It’s official: I’m hooked on papayas.
Papaya smoothies, papaya in curry, papaya covered with brown sugar and lime, Thai green papaya salad (alright, so far that one just exists in my head)… but all around, sweet and savory and everything else, I am just adoring everything about this tropical fruit.
Did you know that papayas have these big seeds in them? Er, actually, they’re little. But there’s a lot of them. They are squishy and they taste bitter and spicy and they go straight to the garbage. Gar-bage. I said it.
But actually, every time I cut into one of these gorgeous fruits and before I scoop those seeds into my reject bowl, I just stand in awe for a minute and try to think of yet another angle for photographing how beautiful that sweet, juicy coral-pink-yellow fruit is against the texture of the squishy black seeds.
It’s stunning, really.
This smoothie is my current go-to. I’ve used combinations of pretty much every tropical fruit ever. Mango, papaya, banana, pineapple, pomelo, orange, coconut… gang’s all there. Or not – you can just make this smoothie with a simple papaya, mango, and milk. And maybe a tablespoon of honey or sugar because… I need it. Seriously. This is not fancy stuff. It’s simple ingredients coming together perfectly.
Since they’re in season now, the custodian at our school picks papayas right off the tree on the school property. He slices them up and serves them to all the teachers for a snack. That. Is cool.
Also. This week I bought the world’s biggest papaya from a market on our street. I stopped in on my morning run, and now magically I want to go running every day because fresh juicy papaya, leading to fresh juicy papaya mango smoothies, will be my reward. Win, win, winnn!
This papaya was different than the ones I get at the grocery store – more reddish colored on the inside and more, um, big. And how amazing is the green-yellow pattern outside? It’s amazingly amazing! Why can’t we grow these in the Midwest again?
Truthfully though, as much as I will miss having papayas for breakfast and the precious kiddos at the shelter, our hearts are getting ready to go home. It’s becoming a daily exercise to be present and whole-hearted as we are starting to think ahead to good ol’ Minnesota, our family, our friends, and everything else that awaits us there.
We have 40-something days left to live this chapter of our lives, and my hope for Pinch of Yum in this final stretch is that in addition to being a place for food lovers, it can allow you to experience the beauty of the ministry that we’re a part of and the people who have committed their lives to this work. “Living Abroad” posts have been really fun to write and even more fun to look back on, so thank you for allowing some space for that to happen here this year. I so sincerely appreciate all your encouraging and positive comments about this place and our experience.
Ok, I’m done.
Smoothie. Love. Go.
Quick update: for all my blended stuff these days, I get the best results with my new Blendtec Designer Series Blender. If you’re in the market for a new grown up blender, this has your name all over it.
- 2 large, ripe papayas
- 1 large, ripe mango
- 1 orange
- ¾ cup coconut milk (I used the kind from a can)
- ½ cup regular milk
- 1 tablespoon honey
- Cut the papayas in half and remove the seeds. Cut the peel off the halves, roughly chop the peeled papaya and place in the blender. Cut a mango in half around the pit (there's a large pit down the middle), scoop the flesh out of each half and place in the blender. Peel an orange, separate the sections, roughly chop into small pieces, and place in the blender.
- Cover the fruit with the coconut milk, regular milk, and honey. Blend until very smooth. Add ice and blend until smooth, or serve chilled.
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