Garden Rows

Wednesday, July 27

The Amazing Papaya

I was at the grocery store the other day and saw some lovely blushing papayas.  I weighed one out to see how many pounds an average one was since they were priced by the pound.  I decided to go for it, though I was unsure what all I would do with it, and at the time, I was not aware of just how much fruit it would end up being!

When I was a kid I loved dried papaya.  I was just as happy to have papaya as I was to have a candy bar!  We got a fresh papaya one time and I was thrilled! I usually liked fresh fruit better than dried, so I had very high hopes for this amazing, orange tropical fruit.  When it was cut open it was beautiful.  The seeds were pretty intriguing. They looked like tiny black/brown pearls.  I finally had a piece of the soft orange fruit in my hands, the anticipation was terrible, I took a bite and . . . it was not at all what I hoped.  I actually thought it was kind of gross! What a disappointment that was!  That moment has stuck with me for about 15 years.

I have wanted to like papaya all this time, but even when I have had some in a little tropical fruit bowl, it's just not the good one in the bunch.  I have certainly not been looking for this fruit, it just seemed like the time to revisit when I saw them in the store the other day.  Papaya has tons of nutritional value and even the skin and seeds are being researched for more benefits.  It is a wonderful digestive aid, helps keep the digestive tract healthy with enzymes.  It helps the body's metabolism working in high speed.  If you want to learn more, look it up, there is a ton of info and sooo many benefits.  I guess maybe I can choke some down.

Honestly though, now that I am older and my palate has developed a bit I have less dislike than the first time I tried fresh papaya!  It's not to bad really.  I think it is about pairing it with the right things.  The other day I made a strawberry papaya smoothie that would have been much better if I had not used the protein powder.  It's good protein powder and I thought it would help round out the odd papaya flavor . . . not so much.  Next!

This morning I made a smoothie that turned out surprisingly good!  Papaya Mint.  Here is my recipe, though I did not use precise measurements.  You can adjust to your taste.
1/2 cup papaya
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1-2 Tbs pina colada mix (non-alcoholic)
1-2 Tbs fresh lemon juice
20 or so mint leaves (these came from my garden)
Combine in a blender or food processor until very well blended.  I blended until the mint was tiny green flecks in a light orange smoothie.  Enjoy!

One of my favorite web sites is Scoop Adventures.  It is basically a blog of an ice cream lover, hence, the reason I like the site so much.  She has a recipe for Papaya Lime Sorbet if you are interested.  I would be inclined to think it would be pretty good.

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