Papaya, Lemon, and Coconut Cashew Mousse

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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.

Ingredients:
(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)

Method:
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.

Enjoy! x

 

 

 

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Coconut, Cardamom, and Blueberry Chia Pudding

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Chia pudding is one of my favorite things to eat- breakfast, lunch, or dinner. It’s subtly sweet, creamy, and packed with nutrients to keep my body going for hours. It’s so versatile, too; you can play around with flavor combinations and add-ins to change it up every time. In addition to being absolutely delicious, chia pudding is so simple to make- just toss the ingredients together in a jar, shake it up, leave it in the fridge overnight, and grab it n’ go in the morning! If you’re looking to spice up (or sweeten up, rather) your breakfast meals, give this recipe a go!

If you’re curious about the health benefits of chia seeds, look no further. I’m here to open up your mind to the endless wonders of these little guys. To start, chia seeds are extraordinary sources of high-quality protein and amino acids. In addition to proteins, chia seeds contain omega-3 fatty acids which I like to call “brain fuel”. These fatty acids contribute to clear skin, healthy hair, and strong bones. Chia is packed with antioxidants which are super important for the summer months; they help reduce oxidative stress on the body. Additionally, these antioxidants help strengthen the immune system and fight off infections. Impressed yet?

Ingredients: 
(Makes 2 servings)
1 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 tbsp maple syrup
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp cardamom
1 handful frozen blueberries
Optional add-ins: goji berries, blueberries, coconut flakes, mulberries, granola, nuts, seeds, ect.

Method: 
1. Add all ingredients into a large jar and shake, shake, shake! Set in the fridge for 5 minutes and shake it again, making sure that the chia seeds and blueberries are evenly distributed throughout the milk and aren’t sitting at the bottom of the jar. Once this is done, place the jar in fridge to sit overnight.
xoxo,
Lyndsey

 

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Energizing Green Smoothie Bowl

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I threw together this smoothie the other morning before work and was beyond pleased with the end result. This smoothie bowl is creamy, sweet, velvety, and absolutely energizing. The energizing properties come from the matcha powder, which is a concentrated green tea powder with naturally-occurring caffeine, the chia seeds, which are packed with omega-3s and high quality protein, and the spirulina, which is one of the most protein and vitamin-dense superfoods on Earth. (Fun fact- a small 3 gram serving of the stuff contains 3900% more iron than spinach and 2800% more beta-carotene than carrots). In addition to these wonders, this smoothie will grace your body with fiber, potassium, and countless vitamins and minerals. This smoothie makes me feel like a goddess after I drink it- it leaves my skin glowing, keeps my stomach happy, and prepares my mind and body to conquer the day ahead.

Ingredients: 
(Yields 1 large smoothie)

2 medium, frozen bananas
3/4 cup – 1 cup coconut milk
1 handful spinach
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 tsp hemp protein
2 tsp spirulina powder
1 1/2 tsp matcha powder
1 small handful raw almonds
Optional toppings: granola, nuts, seeds, berries, raisins

Method:
1. In a high speed blender, combine all ingredients and blend until the consistency is smooth and the smoothie has a vibrant green hue. Pour into a bowl and top with your favorite nuts, seeds, berries, or granola!

xoxo,
Lyndsey

Lavender Fig Coconut Yogurt

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Don’t be intimidated by the plating – this sweet treat is not only a color explosion, but it’s also a nutritional powerhouse, flavor heaven, and a perfect breakfast/dessert. It utilizes a lot of unconventional ingredients and flavors that work in perfect harmony and the nutrients will keep you going for hours! I’ve used matcha (the bright green power) in a number of recipes on my blog, but for those who aren’t familiar with it, it’s essentially Japanese green tea powder. It has the perfect amount of caffeine in it to give you a morning energy boost or an afternoon pick-me-up. Additionally, the blueberries provide you with a burst of antioxidants which are critical to maintaining healthy skin, particularly during the summer seasons.

The star of this dish, however, is the coconut yogurt which, if homemade, is absolutely divine. I have a detailed tutorial on how to safely open a Young Thai coconut and to scoop out the meat to make a creamy, velvety, and absolutely heavenly yogurt. Coconut meat is one of the most nutritionally-dense foods on the planet. It’s loaded with seventeen out of the twenty essential amino acids that aid in the formation of our body’s proteins. Coconut meat is also essential to body systems such as the nervous system, cardiovascular system, and collagen formation. If that isn’t enough to convince you to try coconut meat, then remember that it’s the jackpot for important nutrients such as iron, folate, potassium, and fiber. It can be an excellent addition to smoothies, porridge, parfaits, and much more!

Basically, this recipe is a combination of a handful of separate components. You can play around with the composition, but I have a few recommendations that you can try for optimum flavor.

First off, you’re going to want to start with the coconut yogurt because this can be a time and labor-intensive job. Once you’ve reached a desired consistency with the yogurt, add about 1 teaspoon of matcha into the yogurt and pulse until it’s fully incorporated. Next, fold in 1 teaspoon of lavender leaves, also making sure that they’re thoroughly mixed- (they have a very floral taste which can be counteracted by the velvety-ness of the yogurt).

*Top the mixture with fresh berries, seeds, or nuts for a protein punch.*

Optional: Top your yogurt with sliced figs or fig preserves, which can either be homemade or bought at a supermarket. I prefer to make my own fruit preserves, so I’m going to provide a simple recipe below for those who want to make their own fig jam.

The recipe for fig jam is so simple- it requires just three ingredients. You’ll need about three or four medium-sized figs to start. Puree them in a food processor or smash them up with a fork depending on your preference for consistency. Now, you should have a gooey, figgy smash. Next, add in 1 tablespoon of ground chia seeds along with about two teaspoons of agave nectar (or liquid sweetener of choice). Mix everything together in a bowl or jar, cover, and place in the fridge for at least one hour- you’ll be able to tell when its become a jelly. The chia seeds, when combined with moisture, become gelatinous and it makes for a tasty, nutritionally-dense version of jelly.

Enjoy! xx

Almond Breakfast Biscuits

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Biscuits, anyone? Yes please! Biscuits were always my favorite treat growing up. I remember my grandma making the fluffiest, sweetest, most delicious biscuits so many years ago and I was feeling really nostalgic lately. I love these biscuits because they’re extremely versatile! I’ve been experimenting with different toppings for them and so far, my favorites have been fig jam, almond butter, Earth balance, berry coulis, and chickpea mushroom “gravy” which I’ll be posting a recipe for soon!

Keep in mind, these biscuits have a consistency of both a scone and a biscuit. You can experiment with different kinds of flours to adjust the texture and mouthfeel, but I definitely prefer to use King Arthur’s Unbleached AP Flour.

Ingredients:
(makes 16-20 medium biscuits)
2 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 cup brown rice flour (or sub oat flour)
1 tsp Himalayan pink salt
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp agave nectar or date syrup (I prefer date syrup)
2 cups almond milk
1/2 cup coconut oil or Earth Balance (unmelted and chilled)
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice or apple cider vinegar (I prefer ACV)

Method: 

  1. Preheat your oven to 450 F. Mix the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a mixing bowl and whisk to combine.
  2. In a separate bowl, add the almond milk, sweetener of choice, and lemon juice/ACV and whisk to combine.
  3. Add the coconut oil/Earth balance into the dry mixture and use a large spoon to combine. (There will be chunks but the dough will be dry and flaky at first).
  4. Next, slowly add in the wet mixture to the dry, using a spoon to combine them. Once thoroughly mixed, feel the flour to make sure it’s slightly crumbly but able to stick together if you press it in between your palms.
  5. If the dough is too dry, add more almond milk little by little. If the dough is too wet, slowly add in more AP flour.
  6. Coat your hands in flour and grab medium-sized handfuls of dough from the bowl. Roll them into balls between your hands, place them on a parchment paper-lined baking tray, and press them down to form small patties. (You can also use the bottom of a circular drinking glass, but make sure to flour the bottom to prevent sticking).
  7. Once you’ve got all of the biscuits on the baking tray, put it in the oven for about 18 minutes until the tops are golden-brown and a toothpick comes out clean.
  8. Allow the biscuits to cool, uncovered, for 20 minutes before you try picking them up. Store covered in the fridge for up to a week.

 

 

Enjoy! x