We all know that papaya is a fruit that tastes delicious; sweet without being overly sweet, perfectly juicy and versatile in its use. Fresh ripe papaya is wonderful simply chopped up and eaten with a good squeeze of lime juice. It works well in smoothies and is also a terrific addition to salads either raw or lightly grilled. Green papaya, the papaya before it matures and ripens, is also very popular especially in south-east Asia where it is enjoyed in fresh spicy salads and rice paper rolls.
Aside from its flavour and versatility, papaya is a fruit brimming with health benefits. It contains a great amount of vitamin C and is also a great source of fibre, folate and vitamin A. Papaya also contains enzymes that have shown to ease a wide range of digestive disorders. This enzyme called Papain digests proteins, freeing amino acids the gut can absorb. Next, it blocks the growth of harmful gut bacteria, maintaining a healthy microbiome.
Not only can papain improve digestion, it has also been shown to lower pain, swelling, and inflammation in the body. Papain is also an antioxidant and can help to neutralize excess free radicals that can build up and contribute to a number of chronic diseases.
So, are you ready to introduce more papaya into your diet?!
Try this recipe for Papaya Coconut Boats below. These are incredibly simple to make and appeal to both kids and adults alike. Feel free to get creative and fill or top your papaya boats with your favourite nuts, seeds, superfoods and dried fruit. These are best eaten fresh and make sure your papaya is ripe to enjoy the best flavour and health benefits.
PAPAYA COCONUT BOAT
- Half a ripe papaya
- 4 tablespoons of coconut yogurt
- ¼ cup blueberries
- Topping options- goji berries, nuts, seeds, cacao nibs, chia seeds, lime, muesli, figs
Slice the papaya in half and scoop out the seeds
Fill the papaya with the yogurt mixture then top generously with toppings