This is the fruit of a low (up to ten meters) palm tree with a thin trunk without branches. Its top is decorated with a “hat” of huge cut leaves up to a meter in diameter, in the axils of the cuttings of which flowers develop.
The period from planting a seed to the first harvest is only a year and a half. In addition, it is very unpretentious and bears fruit all year round. Today, papaya is grown in many countries with similar climates, including Thailand, India, Brazil, and Peru.
According to scientific classification, the tree belongs to the cruciferous family (as the cabbage known in our area). Unripe fruits are used as a vegetable – for baking and making soups. Ripe – eaten like a fruit and prepare desserts with it.
Composition and calorie content
The inner cavity is filled with a large number of seeds – 700 or more. Papaya fruits contain glucose and fructose, organic acids, proteins, fiber, beta-carotene, vitamins C, B1, B2, B5 and D. Minerals are represented by potassium, calcium, phosphorus, sodium, iron.
- Proteins, g: 0.6.
- Fat, g: 0.1.
- Carbohydrates, g: 9.2
- The calorie content of papaya is about 38 kcal / 100g of pulp.
Therefore, it can be considered a dietary fruit.
The benefits of papaya
Ripe fruits are a great, low-calorie, easily digestible food that is especially appreciated by weight watchers. In addition to a large amount of protein and fiber, they contain:
- organic acids;
- micro and macro elements, including potassium, calcium, iron;
- vitamins of group B, C, A, and D;
- papain, which acts like gastric juice.
- Due to its composition, papaya is extremely useful. It helps in the treatment of duodenal ulcers, heartburn, colitis, bronchial asthma, liver diseases, and improves digestion. Papaya is also recommended for people with diabetes – papaya juice helps normalize sugar.
Despite the tropical origin of the fruit, papaya can be eaten even by pregnant women, women with hepatitis B and small children. Ripe fruits perfectly tone up and have a positive effect on the immune system.
Papaya juice is used for medicinal purposes for vertebral hernias. It is also an effective anthelmintic. Externally, it is used to relieve pain from skin injuries and burns, to treat eczema and insect bites.
In cosmetology, papaya juice has also shown its effectiveness. It is often found in creams for depilation, lightening freckles, even skin tone and relief.
Papaya can cause allergic reactions. The greatest danger lies in unripe fruits, they contain alkaloids that can cause severe poisoning and irritation of the mucous membranes. Only after consulting a doctor is it permissible for pregnant and lactating mothers to consume papaya.
What papaya looks like
Fruits reach weight from 1-3 to 6-7 kilograms. The diameter of the fruit is from 10 to 30 cm, the length is up to 45 cm. The ripe papaya has a golden-amber rind, and the flesh is yellow-orange.
For export, papaya is removed from the tree while still green, so that the fruits are less crumpled during transportation. If you purchased an unripe fruit, you can leave it in a dry, dark place – it will ripen over time. Store ripe papaya in the refrigerator for no more than a week.
What does papaya taste like?
Externally and in chemical composition, this fruit resembles the well-known melon (hence the other name for palm). Many people compare the taste of an unripe fruit with the taste of a sweet carrot, zucchini or pumpkin, and a ripe one with the same melon. Different varieties of papaya have their own aftertaste. There are fruits with apricot notes, there are – with floral, and even chocolate-coffee.
In consistency, ripe papaya is soft, slightly oily, similar to mango, ripe peach or melon.
As for the smell, most people say that it resembles raspberries.
The fruit is usually consumed fresh. Ripe fruits are cut in half, peeled and peeled, and eaten with a spoon. In Thai cuisine, fruits are added to salads; in Brazil, jams and sweets are made from unripe fruits. Papaya can be dried or baked over a fire, used as decoration for pastry dishes and snacks.
The seeds of the fruit are dried, ground and used as a spice. They are distinguished by their spicy taste, thanks to which they are successfully used as a substitute for black pepper.
Papaya is compatible with apples, pineapple, melon, pear, banana, kiwi, strawberry, orange, prune, dried apricots, mango, fig, cocoa, chicken, beef, white wine, seafood, rice, yogurt, mint, cardamom, cinnamon, butter , egg.
Popular papaya dishes:
• Fruit croutons.
• Salad with ham.
• Caramel dessert.
• Chocolate cake.
• Chicken breast in wine.
• Shrimp appetizer.
• Rice kozinaki with dried fruits.
• Beefsteak with papaya.
The smell of fresh fruit pulp may seem unpleasant to people who are not used to this fruit. It is similar to raspberries, and when baked, it resembles a bread flavor.