- ½ c Goji Berries
- 1 c Dried Prunes
- 1 c Raisins
- 1 c Fresh Blackberries
- ½ c Pomegranate Jelly
- ¾ c Peanut Butter Chips
- ¾ c Carob Chips or Powder
- 1 Container of Tru Whip
- ¾ c Raw Pumpkin Seeds
- ¾ c Raw Chopped Cashews
- ¾ c Raw Chopped Walnuts
- ½ c Hemp Seeds
Behind the Lines:
Without sounding egotistical, I would go as far as calling this a masterpiece in culinary design. It is definitely one of my signature creations at least. Purple Mousse is a little collaboration of ingredients I conjured up one balmy Saturday evening in July
2004 while preparing for Everything Natural’s annual employee picnic. Yes, I was home on a Saturday night making a scrumptious dish because I never was and currently am not into the bar scene. This is the case, especially in Northeast, PA where no-smoking indoors laws are not strictly enforced. How pathetic! Anyway, Everything Natural is a bitchin health food store in Clarks Summit, PA that I used to work at and still call home no matter where I am on the globe. If you ever pass through there, make sure to stop in and tell them K/Rail sent you.
Here’s the back story on why I chose the ingredients for Purple Mousse. At this point in your life, I’m sure you’ve heard of these substances called antioxidants. Well, this recipe is chock full of them. When I first started getting my hands dirty with organic food, no pun intended again, I came across this “thing” called the ORAC chart. The acronym “ORAC” stands for Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity. In layman’s terms, this is a ranking of how effective an antioxidant food is at soaking up free radicals in the body. If you watch Dr. Oz, I’m sure you’ve heard of both antioxidants and free radicals.
These little critters are renegade atoms that clump together and wreak havoc in the system. Think of free radicals as shady looking characters that lurk around in the darkness with hooded sweatshirts on, plotting strategies on who they will attack next. I’m not stereotyping. I’m stating obvious facts that I have seen, heard and dealt with firsthand. Eventually they will gang up and start robbing, raping, pillaging and causing bodily harm. Free radicals pose a similar risk, except without the violence. Simply put, they are bad news and you do not want copious amounts of them floating around inside your body. Please don’t confuse free radicals with New Radicals. The New Radicals had a hit song back in 1998 called You Get What You Give. Take that advice!
On a side note, smoking is a very destructive habit, which I’m sure you probably already know. One of the easiest ways to reduce free radical damage is to quit smoking and/or avoid secondhand smoke at all costs.
Back to the present, the ingredients used in Purple Mousse pack an antioxidant punch. Goji berries, prunes, raisins, blackberries and pomegranates all rank high in ORAC value. In case you never heard of goji berries, they are small, dried, bright red berries that sort of resemble cranberries. The big difference is they trump cranberries in both flavor and nutrient value. They are a complete protein because they have all of the essential amino acids present, they are high in vitamins A and C, high in fiber, high in iron, alkaline, and they have a polysaccharide complex second to none. Need I say more? I feel I have discovered a little known secret and I will do whatever I can to make it a well-known secret. Well, I guess if it became well known, it wouldn’t be much of a secret any more now would it?
People have always been led to believe that blueberries were the numero uno antioxidant. You see it in magazines, you hear about it out on the streets, and you see headlines in newspapers that say, “Blueberries, the number one antioxidant fruit!” I’ve got a problem with this. First of all, people being led around like sheep to believe marketing hype is not cool. What’s even less cool is when marketing hype is false! According to my records, and also directly from the USDA (not that I’m a big fan), PRUNES take the cake as the mack daddies of antioxidants. Yeah, can you believe that? Blueberries—although they are good for you and delicious and all that—are in third place. Raisins are even higher in ORAC value than blueberries, taking the number two slot. Here’s where the story gets a little complicated. I am, and have always been, under the assumption that the body can only digest or break down a certain amount of anything. Over the past decade, companies have been coming out left and right, talking about how their “superfruit” juice is 12,000 or higher on the ORAC chart. That’s just great. One of these magical elixirs may rank super high in ORAC value, but who gives a damn. Remember, your body can only break down so much at a time. If you megadose on anything, even if it is good, you will likely pee it out of your system or cause toxicity.
Before I leave the topic of prunes, I feel it is my obligation to share a funny story with you. I don’t know the exact year, but I know I was pretty young. We all gathered around a large, rectangular table at my Aunt Polly’s house to enjoy a Christmas Eve feast. All the traditional Lithuanian, catholic favorites could be found on this table—multiple varieties and preparations of fish, fruit cocktail, homemade bread and a big, huge shiny bowl of prunes. They would sit there, staring at me—quivering, gelatinous, and just waiting to be picked up and passed along. There was no escape. It was inevitable that I was going to have to pick that bloody bowl up at some point during the night. Once that time came, I’d hold my breath, turn my head and try my damndest not to make eye contact in fear that my eyeballs would incinerate at the mere glance of that foul-looking substance. Be aware that these were stewed prunes which is why they had a gelatinous and gushy look. Once that bowl was out of my possession, I could go back to being free again, and this was a huge sigh of relief.
That was then, and this is now. I still haven’t gotten over my fear of stewed prunes, but I have fallen in love with the dried variety. I use these strategically in recipes, such as Purple Mousse. They add thickness and they work well in concert with goji berries, raisins, and blackberries to formulate an antioxidant extravaganza.
Another food I’d like to talk about is hemp. You will see it often in my concoctions and there is good reason why. Hemp is a nutritional powerhouse. It boasts a broad spectrum of essential fatty acids (healthy fats), it is a complete protein because all the essential amino acids are represented, and it tastes great. Not to mention, it is high in fiber. Need I say more? OK, I will. It’s completely legal and there are no drug- related effects from its use. I know the previous sentence might have disappointed some of you, but I’m sure you can get your fix elsewhere. And try to do it without breaking the law.
Having coordination is a very good trait when it comes to sports like basketball, football, tennis and backgammon. Making Purple Mousse is no different…
- Place goji berries, prunes, raisins, blackberries and pomegranate jelly in Vitamix or high-powered blender.
- Blend on high until ingredients turn bright purple and have smooth texture
- Place “goo” into large bowl; add peanut butter and carob chips, nuts and seeds.
- Mix thoroughly with rigid spatula until even consistency is reached, fold in one container of Tru Whip and mix one last time.
Tips and Hints:
Either leave Purple Mousse in a bowl or place the entire thing in a pie shell. Wholly Wholesome and Arrowhead Mills are both Lean Beret (check out http://theleanberets.com) approved crusts if you go that route.
It’s awesome either way and it’s really a matter of preference. Place the mousse in the refrigerator as soon as it is prepared.
Pomegranate jelly is dynamite! It is made by a company called Crofters and you can find it at your local health food store or online.
I would like to mention something just to avoid confusion. Hemp seeds and hemp hearts are one in the same, just in case you see them advertised as such in the store.
If you make a pie, I recommend freezing it. Before you serve it, place it on a table for about 15 minutes.
Peanut butter chips and carob chips are specialty items you can also get at health food stores. Sunspire is a reputable company that produces both. Do not waste time buying a conventional chip! They always have hydrogenated oils in them, which are bad news for your veins and arteries.
Tru Whip is a healthy alternative to hydrogenated oil-laden Cool Whip, which has an array of other nasty stuff in it as well. You will find Tru Whip in the freezer sections of health food stores. I don’t recommend taking a tablespoon of Tru Whip to try it. There is a good chance you will end up eating the entire thing because it is so good; unless of course, you buy a spare.
This pie brings multiple benefits to the table. Due to legalities, I’m not going to flat-out say it will treat or prevent any disease, but I will tell you that you are biting into a cocktail of antioxidants, which are known to boost immunity. The pie is also high in naturally occurring sugar, fiber and it has a decent amount of both protein and essential fats.