It might surprise you to learn that I didn't always have an uncontrollable sweet tooth. Actually, that's not entirely true. I was born with this insatiable craving for sweets, but I didn't always act upon it.
When I was a kid, I loved licking the bowl or sneaking a pinch of cookie dough while baking cookies with my Grandma, but I didn't do it very often. The best sweets--warm chocolate chip cookies, yellow cake, and apple pie--are best served with a cold glass of milk, something my stomach couldn't handle. Until I was about seven or so, I drank lactose-free milk and didn't enjoy it at all. I remember wishing I could be like the other kids who could finish off entire bowls of ice cream with no problem or drink regular milk that didn't taste slightly 'off.'
Sometime around the age of 8 my stomach decided it liked dairy, but I have a number of friends and family members who aren't as lucky. For them, meals are struggles. Going out to eat involves complicated orders. Dessert is almost always out of the question. They're limited by lactose and all its offspring--whipped cream, butter and milk.
I had these same relatives and friends in mind when a Canadian Company, Natrel, approached me to develop a lactose-free recipe. After talking to some of my Canadian friends who love their milk and reading about their commitment to helping lactose-free people enjoy dairy again, I knew that I wanted to be a part of this campaign. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Natrel, they use a unique process to remove lactose from milk while still maintaining the vitamins, minerals and great taste in all their lactose-free products. Knowing what some lactose-free milks taste like, that's huge for someone who can't tolerate dairy!
I wanted to create a dessert recipe that I would have loved as a child, but would have undoubtedly been unable to eat. I chose chocolate mousse, but gave it an adult twist with the addition of orange. This recipe comes together in about an hour and can be made ahead. The best part is that Natrel lactose-free products remove the lactose, but behave like regular dairy! What that means for you is that if you buy their whipping cream, you can not only whip it to fluffy soft peaks like it's lactose-laden counterpart, but you can enjoy every ethereal dollop without worry over ingredients or issues eating it. Check out my recipe for Chocolate Orange Mousse Parfaits on the Natrel website... and be sure to check out the other delicious recipes, like the Chocolate Milkshake (!!), Strawberry Saffron Panna Cotta and the French Toast with Orange Zest & Maple Whipped Cream!
And Canadian friends, if you are lucky enough to live in Ontario, British Columbia, Maritimes, or Quebec, look for Natrel in a grocery store near you!
**Disclosure: I was monetarily compensated to develop a lactose-free recipe for Natrel, but all opinions, former lactose-intolerances and thoughts are my own.