Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Enlightened Creme: Product Review

Enlightened Cremes: chocolate and vanilla. Ingredients: coconut milk, brown rice syrup, vanilla, vanilla bean--all organic.

Is there anything more delectable than a rich, delicious, creamy dessert that boasts of health-giving benefits? Nope. Not really. How would you feel about a mousse, a frosting, a filling, a butter, a coffee enhancer that is so delicious you actually find yourself fantasizing about the mouthwatering spoonful you're soon going to savor as soon as you get home?

Meet Enlightened Creme, a vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free, soy-free, diabetic friendly dairy substitute that is so damn good you would never know it was good for you. A smooth, creamy, coconutty confection so adaptable it's hard to pick one way to enjoy it. I have a hard time not eating it out of the jar by the spoonful, myself, but its versatility is truly remarkable. Enlightened Creme can be used in a base for cookie doughs, cake batters, pancakes, muffins, and more. It can be used as a frosting on cakes or cupcakes, or as a filling between two cookies, or spread over tart crusts. It can substitute whipped cream in strawberries and shortcake, and it can flavor your coffee. The best part is that the oil from the condensed coconut milk makes everything taste buttery, even though there is no butter in the recipe.

One day I hope to see Enlightened Creme-filled chocolate truffles, and Enlightened Creme-based panna cottas smothered with fresh berry compotes. Mmmm.

Rich, chewy chocolate cookies (gluten-free & vegan) from Enlighten Your Palate made into a sandwich with the chocolate mousse.

Why am I so excited about this product? Have you ever had a tofu-based dairy substitute make your eyes close with ecstasy? Cashew? Me neither. Case closed.

Enlightened Cremes: chocolate, vanilla, and raspberry mousses. Later I realized that I needed to stir the vanilla, which turned out to be more like the consistency of the raspberry mousse.

Enlightened Creme comes in three flavors: vanilla, chocolate, and berry (raspberry at the moment), and each flavor stands on its own. The vanilla is light and smooth with a slightly grainy texture from the coconut, and it has a rich, buttery toffee flavor. I noticed that the vanilla likes to separate a little, so I recommend stirring it up before using it. The chocolate is very rich, with the consistency of mousse, almost milk chocolatey in flavor. The taste of coconut is less pronounced in the chocolate than it is in the vanilla. The raspberry is tart, refreshing, and light. The taste of coconut is almost absent in this one compared to the flavor of raspberry in the creme.

A fabulously flakey, "buttery," gluten-free, vegan tart crust from Enlighten Your Palate topped with the raspberry mousse and a dollop of the vanilla.

The ingredients are organic, and each of the three flavors is sweetened with brown rice syrup, agave, and xylitol. For those of you who are not familiar with xylitol, it's a plant extract with anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties that are good for teeth and deadly to candida and yeasts. It is diabetic safe. Agave is a neutrally flavored, sweet syrup that has been known for its low glycemic levels. If you have diabetes, it's best to be safe and check with your doctor before partaking in any kind of sweetener you're unfamiliar with. Once you've been given the green light, you will likely start buying these little jars by the caseload.

The chewy chocolate cookie with vanilla mousse, my favorite combination. 

The maker of these products, Teresa Estrada, founded an alternative baking and catering company in Portland, Oregon called Enlighten Your Palate in 2007, and she has been making desserts for people like you and me ever since, always with a love of good food and good health in mind. Her goal is to keep Enlighten Your Palate an intimate boutique that nourishes and entertains local connoisseurs of alternative desserts. In other words, you and me. 

Estrada (who is nearly as sweet as her desserts) calls Enlightened Creme a "beautiful accident." As a health conscious, very creative, go-getter of a woman, Estrada began experimenting with different combinations (mainly for personal use) until she perfected her recipe. Enlightened Creme is so good, she's making all three flavors available to you. If you've been looking for a dairy-free substitute like this one, like I have, then I bet you're pretty excited about it by now. And you should be. Just remember, products like these can be a little expensive, but for those of you who know how much it costs to source the ingredients that go into Enlightened Cremes, you know that they are worth it.

Estrada can be seen tabling events around town. You should also check out her website. You can book your own party, or you can order your allergic friend that birthday cake you're too intimidated to make. Wouldn't it be fun to literally taste her work and enjoy Eating Friendly...and be Enlightened?


  1. Rebecca,
    Thank you for your kind words and your praise! It means a lot to me and I couldn't appreciate you more!!
    Cheers, Teresa

  2. I totally agree, I tasted the enlightened creme, and brought some chocolate and berry home that day. I might have prepared something with it, but I just eat it plain so far, and happily. She is an amazing artist with food, and the things she makes taste great, even when you are used to eating the more processed foods. Thanks for finding her and writing about her. Portland is lucky!