|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Servings: 3 to 5|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 1g||1%|
|Saturated Fat 0g||1%|
|Total Carbohydrate 22g||8%|
|Dietary Fiber 3g||12%|
|Total Sugars 16g|
|Vitamin C 110mg||548%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
Papaya is a tropical fruit with orange-colored, sweet flesh and edible seeds that have a pepper-like flavor. Often you can find it used in Asian, Thai, Caribbean, and Indian cuisines, either raw or cooked.
Papayas come in a variety of shapes and sizes. For example, the Hawaiian variety is smaller and pear-shaped, while the Caribbean and Asian papayas are large. All types are delicious, though, brimming with vitamin C, antioxidants, and other nutrients.
How to Cut Papaya
Besides being found in a variety of different cuisines due to its wonderful flavor, papaya is especially wonderful for anyone with a sensitive stomach, irritable bowel syndrome, or poor digestion. It contains a special digestive enzyme called papain, which is why the fruit is revered as a powerful digestive aid.
How to Choose a Ripe Papaya
You know if you have ripe papaya if it has skin that is turning from green to yellow. If papaya is ripe, you should be able to press your thumb into the flesh. Papayas will ripen more quickly when put in a paper bag with ethylene-producing fruits, such as apples or bananas. If the papaya is still yellowish—even just in a few splotches here or there—it will require a few days at room temperature to ripen sufficiently.
How to Serve the Papaya
Squeeze a little lime juice over the papaya to take away any unattractive smells and enhance the flavor of the fruit. Or combine your fresh papaya with other fruit in a fresh fruit salad.
Is It Okay To Eat Papaya Seeds?
Yes! There is no need to toss the seeds. While most people throw them away, papaya seeds are completely edible. However, papaya seed are not sweet and have a strong flavor, which is more like a cross between mustard and black peppercorns. It's best to chew them, or grind them in a food processor or mortar and pestle, as the harder outer shell of the seeds locks in the nutrients of their soft interior.
Steps to Make It
Place the papaya on a cutting board. Using a large, sharp knife, cut the papaya in half lengthwise.
Open the halved papaya and separate it into two sections.
Using a large spoon, scrape out the seeds. Try not to cut too deeply with your spoon or you might lose quite a bit of the fruit, especially if it is overripe.
You can enjoy the papaya fruit by digging into it with a spoon and eating directly from the fruit half. Or create papaya "melon balls" with a melon ball scoop or an ice cream scoop.
Alternatively, you can peel the papaya to slice or cube. To peel, hold the fruit vertically and run your knife down along the skin in long slices. Again, try not to slice too deeply, or you will lose a lot of the fruit. If you are not comfortable using a knife, use a vegetable peeler to remove the skin.
Turn the peeled the papaya over and slice it into wedges as thick or thin as you like or cubes.
How to Store Papaya
- Store whole ripe papayas in the refrigerator until you're ready to use, which should be within 24 hours.
- Cut papaya can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.