I’m writing this post while sitting atop a “doughnut pillow” and an ice pack. I took a pretty nasty fall a few days ago, and not much to my surprise, got myself a broken tailbone. Needless to say, I’ve been spending a lot of time in bed to try recover as quickly as possible, despite the fact that a tailbone injury takes the longest to heal of most broken bones. Sigh. I think I’ll make it. Even though I’m confined to my house, I’ve been able to conjure up some new easy-on-the-stomach recipes for myself while my body is feeling the wrath of pain medicine. Among these new recipes are soups, smoothies, and this little jar of heaven- papaya cashew mousse.
To be honest, I’ve never really experimented with papaya much in the past. Only recently have I taken an interest in its nutritional properties and have worked to conjure up a recipe using it as the primary ingredient. Papaya, in my opinion, is undoubtedly an under-appreciated fruit considering the health properties of it. The first notable health benefit of papaya is its ability to aid in digestion by providing your body with numerous proteolytic enzymes such as chymopapain, papain, caricain, and glycyl endopeptidase.
For most of us, a lot of the foods we consume on a weekly basis put a strain on our digestive systems, forcing it to work harder in the future in order to digest foods and absorb nutrients and energy from them. The papain enzyme in papaya, as I mentioned previously, is responsible for splitting (or severing) the peptide bonds into individual amino acids, fit and ready to be used by the body for growth. Eating even a small amount of papaya or even papaya enzyme supplements with a meal can significantly speed up your body’s digestion process. When consumed in combination with salivary amylase (an enzyme naturally produced in the saliva) and plant-based food enzymes, papaya has the ability to work wonders in your digestive system, especially during or after a meal when these enzymes are present.
I think I’ve bored you enough with the biology behind papaya enzymes; who’s ready for the recipe behind this deliciousness? This recipe produces the most velvety, smooth, and subtly sweet cream/mousse hybrid that you could ever imagine. It can eaten as a snack, dessert, or even a breakfast item because its full of nutritional goodness and satiating nutritional properties.
This recipe is super easy to throw together; however, you must soak cashews overnight and preferably should use a high-speed blender (preferably a Vitamix or Ninja) in order to make the mousse.
Without further ado, here’s the recipe.
(Makes two large jars)
1 medium, ripe papaya with seeds scooped out and skin peeled off
3/4-1 cup raw cashews, soaked in water for ~8 hours
coconut milk (the amount depends on the consistency you want)
pinch of Himalayan pink salt
1/4 tsp dried lemon zest
2 probiotic capsules (I used this brand)
1) First, place your cashews in a bowl with filtered water to soak overnight; they should be covered and should be soft the next morning.
2) Place your papaya flesh in a freezer bag and allow it to freeze up for about 6-8 hours (this gives it the creamy consistency).
3) The morning after you’ve done all this, place 3/4 cup of drained, soaked cashews in a high-speed blender with the frozen papaya. Blend this mixture for a few seconds; it probably won’t do much because there’s no liquid in it.
4) Next add in a splash of coconut milk and blend. This should improve the texture a bit, but you may have to add another splash or two. Be careful not to add to much liquid or you’ll end up with a smoothie. I probably used a total of 1/2 cup of lite coconut milk and achieved a pretty stellar consistency in the end.
5) Once you’ve gotten a yogurt-like velvetyness in your blender, add in the lemon zest and salt and blend a bit more. Empty the contents of your probiotic capsules and blend one more time before transferring the mousse into glass jars with lids. Store the mousse in the fridge for up to 5 days.
6) Top your mousse with bee pollen, goji berries, blueberries, granola, or chia seeds for a delicious, nutritious, enzyme and antioxidant-packed treat.