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So What Is The Big Deal With Papaya & Its Benefits?
Papayas are one of the healthiest, most delicious fruits out there. They have a variety of nutrients for your skin and immune system, they're full of enzymes that aid digestion and reduce bloating, and they maintain healthy blood pressure levels. Papayas truly are a dream! Their sweet, tropical taste is also great whether you eat them alone, make a smoothie, use them for fruit-based salsa, make a papaya boat salad, or even squeeze some lemon on them and just enjoy.
Papayas offer not only the luscious taste and sunlit color of the tropics, but they also have a variety of nutrients in them.
Together, these nutrients promote a healthy life and help fight free radicals. In addition, papaya contains the digestive enzyme, papain, which is similar to bromelain, a digestive enzyme found in pineapple.
Papayas aid in converting a substance called homocysteine into benign amino acids such as cysteine or methionine. If unconverted, homocysteine may directly damage blood vessel walls.
Papayas can boost daily immunity through its variety of nutrients.
How to Select and Store
If you want to eat them within a day of purchase, choose papayas that have reddish-orange skin and are slightly soft to the touch. Those that have patches of yellow color will take a few more days to ripen.
Papayas that are totally green or overly hard should not be purchased, unless you are planning on cooking them, or unless you want to use green papayas in a cold dish like an Asian salad, as their flesh will not develop its characteristic sweet juicy flavor.
While a few black spots on the surface will not affect the papaya's taste, avoid those that are bruised or overly soft. Papayas are more available during the summer and fall; however, you can usually purchase them throughout the year.
Papayas that are partially yellow should be left at room temperature where they will ripen in a few days. If you want to speed up this process, place them in a paper bag with a banana. Ripe papayas should be stored in the refrigerator and consumed within one or two days, so you can enjoy their maximum flavor.
Tips for Preparing and Cooking
Papayas can be used in many different ways. They can be eaten as is, added to a fruit salad or to a host of different recipes.
One of the easiest (and most delightful) ways to eat papaya is to eat it just like a melon. After washing the fruit, cut it lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, and then eat it with a spoon. For a little extra zest, you can squeeze lemon or lime juice on top.
To cut papaya into smaller pieces for fruit salad or recipes, first peel it with a paring knife and then cut into desire size and shape. You can also use a melon baller to scoop out the fruit of a halved papaya. If you are adding it to a fruit salad, you should do so just before serving as it tends to cause the other fruits to become very soft.
While most people discard the big black seeds, they are actually edible and have a delightful peppery flavor. They can be chewed whole or blended into a creamy salad dressing, giving it a peppery flavor.
Fortified Summer Grilled Papaya
3 firm Papayas, unpeeled
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 teaspoon of Papaya Seed Powder or Papaya Leaf Extract
Maple syrup or honey to drizzle (optional)
Preheat the grill to medium/high heat. Cut Papaya in half and remove seeds. Lay the unpeeled Papaya on the grill - peel side up, fruit side down on grill and cook for 10 to 15 minutes. Let cool. Carefully remove from peel and sprinkle with cinnamon, Papaya Seed Powder OR Papaya Leaf Extract. Slice and serve while warm with syrup or honey.
Papaya Leaf Extract Papaya Seed Powder Papaya Seed Extract