Papaya Smoothie (Batida de Lechosa)

Papaya Smoothie (Batida de Lechosa)

The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  • Total: 3 mins
  • Prep: 3 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Serving: 1 to 2 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
366 Calories
3g Fat
89g Carbs
5g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1 to 2
Amount per serving
Calories 366
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 3g 3%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 5mg 2%
Sodium 67mg 3%
Total Carbohydrate 89g 32%
Dietary Fiber 10g 34%
Total Sugars 65g
Protein 5g
Vitamin C 294mg 1,471%
Calcium 188mg 14%
Iron 2mg 9%
Potassium 1064mg 23%
*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.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Papaya is a popular fruit in the Dominican Republic (where it is referred to as lechosa) and is often made into a "milkshake," which is what we consider a smoothie in the States. The combination of papaya with milk, vanilla, and ice takes advantage of the fruit's fragrance and sweetness, similar to mango but not as tangy. A batida de lechosa will keep you nice and cool on a hot day, and may also become a favorite summer dessert.

The papaya needs to be peeled and seeded before being cubed and blended with the other ingredients. The seeds can be included as they are actually edible and won't harm you, but they'll detract from the recipe because they have a somewhat bitter taste. Thus, getting rid of them is worth the extra work.

Ingredients

  • 1 ripe papaya

  • 1/2 cup milk

  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice

  • 1/2 teaspoon lime zest

  • 1/4 cup sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1/2 cup ice

  • Garnish:

    Lime wedges

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Papaya Smoothie (Batida de Lechosa) ingredients

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  2. Peel the papaya using a knife or vegetable peeler.

    peel papaya with vegetable peeler

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  3. Cut the papaya in half lengthwise and remove the seeds.

    papaya cut in half with seeds removed

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  4. Coarsely chop the flesh.

    papaya cut into pieces

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  5. Place the papaya chunks, milk, lime juice and zest, sugar, vanilla, and ice into a blender or food processor.

    papaya in the blender with ice, milk, lime juice and zest, sugar, and vanilla

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  6. Mix on high speed for 20 to 30 seconds until the mixture is smooth and thick.

    smooth and thick papaya mixture in the blender

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  7. Pour the smoothie into tall frosted glasses. Garnish with lime wedges and serve at once.

    Papaya Smoothie (Batida de Lechosa) in a glass

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Papaya Selection and Storage

Papayas are native to Central America, but they also thrive in Puerto Rico, Hawaii, Texas, and Florida. You can usually purchase them year-round, but they're at their best in early summer and in the fall. They can grow up to 20 inches long, but most of those you'll find for sale commercially are significantly smaller at about 7 inches. A ripe papaya's skin will be red-orange in color while unripe will have a yellow tint. The flesh should be bright orange, but it may contain some yellow or pink depending on the papaya's degree of ripeness.


Store ripe papayas in the refrigerator until you're ready to use, which should be within 24 hours. If they're still yellowish—even just in a few splotches here or there—they'll require a few days at room temperature to ripen sufficiently.

Recipe Variation

Add a sliced and peeled banana to the blender or food processor for added flavor, nutrition, and texture. In fact, you can include a bit of any favorite fruit to make this smoothie uniquely your own.