For most of my adult life, I thought tiramisu was a Japanese dessert. You don’t see a lot of “u” ending words in Italian, but quite a few in Japanese. Of coruse it doesn’t make much sense that a dessert made from chocolate, espresso, sugar, and cream would be Japanese in nature, but the utter taste and texture of tiramisu must have blinded me of this discrepancy. So let’s talk about a paleo, vegan tiramisu.
OMG Paleo, Vegan Tiramisu
Why do we need a paleo, vegan tiramisu? Well, the typical tiramisu, while delicious, is not the most healthy dessert. The typical one is made with loads of sugar, mascarpone cheese, coffee, ladyfingers (made from flour), egg, and cocoa powder and other ingredients.
While some of these ingredients are not too bad, we can always substitute ingredients to make it even healthier. In other words, substituting sugary ingredients with those that are higher in healthy fats to bring satiety and taste. That’s why we need an OMG paleo, vegan tiramisu.
While many conventional tiramisus use ladyfingers, this paleo, vegan tiramisu does not. Why use nutrient-deficient sponge cake when you can replace it with dates and nuts? And that is exactly what we did.
Let’s look at the nuts first. Nuts bring a high fat and mineral content, such as magnesium, that sponge cake severely lacks. We soak them for two reasons. One, most nuts and legumes (which cashews are) are full of antinutrients, such as phytic acid. They release these to deter predators from eating them. While most humans can handle a small amount of phytic acid, eating large amounts of legumes, nuts, and seed can cause chronic inflammation in the gut. To learn more about antinutrients (like the infamous gluten) read our NPE article.
“How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You”
So with nuts as the base ingredient, we have upped the nutritional value 10x over sponge cake. What about sweetener? Sure, we could use conventional refined cane sugar, but again we are always looking to accentuate the nutritional profile. So, yes, our paleo, vegan tiramisu, needs to be sweet. But let’s use natural sweeteners with a history of high nutrient value. That is the definition of Paleo after all.
If you read our Review of Non-Sugar Sweeteners or listen to the Holistic Health News (HNN) podcast episode on it, you will learn that dates are best replacement for refined sugar. Why? Because when you process the dates you are ingesting its roughage and fiber. You can’t say the same for refined sugar. This roughage is not only great for overall, and in particular, digestive health, it also helps slow the release of sugar in the body when ingested to help the body cope with it. Refined sugar does not. It is a shock to the body.
So this Paleo, vegan tiramisu uses dates and nuts as its base. We use other non-sugar sweeteners renown for its high nutrient profile. For example, maple syrup is loaded with vitamins and minerals non-existent in can sugar. (If you prefer a varied taste, you could use Manuka honey.)
This Paleo, vegan tiramisu is great for other reasons. It is dairy-free. This is important for lactose intolerant people, or for people who want to eschew dairy due to its possible connections to systemic inflammation and cancer. To learn more listen to our HNN episode on 5 Reasons To Avoid rBGH Dairy.
So what do we use instead? If you read our Review of non-Dairy Milk Alternatives, you will learn that coconut milk & assorted products are ideal. Why? Almond milk, unless made from scratch, is largely a sham. Commercial bought almond milk has very few almonds in it, for it is mostly water and carrageenan. Plus the flavored varieties are loaded with added sugars to mask the poor taste.
Coconut Milk and coconut oil boasts plenty of healthy saturated fats. Plus they have medium chain fatty acids which are great for your microbiome. And they bring fullness and satiety to the recipe that the convention tiramisu lacks since it is all sugar.
Let’s look at the minor ingredients. Cocoa powder, while refined and not as pure as cacao nibs, is still high in antioxidants and great for heart and digestive health. Cinnamon, especially the Ceylon variety, is a phenomenal agent combating infection, heart disease, and more. (Check out our article on the Benefits of Cinnamon.) Chia seeds, a mainstay here at NPE, is a rarity in that it is one of the few foods that are high in fat and fiber. They are a chameleon in that they can be put in almost anything since it has no discernible taste.
You will find other tiramisu recipes out there, but this Paleo, vegan tiramisu is great in that it is easy to prepare and is replete of nutrients, especially as a dessert. Top with cacao nibs and/or dust with cocoa powder.
Check out our HHN episode on other great Paleo desserts.
Check out some of these ingredients on Amazon.
Process all the ladyfinger ingredients into a gooey, sticky mixture in a food processor. Pour out into a 6” pan and press down into a crust-like bottom layer. Place in freezer. Process all the chocolate mousse ingredients in a blender until smooth. Remove ladyfinger section from freezer. Pour the mousse into the pan over the ladyfinger crust and tap several times to even it out. Place the pan back into freezer. Wash out blender and put in all the cream layer ingredients into blender and blend until smooth. Remove tiramisu base from freezer and pour cream layer onto the top of it properly evening it out with several taps. Cover the pan and freeze overnight or at least 6 hours. Remove to serve. Top with cinnamon, cacao nibs, cocoa powder or whichever toppings you like. Enjoy!
Paleo, Vegan Tiramisu Print This
Process all the ladyfinger ingredients into a gooey, sticky mixture in a food processor. Pour out into a 6” pan and press down into a crust-like bottom layer. Place in freezer.
Process all the chocolate mousse ingredients in a blender until smooth. Remove ladyfinger section from freezer. Pour the mousse into the pan over the ladyfinger crust and tap several times to even it out. Place the pan back into freezer.
Wash out blender and put in all the cream layer ingredients into blender and blend until smooth. Remove tiramisu base from freezer and pour cream layer onto the top of it properly evening it out with several taps. Cover the pan and freeze overnight or at least 6 hours.
Remove to serve. Top with cinnamon, cacao nibs, cocoa powder or whichever toppings you like. Enjoy!