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The Blender Girl’s Raw Vegan Spiced Cranberry Orange Mousse

2011 November 2

The Blender Girl is back this week with a zesty take on an iconic holiday ingredient – the cranberry. Tess dives into autumn with characteristic gusto, and we are all the beneficiaries of her mad scientist blending adventures. We highly encourage our RecipeRelay readers to take advantage of Tess’s culinary courage by slipping this unexpected mousse into your holiday dish lineup. Use the savory version as a starter to perk up everyone’s palates, or add some sweetness for a bright finish to a celebratory meal. Even better, take a cue from Tess and park yourself in front of your blender, spoon in hand, blending your way to new delicious discoveries.By Tess Masters

It is cranberry season and I could not be happier! I admit to having performed my signature piggy dance of joy with reckless abandon in the middle of the farmer’s market on the weekend whilst salivating over all of the plump delicious fresh cranberries on offer. My snout was wet, my tail was wiggling, and the “tart at heart” in me was rejoicing as I contemplated “death by excessive cranberry consumption.” Just call me the scarlet lady!

What can I say, those plump glossy tart little berries were just begging to be exploited! So, I snatched a few bags and was inspired to create a delectable cranberry dish for this month’s recipe.

CLICK HERE for the full post and recipe.

Now, this delicious cranberry recipe can be enjoyed all year round. Cranberries freeze so well. But it is always best to eat local foods in season so we get the most out of the phytonutrients that are at their most powerful in raw fresh cranberries.

I was flicking through the November issue of Vegetarian Times, where they had a gorgeous feature on cranberries. In this article, Fiona Kennedy said, “Deep cranberry red is as much an autumn hue as the golds and oranges of the changing leaves.” I couldn’t have said it better myself. Except to say, “cranberries rock, and I intend (perhaps at my own digestive peril) to gorge myself silly on them all season long.” Yeah….Fiona’s version is a lot more poetic! Suffice to say, fresh cranberries are in season from October through December so let’s take advantage!

When purchasing fresh cranberries, choose firm, even colored cranberries with no spots or dents. Moisture spells death for our beloved cranberry so be sure to purchase bags or boxes that are completely dry; and refrigerate uncovered or opened so the berries can breathe. Fresh cranberries will last up to a month this way. If you want to freeze them and stock up for the rest of the year, pack them in sealed containers in the freezer. They will retain their freshness for up to two years. You can also dry your own cranberries in a dehydrator for use later. Dried cranberries make wonderful additions to all kinds of yummy recipes!

I love home made cranberry sauce with the delicious blend of sweet and spicy. Cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg just scream autumn to me and make me feel warm and comforted. I was craving those flavors the other day, so I had the idea of creating a super quick and easy spiced cranberry mousse that I could serve at holiday dinners without the need to coat check my colon!

I have a penchant for quick blender mousses using avocado as the base. “God’s butter” never lets me down and serves as a wonderful blank canvas for inspiration. After blending and tasting this mousse for over half an hour and devouring half of the blender carriage in my quest to perfect the blend, I had lost all perspective. I called in reinforcements, aka ‘friend, neighbor, fellow vegetarian, “tart at heart kindred spirit”, and chef extraordinaire’ Stacey, who helped me balance out the flavors. Luckily we kept looking at each other and saying the same things, “more orange juice, a little more sweetener, a pinch of nutmeg.” On the final round of tweaks we each took our trusty spoons to the blender carriage, and it really was like Goldilocks and the three little bears as we closed our eyes with beaming pride deciding it was, “Juuuust right!”

Once again, I recommend tweaking to taste in order to find the blend that is juuust right for you. What I really like about this autumn mousse is the warm comforting tones and the balance between the sweet and the spicy. The complexity of the flavors doesn’t really hit you until the back end. You might want to hold back on some of the juice if you want to make it even more interesting. We sweetened it so that it would taste more like a dessert, but I like it either way.

My favorite way to serve this pudding is straight out of the Vitamix carriage where it has been warmed slightly from the friction heat of the blades, but it is equally delicious chilled. I usually top it with some raw almond or cashew cream, dried cranberries and orange zest. YUMMO!! Here’s to “culinary death by cranberries!” Happy Holidays xx

Raw Vegan Spiced Cranberry Orange Mousse

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

For the Mousse:

  • 2 cups cranberries
  • 2 large avocados
  • 1/2 cup chopped pitted dates or more to taste
  • 1 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1/2 cup filtered water
  • 3 tsp freshly grated orange zest (about 1 orange)
  • 2 tsp freshly grated ginger
  • 4 tsp raw agave nectar (optional)
  • 1 tsp alcohol free vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • pinch of ground nutmeg
  • pinch of Celtic sea salt

For the Garnish:

  • cashew cream
  • orange zest
  • ground cinnamon
  • dried or fresh cranberries

Directions

  1. Blend all ingredients and serve immediately warm out of the blender and serve with raw vegan vanilla cashew cream, orange zest, a dash of cinnamon and dried or fresh cranberries.

Note: You can also chill the mousse in the fridge for a few hours and serve cold.

Tess Masters is an actress, presenter, voice over artist, budding cook, enthusiastic story teller, environmental warrior, self-respecting devotee of all things green and natural, and most importantly, a champion of the miraculous blender, mixer, and food processor.