Monday, June 4, 2012

The Versatile Papaya

You don't have to visit the Caribbean to get that tropical flavor. Just pick up a papaya! They are a great addition to salsas, pico de gallo, black bean dishes, and of course, fruit salads. They pair up wonderfully with mango, melon, and pineapple. Dice and top on grilled salmon, pork, or chicken. Papaya juice makes a fabulous meat tenderizer for your favorite grilled dishes. The enzymes help to break down the tough collagen, and the same enzymes are great for digestion and can relieve that uncomfortable "full" feeling after a hearty meal.
Papayas are also nutritional powerhouses. Each cup of cubed papaya provides 2&1/2 grams of fiber, more than a days supply of vit. C, 28% MDR of vit A, folate, potassium, and for only 60 calories. So don't stop at just one cup!
Look for papayas that are partly yellow on the outside - if they are green, they won't ripen properly. Store at room temp. until mostly yellow. Slice open the fruit, scooping out the seeds with a large spoon, and cut away the skin. Sprinkle on some lime or lemon juice - enjoy!