The radishes are staring at you, and you are staring at them. What in the world will you do with 6. You can slice one or two up in a regular green salad with dinner, or perhaps use them in some coleslaw with the cabbage you received this week, but better than that you can get rid of the whole bunch plus your cucumber and any stray carrots left in the ‘fridge with this zesty sweet salad! (You can really tell we focus on 100% basket consumption around here!)
One of the exciting things about Bountiful Baskets is the occasional opportunity to try new fruits and vegetables. Once in a while, something really unique and unavailable in my Northern neck of the middle-of-nowhere
woods Great Plains shows up in the basket. Today’s basket was one of those baskets! Papaya. PAPAYA! The only papaya I have ever tried before today is in Dole Tropical Canned Fruit—obviously not the same at all as eating the real, uncanned, fresh fruit. I am SO EXCITED! And my kids are too! Baloo the bear from Disney’s Jungle Book even sang a song mentioning the Papaya (in the Bare Necessities—you don’t need a claw to pick the big pawpaw!)
It is rumored that Christopher Columbus, upon trying a Papaya, called it the “Fruit of the Angels”. And, an amazing fruit it truly is! Aside from tasting heavenly and sweet, this fruit is PACKED with some power-house nutrients—provitamin A carotenoids, B vitamins, Vitamin C, lycopene, dietary minerals, and fiber, as well as many phytochemicals, including phynols (antioxidants). Papayas have a lot of natural pectin, which is useful for making jellies and jams. It is also the only plant that produces papain, an enzyme which helps break down proteins, and is often used as a meat tenderizer. Papayas are low calorie, and high fiber. The papaya seeds are edible and are sometimes used as a substitute for pepper, as they have a bitter but somewhat peppery flavor. The leaves have been made into teas in some parts of the world to help combat malaria and other ailments. And that is just the tip of the iceberg! Truly, a rather spectacular plant, and a spectacular fruit!
For more information about some of the health benefits of the papaya, here are a few links:
WARNING: If you have a latex allergy and are unable to eat avocados and bananas, you should also avoid eating the papaya, as there could be possible allergic reactions.
Here is how you eat it!
- Wash it
- Cut it in half
- Gently scoop the seeds out. Save the seeds to use in a salad dressing, or discard them.
- Either peel it gently with a knife or a vegetable peeler, or scoop out the soft meat with a spoon or melon baller
- Savor something tropical!
Here are some recipes to try, if you want to venture into cooking with the papaya instead of just chowing down on it!
p.s. If you would like a couple more Papaya recipes, Check out today’s (12-1-12) recipe round-ups!
Looking for a new and unique way to fix your butternut squash from this week’s basket?
Try Garam Masala Butternut Squash Soup. It’s a slighly spicy, different twist on traditional squash soups. Garam Masala is a mixed spice used commonly in Indian dishes. Garam Masala can be purchased pre-mixed or made on your own. See the bottom of a previous blog post for how to make your own garam masala if you cannot find it commercially.
I love Chicken Tikka Masala, but an authentic recipe requires an overnight marinade, grilling, a multitude of ingredients, and many dirty dishes. So, I set out to create a flavor that was pretty close, but could be made by anyone in less than 30 minutes in just one pot.
Gayla shared a recipe for these amazing carrots on our main Facebook page, and graciously agreed to share here. Her version uses coconut oil instead of extra-virgin olive oil, and she made some adjustments to seasoning. The final product is amazing!
Continue reading “Roasted Cumin-Lime Carrots”
The last two months have brought about great changes in my kitchen. We have recently discovered that many of my 7-year-old’s chronic pain issues are due to numerous, severe allergies- both food and environmental. I was already committed to having a “non-processed” pantry and she was already gluten-free so I thought I had the home-cooking lifestyle down pat. But the discovery of allergies to all grains, many fruits and vegetables, and to other basics including olive oil and raw local honey, really set my mind whirling. So much of what I thought was healthy was in fact hurting her. Though I was truly grateful to finally get some answers for my girl I felt depressed, overwhelmed, and totally ill equipped for the task at hand. But, being a somewhat plucky, hard-to-keep-down kind of gal, I quickly got over my pity party and did the best thing I could do. I started to research and started to get into the kitchen and experiment.
Continue reading “Cuckoo For CoCoNut (Oil that is)”