Whenever I eat papaya, I instantly feel like I’m sitting on a beach in Hawaii. Since papaya isn’t grown locally for me, I forget how much I love it until I make the point of buying it & pop one of those bad boys open.
Besides transporting me to a sandy beach, there are more reasons to love this fruit. Papaya is not only low in calories but packs a punch with the amount of fiber it contains and is a great source of beta carotene, folate, and vitamins A, C and E!
Don’t throw away those seeds either!! There are tons of benefits to these icky looking seeds.
Papaya seeds contain an anti-parasitic property called carpaine and have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects on the digestive system aiding with IBS, constipation, ulcers, indigestion, acid reflux, and even cramps during that time of the month! High levels of oleic and palmitic acids in the seeds are believed to help protect your body against cancer and aid in detoxifying and strengthening the liver and kidneys. Flavanoids found in the seeds are said to help boost the immune system.
PLEASE NOTE: I have seen warnings against taking papaya seeds during pregnancy and for breastfeeding mamas- so make sure you consult your doctor before starting a papaya seed supplement or making papaya seeds a part of your daily routine.
In the mean time, enjoy that papaya with some lime juice squeezed on top or whip up one of the recipes below…
Papaya & Banana Smoothie
A bunch of papaya (a cup or so should do)
About a cup of pineapple **
A small bit of ginger
The juice from half a lime
About a cup of coconut milk
Crushed ice **
What you’ll do…
Mix all ingredients together in a high speed blender & ENJOY! (hopefully somewhere sunny… J )
*Note: I’m terrible at measuring out my smoothie recipes- I usually use my judgment when putting in the ingredients. You can always add/ decrease the amount of a particular ingredient to suit your individual taste.
** I used frozen pineapples in mine and omitted the ice & it turned out great! Frozen fruit (with no added sugar) is always a great option for smoothies since the fruit keeps longer & you don’t have to add ice.
Papaya Seed Viniagrette Dressing
½ a cup of fresh papaya cut into cubes
3 tablespoons of papaya seeds & some pulp
4 tablespoons of white balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon of agave nectar
¼ teaspoon of grated ginger
¼ teaspoon of salt
1/3 cup of olive oil
fresh ground black pepper
What you’ll do…
Using a blender, puree the papaya, papaya seeds and pulp until smooth. Next add the balsamic vinegar, agave, Dijon mustard, ginger, salt and pepper and blend again. Finally add the olive oil and blend one more time.