Summer is well and truly with us, and this means it is time to keep yourself well hydrated more than ever.
The heat can be draining (you need no telling) and especially if you have a job that requires you to be constantly outdoors. And with the sun beating down with little sympathy, it’s easy to lose your cool, literally and figuratively, never mind a dip in energy levels. Thankfully, the season also brings with it a wealth of deliciously ripe produce comprising the freshest seasonal fruits and vegetables.
For lovers of papaya, you can expect it to be better tasting, most nutritious and least expensive at this time of year because it is in season.
But who said you have to enjoy papaya as you have been all the way through?
If you are looking for more nutritious ways to beat the heat, then it is time to trade in your sugar-infused lemonades and ice cream cones for scrumptious summer fruit.
Or is it not?
The beauty of papaya is that it happens to be an extremely versatile fruit and can be enjoyed in a whole bunch of fantastic summery ways.
Let’s give you a couple of ideas because, well, we love sharing!
Cut chunks of papaya, banana and mango and dip them into cold lemon yoghurt. Then sprinkle with toasted coconut if you can find some readily. If not, crushed cereal will do the trick.
The result? A refreshing and mouthwatering summer treat even ice cream cannot hold court with.
Take a ripe papaya that is soft to the touch and slice it in half, lengthwise. Spoon out the seeds then dig out some of the flesh as to form a small well.
Stuff it with yoghurt (fat-free if you fancy) and throw in some walnuts, raisins and chopped strawberries. If you need it sweeter you can add some organic maple syrup (honey too).
There are countless ways to make papaya smoothies to enjoy in summer.
One of our favorites involves a combination of papaya, banana, milk, yoghurt, vanilla and ice cubes. Simply take these ingredients and toss them in the blender. Process until smooth. That’s it.
Alternatively, take 1½ cups frozen papaya cubes and 1 sliced and frozen banana. Juice 1 carrot – it will accentuate the orange color and add even more nutrients. Take two limes and do the same – the limes will give the smoothie a fun kick. Get some ginger (for a little zing) and mince it into a teaspoon – or two depending on taste. And have a cup of coconut milk on hand.
Put all these ingredients in a blender and puree until the mixture achieves desired consistency, adding a little of either coconut milk or carrot juice until it is as creamy and smooth. Drink immediately.
Nothing hits the spot on a sweltering day in the middle of summer like a popsicle. But unlike your regular popsicles from the store, the homemade papaya edition will cool you off while providing a host of nutritional benefits that come with papayas – high natural sugar content, a long list of vitamins, digestive enzymes you name it.
To prepare papaya popsicles, you will need 2 cups of diced papaya, 1/3 cup water, ¼ cup fresh lime juice, ¼ cup agave syrup and some popsicle molds and sticks (yields about 5).
Blend all these ingredients together, then take the papaya blend and pour it into popsicle molds. Stick a popsicle stick in there and put in the freezer for about 6-8 hours. When it’s time to serve them, pour hot water briefly on the outside of the mold for a few seconds to free the popsicles from the mold, and voila!
Papaya popsicles are a snack best served as a surprise (we think) – when they least expect it. They will love you for it.
Got some prosciutto? Good. Take one ripe papaya and cut it into thin but meaty strips. Serve them with strips of prosciutto drizzled lightly with lime juice.
Makes for a perfect summer appetizer.
Get a ripe papaya and dice it into sizeable chunks.
Add to chicken, shrimp or tuna salad. Enjoy.
Ice cubes on a hot summer day are a welcome sight; and fruit-infused ice cubes give water a refreshing and irresistible burst of flavor.
One tried and true method to transform your cubes from bland to tantalizing is to make papaya fruit ice cubes. They are incredibly simple to prepare and chances are you have everything you need to make them.
Pick a ripe papaya, peel and take out the seeds. Cut into chunks and blend into a puree. Add some water if it is too thick. Next, pour the pureed papaya into ice cube trays and freeze until firm.
Ta-dah – gorgeous, flavorful papaya-flavored ice cubes!
What’s your favorite fruit of the season?