Description: Papaya is a pear shaped fruit with yellow skin when ripe and averages about 7 inches in length. The flesh has a sweet smooth consistency and range in color from pale yellow to deep orange. Their tiny black seeds are edible and slightly peppery.
Facts: The papaya is actually a berry and it grown in tropical climates. The papaya used to be considered an exotic fruit but is now readily available in produce sections at major grocery stores.
Serving Size: ½ cup of fruit
Availability: Available year round with peak season from March to July
Selection: Select papayas that are firm with some yellow streaks and free of blemishes.
Storage: Keep at room temperature for 2 -3 days until it is totally yellow to orange. Papaya can be ripened in a dark area at room temperature or by placing it in a paper bag with a banana to accelerate the ripening process. Only ripe fruit should be refrigerated for up to a week. It should be stored in plastic while in the refrigerator. Papayas bruise easily and should be handled gently.
Nutrition Benefits: Fat free, cholesterol free, sodium free, good source of potassium and folate, excellent source of vitamins A and C.
Phytochemicals: cartenoids, Cryptoxanthin