How many times have you pushed your cart through the produce section and passed a papaya and you kinda sorta knew what they were and what they tasted like but kept right on going past because you really didn’t know quite what to do with them. Seriously, who do you know (besides perhaps, me) that has a bunch of recipes for papaya.
So today when I was standing there contemplating the culinary merits of purchasing a papaya vs. mango vs. pomegranate and since the papaya was on sale, they won. I bought 6 (like I said they were on sale) and hurried home to figure out how I was going to convince my somewhat skeptical family (who think a Clementine is an exotic fruit) that eating this much papaya was going to be a good idea.
Papayas are lusciously juicy tropical fruit with smooth green transitioning to yellow skin. In order to get the best, ripest papaya you should look for one that seems heavy for its size and doesn’t have any visible bruises. However, a few spots of color variation are just fine. It should give to the touch but not be mushy. The inside color ranges yellow to orange to peachy and my taste buds comprehend it as sort of a peach/apricot hybrid with a bit of tang and lots of fiber and a whole bunch of seeds you’ll need to get rid of before you cut it into slices or pieces. It’s very popular in Asian and South American dishes and its high acid content makes it the perfect ingredient in marinades. It also does double duty as a natural remedy for some digestive problems. It’s got antioxidants and bunches of vitamins (A, C, K, and E) and other stuff like magnesium, foliate and beta carotene so not only is this fruit delicious it can actually help you feel better and help you get your daily vitamin requirements met.
In my opinion the best way to get the most out your papaya experience is to eat it raw. Prep is simple. Cut it in half, scoop out all the seed, peel it and then slice or dice it into the size or shape you want. The following recipes are simple to recreate and can help you introduce the papaya to those unsuspecting family members and friends who will be so pleasantly surprised that what tastes so good is really so good for them.
Papaya Chicken and Cashew Salad (meat)
4 to 6 servings
- 3 cups cooked chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces
- ½ cup chopped celery
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- ½ teaspoon dry mustard
- 2 teaspoon lemon juice
- ½ to ¾ teaspoon curry powder
- 1 cup chopped cashews
- Dash of white pepper
- 2 Tablespoons sugar
- 2 papayas, peeled and cut into bite sized pieces
- Salad greens
- In a small bowl combine the lemon juice and papaya pieces. Mix to combine.
- Combine all the ingredients (except the lettuce) into a large bowl and mix to combine.
- Place the salad greens on a platter and mound the chicken papaya mixture on top.
Submitted by Angela Rodriguez Chicago, IL
Papaya, Mango and Avocado Salad (pareve)
6 to 8 servings
- 2 papayas, peeled and sliced thin
- 3 mangos, peeled and sliced thin
- 4 avocados, peeled and sliced thin
- 1 cup toasted almonds
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 3 Tablespoons sugar
- 3 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a jar with a lid combine the olive oil, sugar, vinegar and salt and pepper. Close the lid, shake, and set aside.
- On a platter arrange the papaya, mango and avocado slices in whatever platter or way you like.
- Sprinkle the almonds over the top and then drizzle the dressing over the top.
My files, source unknown
Raspberry Papaya Smoothie (pareve)
- 1 banana
- ½ fresh papaya
- ½ cup raspberries (fresh or frozen)
- 4 to 6 ice cubes
- Water or apple juice as needed
- Put all ingredients into blender. Blend until your desired consistency is reached. If you like chunks of fruit process, less, smoother, process more.
- Add the water or juice to thin the smoothie if needed.
This recipe can be doubled or tripled.
My files, source unknown
Turkey Burgers with Pineapple Papaya Sauce (meat)
- ¼ cup chopped fresh pineapple
- 3 Tablespoons fresh papaya, finely diced
- 2/3 cup barbecue sauce
- 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 lb. ground turkey breast
- 3 Tablespoons breadcrumbs
- 2 Tablespoons finely chopped onion
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 4 thin slices fresh pineapple (optional)
- 4 hamburger buns
- 4 lettuce leaves
- 4 slices of tomato
- In a saucepan combine all the sauce ingredients and bring to a boil. Immediately reduce to a simmer. Cook 7 to 8 minutes.
- Preheat grill pan.
- In a bowl combine the ground turkey, breadcrumbs, onion, cayenne, sugar, and 1/3 cup sauce in a bowl and mix just until combined. Make 4 (1-inch) patties.
- Brush both sides of the burgers with oil. Season with salt and pepper.
- Grill the burgers over medium heat, turning once, about 6 minutes per side. Baste with sauce, and grill 2 minutes more.
You can, if using, grill the pineapple slices 2 minutes per side.
- Place burgers on the buns, spoon the remaining sauce over the top, and top with the lettuce and tomato slices.
Submitted by Anita Canovos from a Cat Cora recipe in Health June 2009
© Eileen Goltz papaya 13a