Papaya is a tropical fruit long promoted for it’s health benefits. It has a sweet flavor with musky undertones, and a butter-like consistency. Although the papaya tree can produce fruit year round, it peaks in early summer and fall.
- Digestion: Good source of fiber (~2.5 grams per cup) to help enhance digestion and bind to toxins and “bad” cholesterol in your body. Fiber also helps you stay full longer! In addition, papaya contains a digestive enzyme, called papain, which helps to digest protein.
- Immunity: It is an excellent source of vitamin C, which is also helpful in reducing inflammation. It’s beautiful orange color provides beta-carotene, which converts into antioxidant vitamin A.
- Skin: Incredibly hydrating and packed with Vitamins A, C and E, all essential for healthy and radiant skin. As a natural source of alpha-hydroxy acids, it helps rejuvenate the skin and brighten complexion.
Choosing a papaya
Papayas grow on trees in tropical areas, including Hawaii, and are native to Central America. They start out a green color, and as they ripen, will turn orangish-pink. You will be able to tell one is ripe if you are able to press into the flesh and make a thumbprint. They have big black seeds inside which are edible and have a peppery flavor!
cutting a papaya
- Start by cutting longways then scoop out the beautiful black seeds.
- Now cut the opposite way (or “short ways” — it will look like a 1/2 oval shape or a smile 🙂
- Cut off the skin then eat as is or cube it into smaller pieces per your preference.
ways to eat papaya
I have eaten papaya for breakfast almost daily since arriving in Costa Rica. I have had it in fruit plates and smoothie bowls. Other ways to eat it include:
- on top of cottage cheese
- on top of yogurt
- blending in a smoothie (papaya, pineapple, mango is delicious!)
- slicing a small papaya lengthwise, scooping out the seeds, and filling with fruit salad
Below is a Peanut butter Papaya Bowl topped with granola, shredded coconut, berries and almond slivers — it tasted even better than it looks.
Do you LOVE papaya too? How do you eat it?