Aaaah, Pa Pa Ya, you either love it or hate it. Or, like me you don’t love it, you even think it smells a little like puke, but know it’s good for you, adore the texture, color and form, and live somewhere where it’s plentiful. This is why I decided to try blending it with three of my most beloved foods: avocado, coconut and cacoa.
Most of us know that papaya provide us with enzymes that naturally support digestion, thus making it a bonus food. It is relatively low on the glycemic index as well. A lot of the time we hear about the glycemic index, the rate at which a food raises glucose in our blood, and it’s good to know this stuff. However, after reading this-Havard Medical School study (with great chart) I discovered it is the glycemic load, that truly matters. “What it (the GI) doesn’t tell you is how high your blood sugar could go when you actually eat the food, which is partly determined by how much carbohydrate is in an individual serving. To understand a food’s complete effect on blood sugar, you need to know both how quickly the food makes glucose enter the bloodstream, and how much glucose it will deliver. A separate value called glycemic load does that. It gives a more accurate picture of a food’s real-life impact on blood sugar. The glycemic load is determined by multiplying the grams of a carbohydrate in a serving by the glycemic index, then dividing by 100. A glycemic load of 10 or below is considered low; 20 or above is considered high. Watermelon, for example, has a high glycemic index (80). But a serving of watermelon has so little carbohydrate (6 grams) that its glycemic load is only 5.”
Sweet corn comes in at 64. A blueberry muffin 30. Glass of orange juice 14. Ice cream, surprisingly, is 8, yet that is if you eat only 50gm. A pint of “Ben & Jerry’s” is 500gm, half of that would be a glycemic load of 40, so not tooooooo bad.
This difference between the GI and the GL is what makes agave syrup a fist in a velvet glove.
So, papaya. Silky, smooth papayadom comes in at 6.
Here is how I turn this fragrant, bulbous, thin skinned, heavy weight fruit into the most amazingly texture frozen mousse in town! For reals, it is hands down one of the most satisfying textural eating experiences I have ever had, and continue to enjoy almost every hot as Hades Mexico lived day.
Start by skinning, cleaning and cubing the fruit into 1″ chunks. An average sized papaya yields about five 1 to 1.25 cup servings. Put each of these into their own recycled plastic bag and freeze. I try to stay on top of it so it is always available frozen. This is key. I tried this treat unfrozen once. It was lost.
Once the fruit is frozen, let it thaw a tad, and break it into pieces into your blender, then add one ripe avocado, about 6 oz. of coconut milk, a nice pour of vanilla, a big teaspoon of your favorite unsweetened cocoa and a dash of salt. Sometimes cayenne. Of course, you will find you taste. I do not add sweetener, but you may wish to. It is an interesting, curious flavor without, one I have grown to love and crave.
Blend this super well. If you have a “Ninja” or the likes, you are stoked. The texture is beyond dreamy, so dense and creamy, light and thick at once. The frozen feeling, smooth and free of crystals, is transcendental. Oh, and the loft!
Sometimes when I make it it is spot on perfect. Though sometimes the size of the avocado or a longer pour of liquid make it thinner. It is kind of fun this varying way, for when I hit it just right I am in bliss, sitting there in front of the fan, sweating silently, in reverence.
Ha Ha. Yesterday, I was on day four of a fast, which was inspired, in part, by how much I eat for pleasure and experience and how, when done compulsive it’s not healthy for me. But I broke that fast last night with 8 year old P. eating sushi, soft, melting fish flesh. Big thanks fish! And today I go to brunch with my family (coffee?!) and to a BBQ (no meat for me) with friends I have had since I was twelve. I am so normal.
Life is full of freedoms. I’m grateful for all the freedoms of choice I have, and sometimes overwhelmed by them. And, I know not everyone has the bank of freedoms I do. Because of this external inequality, I believe it’s all the more important that those of us blessed with so much choice pause and reflect upon this. Give thanks. Every damn day.
May we all pause and feel ourselves, connect to the seeds of peace within, for this just may be our greatest gift. May we consume with awareness and thanks…
Buen Provecho, my friends!
Art by Kevin Sloan