Half of a papaya has only 60 calories and contains nearly all the vitamin A and twice the vitamin C you need for the whole day. It is also an excellent source of potassium, fiber, niacin, thiamin, riboflavin and calcium. Many experts consider the papaya to be among the most nutritious of fruits. Papaya is usually served chilled with a sprinkle of lemon or lime juice.

PapayaEat healthy logo

Papaya Boats

Halve papaya and scoop out the seeds. Fill with cottage cheese, cut-up fruit, tuna, chicken or shrimp salad.

Aloha Sundaes

Wash then halve a papaya and remove the seeds. Place a scoop of frozen yogurt, sherbet or ice cream in the hollow. Top with crushed pineapple. Sprinkle with nuts.

Did You Know?

  • Exactly where papaya originated is unknown. Most of the domestic papaya come from Hawaii, but smaller quantities are grown in Florida, California, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Central and South America.
  • Select papayas that are firm with some yellow streaks and free of blemishes.
  • Papayas can be purchased while still green and will ripen by themselves when left at room temperature for three to five days. If you don’t plan to use the papaya once it’s ripe, it can be kept in the refrigerator for up to a week
  • When ripe, the skin color of a papaya is predominately yellow-orange.
  • A papaya will not discolor or darken after it has been cut.
  • The skin of a papaya is used as a meat tenderizer.
  • Papaya seeds are edible and can be ground and used as a seasoning like black pepper or can be used in salads, salad dressing or other dishes.
Wilson, M. 2011, The Amazing Nutritious Papaya, Extension | University of Nevada, Reno, FS-11-25

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