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How To Cut Papaya Chunks (Power Foods)

by Jeanette on October 26, 2012 · 19 Comments
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Whole Caribbean Red Papaya
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.

Papaya Cut 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.
How To Seed Fresh Papaya
Next, use a sharp knife and cut each papaya half into wedges.
Fresh Sliced Papaya
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.
Fresh Papaya Chunks
You can serve papaya chunks with a little wedge of lime for squeezing on top,
Fresh Cut Papaya
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.

Papaya and Passion Fruit

Papaya and Passion Fruit

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.)

Alyce – More Time at the Table
Ansh – Spice Roots,
Chaya – My Sweet and Savory
Martha – Simple-Nourished-Living
Mireya – My Healthy Eating Habits
Minnie – The Lady 8 Home

World’s Healthiest Foods: Papaya
Power Foods: 150 delicious recipes with 38 Healthiest Ingredients

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  1. Should have read your post first, Jeanette!! ha.

  2. Great tutorial Jeanette!

  3. I don’t think I’ve ever had fresh papaya! You definitely make it look easy, though. Sometimes with tropical fruits, I’m so unfamiliar with them that I don’t know how to eat them!

  4. I haven’t had papaya in years! Not sure I would buy it myself at the grocery store, but I will keep your post in mind if I ever need to cut one up!

  5. I’ve never been a fan of tropical fruits, but my husband is, so I like to incorporate them into fruit salads. And, come to think of it, I’ve never cooked with them, either, except to add star fruit to stir-fries.

  6. What a colorful informative post!

  7. I grew up with papayas for breakfast in the Philippines. When my oldest son was a baby, I fed him papayas daily and he loved it! Nowadays, here in the States, I miss it because it’s not often in my neighborhood grocery. Your post reminded me of why my parents gave it to us regularly. Thanks for sharing this info on papaya, Jeanette and glad you came to visit my blog :-)

  8. They are indeed the power food! Thanks for the tutorial.

  9. I just realized I’ve never even BOUGHT a papaya, let alone cut it! Shame on me.

  10. I had papya in a can years ago, ever since I have been nervous to try it again. These pictures are so beautiful, they make me want to go buy one, and enjoy it! I know fresh is always better! Thank you for the tutorial, Hugs, Terra

  11. Jeanette, I was so impressed learning about this fruit that I plan on looking into the research. I read that if you eat the seeds they will kill the parasites in the body and that a very high percentage of cancer patients have parasites. (I don’t remember if it was 70% or 90%. In any case it was high.)

  12. Papayas are so delicious, so I am glad they are considered a Power Food. We usually just eat them on their own or in a salad, but I will have to try them with some passion fruit (or lilikoi as we call them here). The seeds also make a really great salad dressing.

  13. Now the papaya and passion fruit is a combination I would love. Lovely tutorial.

  14. I grew up eating papayas and hating it. For some reason, it never agreed with my taste buds, in spite of being such a sweet fruit. But now I have started appreciating it a lot more, and find ways to incorporate it into my meals. The salad looks amazing.

  15. I am lucky enough to live in the tropical north of Australia and have papaya and passionfruit out of my garden most mornings. Wow! I never knew it was a superfood! Thanks for that information.

  16. Living in a tropical climate, it’s a given I can cut papaya! I never thought people couldnt. However, you explain it beautifully. And now, I need some!

  17. Mmm, papaya and passion fruit together sounds great!

  18. How do I know when the papaya is ripe ?

    • Jeanette Jeanette says:

      Ripe papaya is usually orange on the outside and when you press it gently with your hand, it should give ever so slightly.

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