Papayas, they grow fast, the die quickly and in the process they grace the people of Central America with their sweet fruit. I don’t know where they came from. A year ago there were no papaya trees in my yard. Today I count thirteen, what on Earth does one do with that much papaya?
One is taller than my house, another one bends precariously around the corner of the first floor and yet another one is skinny like a #2 pencil. Not all papaya trees produce fruit and if my yard is any example not all papaya looks or tastes exactly the same. I have footballs, I have baseballs and I have gourd shaped fruit. Some are sweeter than others, one is red inside while another is orange. Color, race or creed all papayas are created equal in the eyes of the ravenous consumers.
Humans are the obvious and possibly the largest creature that loves papaya, but don’t forgot the rest of nature. Each day the garden birds feast upon the fruit, the woodpeckers stop by to drill a hole or two and hummingbirds flit around the flowers above the fruit. At nighttime the infamous “zorro”, or as we English speakers say, possum, climbs high into the night and sucks out the bottom of the ripe fruit. The iguanas lazily rest upon the long branches waiting to move unnoticed.
Back to the human. I have literally one hundred papayas in various states off ripeness sitting feet from my balcony and before they all land in a gooey mess that attracts ants and flies I am on a daily race to decide what to make with them. Below are 8 of my favorite uses for papaya.
Note: This blog is not a cooking blog, a food blog or a recipe blog, but occasionally food is relevant. Check out 1-8 and click on the links if you want to see the entire recipe.
1) FREEZE YOUR PAPAYA Slice your ripe papaya in half and de-seed. Then scoop out the fresh meat of the fruit, it works best to scoop mouth-sized bites just like you would with a cantaloupe. As you scoop lay your papaya out on a baking sheet. When your down to just the skin chuck that and put your baking sheet in the freezer until your fruit is frozen through. Then place your frozen treats in Ziplock bags. Whalaa…you have papaya ready any day of the year!
2) SWEET TREATS This recipe was originally for mango bread, but after mango season I tried papaya and it came out just as yummy. I also like adapting this recipe to cupcakes, making a sweet bread into a fantastic on the go snack. Don’t change anything, just pour the batter in a cupcake tray (I suggest those fancy non-stick ones, makes clean up completed in a jiffy). Please check out the link below for the entire recipe.
3) PAPAYA SMOOTHIES There is no exact recipe for a smoothie, no matter how many are posted on the internet and the best thing is, there is no right or wrong. For me, de-seed said papaya. Scoop fruit in blender and add water and ice until your smoothie is full of ice frothiness. My husband requires sugar and skips the ice. Sometimes, if we are prepared he likes to add evaporated milk, or even plain milk in a pinch. I am positive there is no going wrong, just taste your creation and add or subtract.
4) PAPAYA COOKIES I love these cookies. They are so simple and yet so tasty. Perfect for a party, breakfast or a sweet snack. Make them any size you desire. A quick note: if your use fresh papaya they come out picture perfect round. If you use papaya that has been in the fridge the dough is harder and they don’t melt as pretty, BUT they still taste just as yummy. Thank you to better recipes for their great contribution to my papaya world. Check out the link for the complete recipe.
5) PAPAYA CHICKEN Before you stick your tongue out hear me out. This is a sweet spin on chicken that will leave your taste buds smiling. Thank you to genius kitchen please check out the link to see the full recipe. You will not regret it. Note: We loved this dish the first night, the papaya wasn’t a great leftover!
6) SWEET DESYUNO This is as easy as it gets. Slice that perfectly ripe papaya in two and de-seed. Grab a spoon and dig in. No dishes to clean and zero cook time.
7) CANDY LAND Thanks to tasty kitchen, we will all need dental work after a sugar high, but man is it worth it!! Highly recommend this treat in moderation. To see instructions on how to make candied papaya click on the link below.
8) CHRISTMAS IN OCTOBER This is one of my favorite papaya recipes. Give the suckers away to grateful friends. Yep, this would be the lazy woman approach to papaya invasion and if you saw how many papayas I have to deal with you too would be Santa.