Raw Avocado Cacao Mousse Recipe and Q+A With Vegan Wellness Expert Nina Curtis


When you need a sweet treat, this comes together quickly, requires very few ingredients, and no cooking time!

serves 4


2 ripe avocados, chopped

¼ cup raw cacao powder 

¼ cup coconut nectar 

1 tsp pure vanilla extract 

½ tsp ground cinnamon

pinch of sea salt 


In a blender, mix the coconut nectar, cacao powder, vanilla extract, cinnamon and sea salt to make a chocolate sauce, then add the avocado and blend until smooth. 

Transfer to a container and place in the refrigerator for 2 hours.

Top with your choice of cacao nibs, nuts, and/or dried fruit, and serve.

Meet Nina

Formerly the executive chef at a private, plant-based wellness and fitness retreat in Malibu, chef Nina Curtis is now the vice president/incoming president of the Women Chefs and Restaurateurs organization, known for supporting women in the food and beverage industry. Curtis also works as a culinary wellness consultant, private chef, and lifestyle coach. Most recently, she has produced popup dinner in LA through Feastly, been traveling extensively to give lectures, curating plant-based dinners—including a James Beard Foundation and Women Chefs and Restaurateurs collaboration dinner, along with five other female chefs, on International Women’s Day—and conducting plant-based cooking classes.

ELA: How long have you been living the plant-based life and what inspired you to take the plunge?

NC: I’ve been living a plant-based lifestyle for eighteen years! I was competing in natural body building and my body stopped wanting animal protein. I thought, how am I going to maintain my muscle mass? I started doing research and began to learn how a plant-based diet could provide me with enough protein, not only to maintain my muscle mass but my performance improved, I felt better, and looked better on stage. 

ELA: What changes did you notice in your mind and body?

NC: I immediately noticed that I my cravings for certain foods, like sugary stuff, stopped and that was huge for me! I had more clarity of mind, my body recovered faster after strenuous workouts, my skin had a super glow and my sleep was deep and sound. 

ELA: What are five staple plant-based ingredients that you always have in your kitchen? 

NC: If you open my fridge you are going to always find figs, I love them as they remind me of Fig Newton’s, they make a great energy snack and are easy to travel with and carry on me during the day. I always have a jar of black sesame butter in my pantry. It tastes so good on toast or crackers and its super rich in protein, calcium and other vitamins and minerals. You will also always find avocados, fuji apples, kale, pumpkin seeds and lemons. I can make a quick and delicious salad with these ingredients. I am always on the go so I have to be able to make things quick. I am also in the kitchen at work so after a full day of cooking, I am not usually interested in coming home to make an elaborate meal. 

ELA: A vegan diet could just mean French fries and frozen burritos—what are your rules for keeping things as healthy and unprocessed as possible, even while traveling or during a busy day? 

NC: Yes, a lot of people are vegan ‘junk food’ eaters! I like juicing and making smoothies in the morning. I created a 30-day smoothie challenge so I don’t ever get bored. I like big leafy green (I rotate my greens; kale, spinach, arugula, collards, etc.) salads full of veggies, pumpkin or sunflower seeds, lentils or chickpeas, olive oil, lemon juice, sea salt, and cayenne. I carry figs with me all the time. When I travel or I’m on the run, I know all of the places in Los Angeles where I can grab something plant-based and healthy to eat and because I am on the road a lot I check out healthy eateries in the city that I am going to beforehand and always look for the health food stores in the area so I can grab things to have in my hotel room. I also carry fruit and water on me, the real fast foods!


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Let's stay in touch

Subscribe to the Edible LA e-newsletter for updates on local food issues, events, seasonal recipes, and special issue sneak peeks.

We respect your privacy