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Banana Papaya Pops

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This is my first summer here in Tucson.  Holy heat wave it’s hot here!  As a person who eats a high raw diet, I am in luck so far because the temps haven’t exceeded 115 degrees, so my insides are still raw.  :)  This morning we went to the St. Phillips Farmer Market (which is amazing) but at 8:00 a.m. it was already in the high 90′s.  Bless the vendors heart for I do not understand how they can stand out there for 4 hours!  Within an hour my inner core was roasting and all I could think of was about my Banana Papaya Pops back home in the freezer!  Humans don’t belong in such temperatures. (haha)  I have yet to figure out how to find a comfortable medium though.  Outside I roast, inside I freeze.  At least in all the years I lived in Alaska I was cold outside and cold inside!

Anyway, I am a lover of papaya.  My relationship with it though started off a bit rocky.  My first introduction to it was back when I was 15 years old.  I was given a taste of a very UNripe papaya and it tasted like soap to me.  Back then I didn’t really give much thought to the taste differences that can happen between a ripe or unripe fruit.  About a year passed by and I thought I would give papaya another try.  This time it came from the bulk bin from the store I worked in.  It was dried and had been dried in a bucket of sugar, or at least that is what it tasted like.  So needless to say,  I never gave papaya much thought until a few years back.  Once I learned to eat it ripe,  I was introduced to a whole new world of flavor!  I really enjoy it just cut up but I also love how it transforms my morning smoothies into something creamy.  Let’s not forget to mention how darn good it is for you!  Papaya is high in digestive enzymes.

If you are new to papayas and wonder what they taste like…(when ripe) the orange flesh is deliciously sweet with musky undertones and a soft, butter-like consistency.  You don’t want to eat the peel.  After cutting one open DON’T throw away the seeds!  Papaya seeds are used in many recipes and have several health benefits. They have a peppery taste and can be ground up and used as a substitute for black pepper.  As an example you can blend papaya seeds into a dressing for a peppery flavor.  The seeds can also be eaten by themselves, sprinkled on salads, or added to smoothies.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups cubed papaya = 3 cups blended
  • 4 cups diced frozen bananas = 3 bananas
  • 2 Tbsp agave nectar
  • 1/4 cup nut milk (I used almond milk)

Preparation:

Papaya Layer:

  • In the blender  or food processor combine the papaya and agave.  Blend till creamy.
  • You may need more or less agave, it depends on how ripe your papaya is.  So I encourage you to taste test as you go.

Banana Layer:

  • In the blender combine the banana and nut milk, blending until it resembles soft serve ice cream.

Assembly:

  1. Using 3oz Dixie cups, alternate layers till you fill the cup to the top, tapping them slightly to work out any air pockets.
  2. Poke in your popsicle sticks and freeze.
  3. OR you can eat as is….soft serve!!
  4. I had some left over papaya so I made some pops that were just made from that.  Oh yummy!

 

How to Select and Store

  1. If you want to eat them within a day of purchase, choose papayas that have reddish-orange skin and are slightly soft to the touch. Those that have patches of yellow color will take a few more days to ripen.
  2. Papayas that are totally green or overly hard should not be purchased, unless you are planning on cooking them, or unless you want to use green papayas in a cold dish like an Asian salad, as their flesh will not develop its characteristic sweet juicy flavor.
  3. While a few black spots on the surface will not affect the papaya’s taste, avoid those that are bruised or overly soft. Papayas are more available during the summer and fall; however, you can usually purchase them throughout the year.
  4. Papayas that are partially yellow should be left at room temperature where they will ripen in a few days. If you want to speed this process, place them in a paper bag with a banana. Ripe papayas should be stored in the refrigerator and consumed within one or two days, so you can enjoy their maximum flavor.
  5. For the most antioxidants, eat papaya fully ripened.

Info by WHFoods

 

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Banana-Papaya-Pops

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