Papaya Peppercorns

My friend Bill once told me that I would have made a great pioneer; I sometimes like to do things the hard way and I don’t like to see anything go to waste. That’s why I was excited to learn that you can use the seeds from a papaya. You can scoop them out and eat them fresh. They are sort of like a caper (though not pickled, but pickling them is an idea). They are spicy and slightly pungent.

You can also turn them into peppercorns. I thought this was very cool. The ground papaya seeds’ taste is hard to distinguish from regular black pepper. It’s easy to make and is an exotic pepper alternative.

Scoop out the seeds from a fresh papaya.
Place in warm water and work with hands to remove pulp.
Let soak overnight.
Bake for at 170 (or at the lowest temperature your stove will go) for 60 minutes or until the seeds are hard.
Cool, then place in a pepper grinder and use as you would pepper.

Apparently the seeds have the same good enzymes that the fruit has, so grind away!

Papaya Chutney

A perfectly ripe papaya with lime is a little bit of sunshine in your mouth. Not only that but if you believe the Word’s Healthiest Food Website, it’s a miracle food. It’s packed with antioxidants, vitamin B, carotene; full of digestive enzymes; a good source of fiber; good for your heart; has anti-Inflammatory properties; good for your immune system and your lungs; protects against macular degeneration and rheumatoid arthritis and can be used as a meat tenderizer…how can anyone pass that up?

I noticed huge papayas in the grocery store the other day so I bought one. I admit I felt slightly guilty knowing how far that fruit had to travel, but I swear our farmers market didn’t have any, so I indulged.

chutneyI adapted this recipe from Nourishing Traditions.

3 cups of chopped papaya (you can substitute mango)
1/4 cup of chopped onion
1/2 cup of lime juice
1 Tablespoon of fresh grated ginger
a handful of fresh chopped cilantro (about 1/4 cup; you can also add fresh mint)
1 teaspoon of salt
1/4 cup of chopped jalapeno
1/4 cup of chopped roasted red pepper (or regular red pepper)
2 Tablespoons of sugar
1/4 cup of whey

Slice papaya in half, length-wise. Scoop out the seeds and save them.
Scoop out the papaya flesh, leaving the peel.
Mixed all ingredients.
Place in a jar. Slightly pack the ingredients into the jar so that everything is covered with liquid. Add more water if necessary.
Cover tightly and leave at room temperature for two days.
Transfer to the fridge. It should keep for about two months.

You can add papaya chutney to anything- fish, pork, chicken. We topped our shrimp tacos with it last night….ymmmm.