(I want to thank everyone who responded to my last post. It can be hard for me to pull back the curtains on myself like that, but your encouraging responses have only bolstered my courage. Thank you, with all my heart.)
As the weather warms up, and it is definitely warming up here, I find that I want to eat less. I crave lighter food, like salads for meals and lot's of fresh fruits and vegetables. Luckily my warm weather cravings coincide with the arrival of more fresh produce at the farmer's market.
With more fruit options lately, I have even been choosing light, fruit based desserts over the puddings and brownies that I loved all winter long. With fresh strawberries available right now, this healthy Fresh Fruit Mousse is at the top of my dessert list. It is light enough that it even makes a nice late afternoon snack. If you ask my kids, they'll tell you it tastes even better when eaten outdoors in the sunshine - I am inclined to agree!
Fresh Fruit Mousse
1 cup strawberries, stemmed and washed
1 cup mango, cubed
1 cup pineapple, cubed
1 cup cantaloupe, cubed
1 tablespoon sugar
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 cups whipped topping (see below)
Whipped Topping Ingredients
2 cups whipping cream
1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
2 tablespoons cold water
⅓ cup powdered sugar, or to taste
Prepare Whipped Topping: In the top of a double broiler, or metal bowl that will fit over a saucepan, sprinkle gelatin over 2 tablespoons of cold water. Place over a pot of simmering water and stir until gelatin dissolves and slightly thickens, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
With an electric mixer, beat cream in a large bowl until foamy. Begin adding sugar 1 tablespoon at a time until the cream reaches desired sweetness and soft peaks begin to form. Add the gelatin mixture and continue to beat until cream is thick. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Prepare Fruit: In a heavy duty blender or food processor, combine all of the fresh fruit and puree until completely smooth and no fibrous pieces remain. Transfer fruit puree to a large mixing bowl and stir in vanilla, sugar, and nutmeg.
Using a rubber spatula, fold whipped topping into the fruit puree. Be careful not to over mix. Divide the mixture evenly into 8 martini glasses or dessert bowls. Chill for 30 to 45 minutes before serving. Garnish with fresh mint leaves. Serves 8.
Does your appetite change with the seasons? What do you crave in the Spring?