, I must be very careful about cheating. I ask myself if the cheat I’m considering is going to provoke my immune system and trigger inflammation and is it really worth it? For me, foods containing gluten are never worth it. I am one hundred percent clear on that fact. I have serious autoimmune gluten intolerance. I know very well that gluten is not an acceptable cheat. My cheat foods revolve around dairy products and sugar. I love adding cream, butter and cheese back into my diet. However, neither dairy nor sugar really works for me. Slowly, I find inflammation creeping up and my blood sugar becomes less stable. I have been down the path of making wrong choices with cheat foods enough times to realize, I need to act smarter and be prepared for holiday temptations.

My commitment to myself is wellness. I want to feel good every day and therefore I must eat foods that help me achieve my goals.  Because I am committed to health, I now take time during the holiday season to experiment with recipes and create healthy treats. This is isn’t a big secret, but I can attest that making treats that align with my diet, yet are still deeply satisfying, is the best way to overcome temptations. Especially during the holidays when it’s the emotional triggers that increase our susceptibility to give in to temptations.

My Mocha Nut Mousse recipe, below, is delicious and satisfying; it is dairy-free, low-sugar (containing a little honey and stevia) and one of my favorites for special occasions. For me, this recipe works as a little indulgence without health consequences. It reminds me of the saying, “have your cake and eat it too.”

Mocha Nut Mousse

Yield: 8 servings      Prep Time: 10 minutes     Cook Time: 20 minutes

  • 2 tablespoons clarified butter or ghee
  • 3 cans full-fat, unsweetened coconut milk (13.5oz.)
  • 8 tablespoons organic raw cacao powder
  • ½ cup raw honey
  • 3 packets stevia powder or 10 drops stevia liquid
  • 1 cup brewed Teeccino® or coffee (regular or decaf)
  • 2 tablespoons instant organic coffee (regular or decaf)
  • 3 ½ tablespoons gelatin

Hazelnut Cream Topping

  • 1 can coconut milk (13.5oz. or 14oz.)
  • 1 package stevia powder or 3 drops liquid
  • 1 teaspoon organic hazelnut extract/flavor
  • 4 squares dark chocolate (88% cacao or higher)
  1. For the hazelnut cream topping, refrigerate the can of coconut milk.
  2. In a large sauce pan, over medium-low heat, melt the butter, add the coconut milk, cacao powder, honey, and stevia. Whisk all ingredients together until well-mixed. Slowly bring to a gentle boil, stirring often.
  3. Add the brewed Teeccino (or coffee) and whisk in the gelatin powder 1 tablespoon at a time, slowly to avoid clumping and allow gelatin to completely dissolve.
  4. Remove from heat; stir in the instant coffee. Set aside to cool while making the topping.
  5. Cut the dark chocolate into very thin slivers, set aside.
  6. Open the can of refrigerated coconut milk, in a small mixing bowl, spoon out the solid coconut milk (at the top of the can), leaving the liquid coconut water behind. Transfer the liquid to another container and save for smoothies (freeze if necessary).
  7. Add all other ingredients for the topping, use a hand mixer or a whisk and blend until smooth.
  8. Using parfait glasses, spoon in the mousse filling ¾ of the way full. Then spoon on the topping and sprinkle on the dark chocolate.
  9. Cover each glass with plastic wrap before refrigerating to prevent a film from forming on top and refrigerate for 1-2 hours before serving. Will stay fresh in the refrigerator up to 5 days.

Nutrition Therapy Institute (NTI) creates optimal health through nutrition education.

If you are interested in learning more about becoming a Natural Foods Chef with NTI click

With over 20 years of experience in the holistic field of Nutrition, Karen Falbo, is the Director of Nutrition Education at Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage. Since 2010, Karen has served on a Nutrition seat for the Colorado Food System Advisory Council (COFSAC). The COFSAC charge is to advance recommendations that strengthen healthy food access for all Coloradans through Colorado agriculture and local food systems and economies. Karen is also a certified fitness instructor & Hatha Yoga teacher and the author of Vital Abundance Cookbook, a whole foods cookbook.

Image:  Image by Blaque X is free for use by Pexels

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