THE ELECTRIC KITCHEN
STAR-BULLETIN / 1998
Along with assorted vitamins and minerals, papaya is high in enzymes that aid in digestion.
Papaya is a true nutritional superstar
We tend to take for granted some of the best things available to us in Hawaii. One is the Hawaii-grown papaya. According to the Hawaii Papaya Industry Association, papayas are one of the healthiest fresh fruits. They're low in fat, a good source of fiber and an excellent source of Vitamins C and E and beta-carotene. Papayas are also a very good source of calcium, potassium and Vitamins A and B.
Did you know that papayas are also rich in enzymes that stimulate stomach secretions and aid digestion? They contain such protein-digesting enzymes as papain and chymopapain.
Look for papayas with smooth, unblemished skin. They should be partly or completely yellow, depending on variety, and they should give slightly to pressure, but should not be soft at the stem end. Avoid papayas that are bruised, shriveled or have soft areas, as that damage can spoil the flavor of the fruit.
Papayas are shipped to the market mature, but at various degrees of ripeness. The fruit can easily be ripened at home by leaving slightly green fruit at room temperature in a paper bag. Ripe papayas can be placed in a plastic bag and refrigerated. They'll keep for up to a week, but it is best to eat them within a day or two.
For more information on this locally grown "superfood," check out the Hawaii Papaya Industry Association's Web site, www.hawaiipapaya.com. Here are a few tried-and-true recipes from our files.
Papayas Stuffed with Chicken Curry
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon minced ginger
1-1/2 tablespoons flour
2 to 3 teaspoons curry powder
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup milk
2 cups cubed cooked chicken
2 firm ripe papayas, halved and seeded
1/4 cup flaked, unsweetened coconut, toasted (optional)
Lime slices, for garnish
In a saucepan, heat butter; add onion, garlic and ginger; sauté 5 minutes.
Add flour, salt and curry powder; mix well. Gradually stir in broth and milk; cook until thickened.
Stir in chicken; spoon into papaya halves and top with coconut. Serve with chutney. Garnish with lime slices. Serves 4.
Approximate nutritional analysis, per serving (not including optional coconut and chutney): 300 calories, 11 g total fat, 5 g saturated fat, 80 mg cholesterol, 250 mg sodium, 25 g carbohydrate, 4 g fiber, 14 g sugar, 26 g protein.
Green Papaya Salad
2 very green papayas, pared and seeded
1 clove garlic
2 or 3 Hawaiian red chili peppers, seeded
3 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce
1 large tomato, slivered
Lettuce or small cabbage leaves
Condiments: Finely chopped peanuts, shrimp flakes mixed with a little sugar, lime wedges
In a food processor, coarsely shred papayas.
Process or blend garlic, red peppers, lime juice and fish sauce. Combine this mixture with papaya and tomato.
To serve, place a portion of the mixture on a lettuce or cabbage leaf; fold into a packet. Serve with choice of condiments. Serves 6.
Approximate nutritional analysis, per serving: 70 calories, no fat or cholesterol, 450 mg sodium, 16 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 2 g sugar, 2 g protein.
Macadamia Papaya Seed Dressing
1/2 small Maui onion
1 tablespoon papaya seeds
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup tarragon vinegar
1/2 cup macadamia nut oil
In a food processor or blender, chop onion and papaya seeds, using pulsing action.
Add sugar, mustard, salt and vinegar; blend well. Continue to blend, gradually adding oil in slow, steady stream. Makes 1 cup.
Approximate nutritional analysis, per 2-tablespoon serving: 160 calories, 14 g total fat, 1 g saturated fat, no cholesterol, 75 mg sodium, 9 g carbohydrate, no fiber, 8 g sugar, 1 g protein.
Hawaiian Electric Co. presents this weekly collection of recipes as a public service. Many are drawn from HECO's database of recipes, accessible online at www.heco.com