One of my favorite vacation memories comes from a childhood family trip to Maui, Hawaii. We had just arrived at our hotel and were starving from a long day of travel. We decided to order a light brunch in the main indoor/outdoor dining room. Floor to ceiling windows everywhere were wide open sweeping a soft floral breeze through the lobby. Lush waterfalls, lagoons, floral gardens and tropical tide pools landscaped the property. A loud, yet tranquil chirping of various tropical birds echoed through the lobby.
Gimme Fruit. I was ten, and still exploring my love of fruits and veggies. All I wanted was some tropical fruit! Here’s what arrived on my plate and how you can easily have the same delicious experience at home…without the ticket to Hawaii…
Pink Papaya Bowl. Out came a beautiful platter of fruit as well as an entire half of a papaya. The papaya was sliced into segments inside its half-cut bowl-shaped rind. The center was drizzled in what I think was honey. Maybe a bit of lime. All I remember is scraping the bottom of that rind with my spoon to get every last bit of fresh island papaya.
Papaya: the new grapefruit. I love grapefruit halves. I love to slice the sections into spoonable bits. It’s fun, easy and delicious. Plus there’s no need for a bowl. And most people forget that there are other fruits that can do the same thing. Simply halve the fruit, slice it into sections and you’re set.
Updated Papaya Bowl Recipe. I played around with a few different flavors to accent the papaya bowl with, but this is my favorite. Here’s the two-minute recipe… Papaya Bowl with Lime
½ large papaya, any variety will do though
1 teaspoon agave syrup
½ teaspoon very thick cut sea salt, high quality
½ organic lime
Step one: Cut the large papaya in half.
Step two: Scoop out the black seeds-easy to do, just be careful not to scoop out the tender pink flesh-that is the sweetest part of the papaya!
Step three: Slice the center 1 ½ inches of the papaya. Leave a ½inch border and slice a diamond-like shape from end to end. Then criss-cross the diamond slice into cubed segments. See my picture for reference. You don’t really need to fully slice into cubes because the papaya is so soft it should spoon out easily.
Step four: Squeeze the juice of ½ lime on top of the papaya. Drizzle 1 teaspoon agave syrup. Then sprinkle about ½ teaspoon of thick cut sea salt-high quality on top.
That’s it! Plate with another lime segment and if you want to get really tropical: a hibiscus flower.
Papaya is an incredibly healthy fruit for the high amounts of papain that it contains. Papain is right up there with bromelain from pineapples when it comes to high quality fruit enzymes. Papain aides in digestion, and has been shown to assist in a wide variety of body functions from clearing up allergies to calming skin issues. I recommend eating papaya first think in the morning on an empty stomach and with no other food. Papaya digests very quickly, and thus should be eaten alone.