Travel and taste: papaya love – know it all. Who remembers my previous blog post from the same series about mango? Mango love – know it all. Today, it is time for papaya! I love to call it “papita”; the way it is called in the Hindi language. Somehow it highlights more its yummy and sweet taste!
If you love papaya, this article is for you. If you do not love it, continue reading! Very shortly, you will fall in love with it. It is just a matter of time (and place). Discover some great highlights and tips about this exotic fruit. And get ready to make a papaya jam!
PAPAYA – THE TROPICAL FRUIT
Among all the 44 countries I have visited so far, I had the best papaya in two places in the world: India and Panama. I still remember when in Panama City, I used to start my breakfast with a big bowl of papaya. How about India? That’s where I developed a full taste for papaya, discovered its uniqueness, and tried it in different versions. The most recent one: is shakshuka with papaya.
3 KEY BENEFITS
- Improves heart’s health
- Aids in digestion
- Maintains healthy skin
PAPAYA – 5 TOP PRODUCING COUNTRIES
3 INTERESTING FACTS
- There are two main types of papayas, Hawaiian (more common) and Mexican (much larger).
- The papaya fruit is botanically a berry. It is the fruit of an herb, even if the plant looks like a tall tree, sometimes a very tall one!
- Papayas are a natural meat tenderizer. They contain papain, which can break down tough meat fibers.
Papaya tree has a palmlike trunk. It can reach up to 9 meters (30 feet). Papaya leaves are deeply lobed and can grow to even 1 meter. In fact, its wide leaves are papaya tree identification mark. And the powder made of them has a lot of health benefits and is edible! Just check!
Papaya trees are native to Central America. Globally, they grow in tropical and subtropical areas. There are 3 different tree types, female, male, and bisexual plants. The female and bisexual plants are the ones that can produce fruits. Depending on the tree type, the fruit can be small to medium round (female tree); or medium to large, oblong shape (bisexual tree).
That’s one of the most amazing things about papaya: its seeds. You can enjoy eating the fruit and also the seeds. They are edible and highly nutritious. Important: do not throw them!
What are their benefits?
- help fight infections
- improve digestive system
- help in weight management
- promote kidney health
- protect against cancer
- remove intestinal parasites
Papaya seeds contain trace amounts of cyanide. Therefore, consume a maximum of one teaspoon of papaya seeds per day. Pregnant or lactating women should avoid them.
In practice: whenever I cut papaya, I remove the seeds and keep them aside. Now two options: if it is sunny, I let them dry in the sun. Else, I roast them in the oven for 15min or so. Once dry, I store them directly in a box or grind them to powder.
PAPAYA – HOW TO EAT IT
Let’s start from scratch! How to eat and peel papaya most easily?
When you want to buy ready-to-eat papaya, select the one that has yellow to orange skin. It should also have a nice smell.
It is best to cut papaya in half; towards the long side. Using a spoon remove all seeds. Remember: keep them, do not throw them. Remove also the light inner skin. Once ready, cut papaya into long slices and remove the skin. Do it in the same way as preparing a melon. Cut in cubes and enjoy. For a better taste, store it in the fridge before eating.
After my mango jam, who is ready for a quick and super yummy papaya jam recipe? So far, I have done it twice this year, and I love it! It is already packed with me to Poland.
Measurement: 1 small papaya (less than 1kg) = 1 smaller jar of jam (200gr); if you opt for medium papaya (~1.5 kg), you will be able to make 2 jars of jam; big papaya (+2kg) will give you 3 jars of jam.
- papaya (size or number based on the requirement)
- sugar (preferably brown sugar or jaggery powder)
- fresh lemon juice
- Peel papaya, remove seeds (remember not to throw them) and cut into small cubes.
- Keep cut papaya pieces in a big bowl, add sugar or jaggery, and lemon juice.
- How much sugar? I opt for healthier jams. I keep sugar to a minimum, making sure it is sweet enough to start the gelling process and act as a preservative. Add a few spoons of sugar and try if the jam is sweet enough. The same applies to lemon juice.
- Keep the mixture in the fridge for 2-3 hours. The longer you keep, the better. As a result, your cooking jam time will shorten as most of the juices will be extracted from the fruits.
- Cook the mixture in the pan on the slow gas till you get a bit jof elly texture (30min to 1 hour).
- Then two options: ready to eat (keep it in the fridge) or vacuum close the jar (by boiling the jar with the jam in the pot with a small cloth kept inside for 30 min to 1 hour) so that it can be stored for winter (or few months!).
PAPAYA LOVE – THE BEST PRODUCTS
If fresh papaya is not an option in your country, or maybe it is not a season, try dried ones. It is a good replacement option for your morning muesli addition or a daily snack.
Recommended: Happilo Dried Papaya
PAPAYA FACE WASH
Living in India, I have discovered many fruits-based face washes, among them papaya one. It will make your face look fresh and add a glowing effect. Plus, it smells so nicely!
Recommended: Biotique Papaya Face Wash
This article reminded me to order a few papaya and mango soaps for my next travel to Europe! They are wonderful. You should try!
Recommended: Khadi Natual Papaya Soap
That’s one of the favorite products of my Better Half: papaya scrub. Ideal for the tan removal and revitalizing face! If you avoid getting tanned, it is an ideal product!
Recommended: Biotique Papaya Face Scrub
Moments that matter, no matter the papaya.