Papaya is a tender and juicy fruit that many kids love. Those who aren't sure about the tropical fruit may love it baked into a treat or a savory dish. Introduce this nutrient-packed fruit to your family with a few oven-baked goodies.
Papaya packs a lot of nutrition into very few calories. The fruit's bright orange hue means it's high in vitamin A. Papaya also has a significant concentration of vitamin C, potassium and fiber. One cup of papaya contains 62 calories and just a trace of fat. Tropical cakes, pies and other goodies made with papaya may be lower in fat than a cream-based dessert.
Bake papaya in its own shell as a savory accompaniment for meats and fish. Scoop the papaya flesh and seeds out of the peel. Chop the fruit and discard the black seeds. Add seasonings, such as pepper, onion, garlic and bread crumbs. Saute the papaya mixture to shorten the cooking time, or go ahead and stuff the shells with the uncooked fruit mixture. Prevent the fragile papaya shell from burning in the oven by setting it in 1/2 inch of water in a baking dish. Baked the stuffed shells at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 to 30 minutes or until heated through.
The sweet juiciness of papaya gives cakes, cookies and strudels a moist texture and tropical flavor. The fruit combines well with other tropical fruits, such as pineapple. A ripe papaya may leak juices when pies and pastries bake. Use thickening agents to help contain the juices so you can enjoy dessert without a mess. An additional tablespoon of flour or cornstarch per crust will do the trick.
The unripe skin of papaya is green in some varieties and yellow in others. As the fruit ripens, a green papaya turns yellow and a yellow-skinned fruit turns orange. The inner flesh of the papaya ranges from bright orange to a regal gold. Bake only with ripe papayas whose outer skins are mostly yellow or orange, but never green. Green unripe papayas contain latex, a substance that can upset your stomach.
- California Rare Fruit Growers: Papaya Fruit Facts
- Epicurious: Baked Papaya
- University of Florida IFAS Extension: South Florida Tropicals: Papaya
- Some Fruits of Hawaii; Carey D. Miller, Katherine Bazore and Ruth C. Robbins
- The Brain Power Cookbook; Frank Lawlis and Maggie Greenwood-Robinson
- The Tropical Vegan Kitchen; Donna Klein
- Purdue University: Freezing Pies
- PhotoObjects.net/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images