Cooking with Papaya Carica papaya

Papaya are very much like melons in texture and flavor, but melons with an exotic flavor! Papayas are enjoyed in salads, in smoothies, or by themselves for simple breakfast or an afternoon treat.  They can be used in any recipe where you would use melons. Very tasty and very refreshing!

Selecting Fruit

​Florida papaya can be purchased directly from our growers, or requested from the produce manager at your local supermarket.

When choosing a Florida papaya, look for those that are firm without soft or discolored spots. Also, a uniform orange color usually signifies maturity.

 

​Papayas are also eaten green. Look for green papayas that are firm and without soft spots or bruises.

 

 

Ripening

​Papayas are harvested ready to eat, so you can eat your papaya when you receive it from our growers, or bring it home from the market.

 

Handling

​The pear shaped papaya has thin skin that encloses melon-like flesh. There is a central cavity that has edible, pepper like seeds. To open a papaya, slice it in half, or wedges, scoop out the seeds, and cut it into pieces. The peel is not edible.

 

Green papayas are often peeled and then grated or sliced for use in papaya salad.

 

 

Storage

​You can keep papayas whole or cut in the refrigerator in a plastic bag or container that is left open slightly for air exchange and it will keep for several days.

 

Frozen papayas are perfect for tasty smoothies, drinks, or sauces, but they do not retain their shape well for many other uses. They are still tasty after a year in the freezer if kept in a plastic freezer bag. Just peel and cube fresh papaya, place in a container/bag, remove as much air as you can, and freeze.

Counts and Weights

​An average size Florida papayas weighs about 2-3 pounds but can weigh as much as 10 lbs.  ​

 

1 cup of 1” cubed papaya = 145 g

Nutrition

​One cup of a Florida papaya contains:

 

62 calories

<1 g. fat

<1 g. protein

​16 g. carbohydrate

​3 grams fiber

264 mg potassium

88 mg Vitamin C

Source: USDA NDB Number: 09039

Recipes

Use Florida papaya in desserts, in salads, breads, and smoothies.  Give green papayas a try and make a papaya salad for a tasty, light salad.

Here are a few recipes that show off delicious and versatile Florida papayas!

 

Papaya Bread

Leila Werner, Local Raised, Recipes Raised in the Florida Redland

 

Ingredients

1 c. granulated sugar

½ c. salted butter

2 large eggs

1 c. ripe papaya, mashed

¼ c. walnuts, chopped

½ c. raisins

1 ½ c. flour

¼ t. baking powder

1 t. baking soda

½ t. salt

½ t. cinnamon

½ t. allspice

½ t. ground ginger

 

In a mixing bowl, cream together sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add eggs and blend well.

In another bowl, blend flour and all other dry ingredients. Add papaya, nuts and raisins. Mix until blended.

Add flour mixture to creamed butter and sugar. Mix until blended.

 

Pour mixture into a greased 9” x 5” loaf pan. Bake in a preheated 325 degree oven for about 1 hour and 5 minutes, or until tested done.

 

 

Papaya Salad

Suchda Lanumkum of Pita Groves, Local Flavor, Recipes Raised in the Florida Redland

 

1 heavy, firm green papaya, peeled, seeded, and sliced thinly lengthwise

1 garlic clove

1-5 hot Thai chili peppers

1 T. fish sauce

1 T. granulated sugar

2 T fresh lime juice

1 t. lime zest

5 grape tomatoes

1 T. roasted peanuts

1-3 green beans cut into ½“  pieces

 

Instructions

With a mortar and pestle beat garlic, red chili peppers and green beans into small pieces. Place in a salad bowl. Add fish sauce, sugar, lime juice, a handful of papaya slices and lime zest. Mix well. Lightly beat tomatoes to release juice. Add to bowl.

Taste your salad: it should have the perfect balance of spicy, sour, sweet and salty. Add more papaya slices and gently mix.

Asians eat this salad with slices of green cabbage, green beans and cucumber.

© 2020 by Tropical Fruit Growers of South Florida - Photo Credits: Ian Maguire & Shaun Wright