Add tropical papayas and pawpaws to your shopping trolley this month.
For lush tropical juiciness and sweet flavours pawpaw and papaya, are up there with the best. Originating from Central and South America, these oval-shaped fruit can grow up to 30cm in length. Packed with all kinds of nutrients, including vitamins A and C, potassium and magnesium, they’re a perfect healthy snack.
Papayas have red-orange flesh and a yellow-orange skin and pawpaws have yellow flesh and light orange skin. Papayas are the sweeter of the two. There are two main varieties of papaya grown in Australia and these are available all year round. Also available is green papaya, which is used mostly in Asian-style dishes.
Choose near-ripe fruit – they’re ripe if the skin is a yellowish orange colour. Also, check that the skin is smooth and unblemished and that the fruit feels heavy for its size.
Ripen at room temperature until the fruit gives slightly when pressed. Once ripened, both papayas and pawpaws can be kept in the fridge for up to three days.
Cut the fruit in half and discard the seeds. You can peel the fruit first and chop the flesh or simply scoop out the flesh. Add papaya to smoothies, desserts and salads or have as a fresh snack.
3 ways with papaya and pawpaw
For a nutritious smoothie, place 1/2 cup skim milk, 1/2 cup low-fat plain yoghurt, 1 cup ripe papaya, 1/2 banana and a tablespoon chia seeds in a blender and blend until well combined. Serve.
Spice up your barramundi with papaya chutney. Place 1 diced papaya, juice of a lime, a small thinly sliced chilli and 10 finely chopped mint leaves in a bowl and stir to combine. Serve.
The kids will love this quick dessert. Cut a papaya into slices, drizzle with honey and grill until golden brown. Serve with a low-fat vanilla ice-cream.
Did you know? Papayas are red and pawpaws are yellow.