Sunday, June 24, 2012

"Fruit of the Angels" Recipes

Do you know what Christopher Columbus was referring to when he ate "fruit of the angels"? 

He was talking about the tropical, sweet, buttery fruit papaya. I had never bought a papaya until this summer when I saw they were at the peak of their season. I decided to experiment with using the fruit as an addition to a salsa I typically make. And the result was delicious because of an unexpected sweetness. 

To select the right papaya from the store, look for one that has patches of yellow. If the papaya is green it won't ripen properly. Leave the papaya at room temperature for a few days and when it turns to a reddish-orange color it's ready to eat.

When the fruit is ripe, cut is open lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Though the seeds are edible, they are bitter. You can then either scoop out the flesh and eat it like a melon, or first peel the skin then cut it into cubes to use in a dish.

Papaya Salsa

Combine chopped red onion, chopped red pepper, black beans, and chopped papaya. Zest half of a lime and squirt lime juice over the mixture and toss to coat. If you like some heat, you can add a diced jalapeno as well. This salsa goes great over a grilled white fish, and is perfect for summer.

Papaya salsa over grilled fish with sides of couscous, sauteed brussels sprouts, and grilled corn.

I didn't use the entire papaya for the salsa, so I froze the rest in slices. The next morning I added a couple frozen slices to my smoothie for added sweetener - yum!

Papaya Smoothie

Combine half frozen banana, 2 slices frozen papaya, 2 frozen strawberries, 1 scoop vanilla soy protein powder, and almond milk in the blender. Blend until smooth and creamy. This would also make a wonderful, refreshing summer afternoon snack!

Papaya smoothie for breakfast, with my "signature" English muffin topped with peanut butter, honey, and blueberries

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