Not sure how to cut up a papaya? Don’t abandon hope of enjoying this delicious tropical fruit! Cutting papaya isn’t as hard as it may seem.
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And papaya fruit is worth the extra effort, as it has a wealth of health benefits, including vitamins A, C and folate. It’s also full of fiber and approximately 88 percent water, which can help aid and even improve digestion.
So next time you see papaya for sale, pick one up! You’ll most likely see them available in summer and fall when they’re in season. Then read on to find out the best way to cut a papaya.
When to Cut a Papaya
Selecting a ripe papaya is the first step to ensuring you’re able to successfully cut and enjoy this fruit at its peak of freshness and sweetness. When choosing your papaya, look for one that has a yellow hue and a slight give when you squeeze it.
If you buy a papaya before it’s ripe, leave it at room temperature and check on it daily until it has the proper color and feel. Unripe papaya is more difficult to cut and can be lacking in taste.
How to Cut a Papaya
Once you’ve determined your papaya is ready to eat, rinse the fruit with water and place it on a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, cut each end off of the fruit. Then cut the papaya in half, lengthwise.
Using a metal spoon, scrape out the seeds and pulp from the inside. Once you’ve cleaned out your papaya, use a paring knife or vegetable peeler to remove the skin.
Now you have the perfect piece of papaya to enjoy. To cut it into slices, make several long slices through the fruit lengthwise until it’s fully cut. To cube your papaya, take the slices and cut each one perpendicular until you have small, bite-sized pieces.
How to Eat a Papaya
Papaya is delicious to eat on its own. To brighten the flavor, add a squirt of lime juice just before eating. For a truly tropical taste, add some toasted coconut.
And believe it or not, papaya seeds are also edible. They give dishes a crunchy texture and a slightly peppery flavor. After removing the seeds from the fruit, you can rinse them with a strainer and let them air dry on a towel. Once dry, crush or grind them before adding them to recipes.
The papaya fruit can be used in any recipe where you would use melon or mango. It’s also a great addition to sweet and savory dishes, such as salads, smoothies and stir-fries.
Here’s one recipe we recommend that uses papaya: