Apparently papaya is easy to grow because we have papaya trees popping up all over the property! Another nice thing about papaya is that they produce fruit very quickly. Where as citrus/avocado trees take several years to start producing fruit, papayas start producing fruit in a year or less. Unfortunately, I am not a big fan of papaya! It just smells like funky foot cheese with a little bit of aroma de puke. Regardless, I have tried to figure out ways that we can use all of these papayas, rather then let them rot and be wasted. So far there have been several attempts at different uses for papaya that we have tried:
– Feed them to Sydney (she doesn’t like it that much)
– Dehydrate it (still tastes funky to me)
– Make pepper from the seeds (wasn’t flavorful enough to be used in place of pepper)
– Add green papaya to our salads (this is really good! Thanks for the suggestion Katrina!)
– Feed them to the horses next door (they love it)
– Add it to smoothies (just don’t add too much so you don’t get that funky foot aftertaste)
– Make papaya jam (this is REALLY good!)
Most recently I made papaya jam and it was really, really good and really, really easy. This is what you need:
5 cups of mashed papaya
1/4 cup orange juice
2 cups of sugar
60g of pectin
Remove the papaya seeds, chop up the papaya and mash it up. Leave it chunky if you like chunks of fruit in your jam or throw it in the food processor to make it smoother. Heat the papaya, orange juice and pectin. When it begins to boil stir in the sugar. When it begins to boil again, let it boil for 1 minute (be careful to not let it boil for longer as you risk over-cooking the pectin which can cause your jam to not set correctly). Ladle the jam while it is still hot into sterilized canning jars and let the jam cool.
Wasn’t that easy?! The original recipe called for 5 cups of sugar, but even cutting it down to 2 cups left the jam very sweet (so sweet, in fact that I am going to try it with 1 cup next time). The only hard part to this papaya jam recipe is finding pectin in Puerto Rico. I ended up ordering it on eBay. You can also find it on Amazon.com, but you have to buy it in bulk.
Here is another recipe for papaya jam, that I have not tried yet, but it looks good (and you don’t need pectin):
1 cup papaya
2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Mash the papaya, mix with sugar and heat to a boil. Reduce heat and continue cooking while stirring constantly. When the mixture becomes sticky, add butter and lemon juice. Stir for 1 minute. Let cool.
Anyone have other suggestions on good uses for papaya?