I love tropical fruits of all sorts – especially mangoes, papaya, dragon fruit, kiwi fruit, and lychee nuts. Perhaps it’s the exotic scent of some of them, or the luscious flesh, or the unique shapes, or the vibrant colors that some of them come in – they’re just so much more interesting to me than the more common fruits I find year round.
Although I might eat an apple raw or bake an apple crisp, I have never cooked or baked with tropical fruit. I enjoy eating them fresh, unadorned for the most part. To some people, these fruits can prove to be a bit intimidating – how do you prep it? How do you serve it?
Last week, I wrote a post on how to peel Kiwi Fruit, and today, I’m going to show you how to cut a papaya into chunks. It’s really very easy, and works best for the larger variety of papaya such as Caribbean Red Papaya. For smaller papaya (like Hawaiian Papaya), I often just scoop out the seeds, and then scoop out the flesh, not bothering to cut the papaya into chunks.
The first step is to cut the papaya in half.
Next, scoop out all the little black seeds. You can actually use some of these seeds to make a papaya dressing if you’re feeling adventurous. They have a peppery bite to them and pop in your mouth.
Next, use a sharp knife and cut each papaya half into wedges.
Then, run a sharp knife between the papaya skin and the flesh to peel the papaya. Once you remove the peel, simply cut the papaya into chunks.
You can serve papaya chunks with a little wedge of lime for squeezing on top,
or, if you want to pretend you’re in Hawaii, try this simple combination of exotic Hawaiian papaya and passion fruit – a local Hawaiian cut open a papaya and passion fruit at a fruit stand last summer during our vacation and served this combination to me at his road stand.
This week, a group of bloggers is featuring Papaya as a Power Food. This weekly food blogging group features a different Power Food each week based on the book Power Foods: 150 delicious recipes with 38 Healthiest Ingredients from the editors of Martha Stewart’s Whole Living Magazine. Power Foods are foods that are outstanding in the amounts of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, essential fatty acids, fiber and more, that help fight disease and promote good health.
So, what makes Papaya a Power Food?
- Ripe papayas are packed with vitamin C and lots of vitamin A and E. In fact, one 300 gram papaya contains 300% of the daily value for vitamin C.
- Papayas are also high in folate, potassium, fiber and vitamin K.
- Papaya contains several unique protein-digesting enzymes including papain and chymopapain. Papain is especially concentrated in unripe papaya (which is often see in Thai salads). These enzymes have been shown to help lower inflammation and to improve healing from burns.
Check out what these other bloggers have cooked up for this week’s Power Foods post: (If you’re interested in joining our group, contact Mireya from My Healthy Eating Habits.)