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Avocado Going Bad? Put It In Chocolate Mousse

After scrutinizing nearly every avocado in the produce section, you picked out the perfect one ... only to let it sit on your counter just a little too long. Now it's not-so-green and a little mushy, and it feels like you're about to throw $1.70 straight into the trash can.

Not only is food waste bad for your wallet (and maybe your dinner plans), it's also bad for the planet. Wasted food accounts for up to 10% of human-induced greenhouse gas emissions, according to a 2019 U.N. report.

This easy chocolate mousse recipe is the perfect way to keep your avocados from becoming part of that statistic. That's right, you can make chocolate mousse with overripe avocados. This recipe comes from Waste-Free Kitchen Handbook, by Dana Gunders.

Wondering how far gone your avocados can be to work in this recipe? Gunders says, pretty far: "I've tried that recipe with extremely overripe avocados, and it's amazing how delicious it still is."

Buried Avocado Chocolate Mousse


  • 2 large* ripe or overripe avocados
  • ¼ cup milk, milk substi­tute or yogurt (optional)
  • ½ cup agave nectar, maple syrup, honey or super­fine sugar, plus more if desired
  • 5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, plus more if desired
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • Optional Toppings:

  • Raspberries, blueberries, sliced strawberries
  • Sliced banana
  • Shredded coconut, toasted
  • Candied citrus peel
  • Chopped nuts
  • Whipped cream 
  • Directions:

    Scoop the avocado flesh into a food processor. Add the milk (if using), agave nectar, cocoa powder, vanilla and salt, and process until free of lumps and velvety in texture. Taste and add additional sweetener if desired. More cocoa powder can be added (1 teaspoon at a time) to achieve a darker chocolate flavor. (Alternatively, if making by hand, mash the avocados with a fork first, then mash in the remaining ingredients.)

    The mousse will keep for at least one week in an airtight container in the refrig­erator.

    *If you have small avocados, blend them with 5 tablespoons sweetener, 3 tablespoons cocoa, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and a small pinch of salt. Taste, then add small amounts of cocoa and/or sweetener to taste.

    Makes 4 servings.

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    Becky Harlan is a visual and engagement editor for NPR's Life Kit.