Seasonal Ingredient of the Week: Papaya

Papaya: even the name instantly transports you back to somewhere sunny. When it arrived in the kitchen this week, everyone had stories to share of papaya enjoyed on the beach in the sun, in rum cocktails on holiday or back home in Brazil. And what's better than food that transports you back to remembering celebrated times and memories?  

Now papaya may not be quite the same eaten in London whilst contemplating whether spring will ever decide to arrive, and why we're still wearing our thermals to work in March, but turn up the heating, put on some music and dig in: you'll be transported back to the beach in no time. 

WHY SHOULD I EAT THEM?

Not only are they deliciously sweet and exotic in taste (to really bring out the flavours, squeeze over some lime or lemon juice), they're also rich in colour, vitamins and minerals including vitamins C + A, powerful antioxidants. They're also great for helping with inflammation and have been proven to help in healing burns. The presence of papain in papaya also means they help in digesting proteins such as those found in meat, legumes  + some grains such as quinoa. 

HOW DO I EAT THEM?

- papaya is such a treat eaten raw. To bring out the flavours, cute in half, drizzle with lemon or lime juice, or our personal favourite passionfruit pulp, then tuck in with a spoon. 

- If you want to add papaya to a fruit salad, the flesh can be peeled before dicing but be sure to add just before serving otherwise it makes the other fruits soft. 

- The seeds can also be used, and have a delicious peppery taste. Try blending into creamy salad dressings or sprinkling on the top. 

- papaya is also quite often used in raw salads and dressings. Chop finely and add to a salsa or chop into slices and add to a salad for a 

INTERESTING FACT 

If you're allergic to latex, you're also quite likely to be allergic to papaya, as well as bananas and avocado!