How to Eat Papaya Seeds

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5-09-2019, 16:00
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Updated: September 5, 2019 The next time you slice into a colorful papaya, don't discard its small round seeds! Although the seeds taste spicy and a little bitter, studies show that they have medicinal properties. Try adding raw seeds to foods you already enjoy, such as smoothies, salad dressings or marinades. If you prefer, dry the seeds and grind them into a fine powder. Then, you can use the dried papaya in place of ground black pepper.

Enjoying Raw Papaya Seeds

  1. Slice a papaya in half and scoop out the seeds. Place a ripe papaya on a cutting board and cut it in half lengthwise. Take a spoon and scoop out the seeds from each papaya half.
    • You can eat the papaya fruit or store it in the refrigerator. Put it in an airtight container and store it for up to 5 to 7 days.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon (15 g) of papaya seeds to a smoothie. Although the papaya seeds will make your favorite smoothie bitter, you can mask some of the unpleasant flavor. Try a tropical smoothie by blending the seeds with:
    • 1 cup (225 g) of pineapple chunks
    • 1 cup (230 g) of papaya chunks
    • 1 tablespoon (15 g) of raw papaya seeds
    • 1 teaspoon (2 g) of fresh ginger
    • ⁄2 cup (120 ml) of water
    • ⁄2 cup (120 ml) of coconut milk
    • 3 to 4 ice cubes
    • Honey according to your taste
  3. Scatter raw seeds over food for a spicy garnish. If you're trying to include more papaya seeds in your diet or you just want a unique garnish, place 2 or 3 seeds on food before serving it. For example, use papaya seeds to garnish salad, soup, roasted meats, or grilled vegetables.
    • You can leave the raw seeds whole or crush them slightly.
  4. Blend papaya seeds to make Hawaiian papaya seed dressing. To make a sweet-tart salad dressing that's great for salad greens, sliced onions, or chunks of papaya, combine all of the ingredients in a blender. Blend the dressing until it's completely smooth. You'll need:
    • ⁄3 cup (79 ml) of rice vinegar
    • ⁄3 cup (79 ml) of canola oil
    • 1/2 of a small sweet onion
    • 1 tablespoon (12 g) of honey
    • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 g) of salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon (1 g) of dry mustard
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons (22 g) of fresh papaya seeds
  5. Make a flavorful marinade for chicken, steak, or pork. Scoop all of the seeds from 1 papaya into a large bowl and whisk in 1 clove of minced garlic, ⁄4 cup (59 ml) of coconut cream, 2 tablespoons (2 g) of chopped cilantro, and 1 tablespoon (6 g) of minced fresh ginger. Then, zest 1 lemon and lime and add it to the bowl along with the juice from both fruits. Place the meat or chicken that you want to marinate into the bowl and refrigerate it for 1 to 24 hours.
    • When you're ready to cook the chicken, steak, or pork, remove it from the marinade. Then, toss it on a hot grill and cook the meat until it's as done as you like.
  6. Mix papaya seeds with vinegar and spices to make hot sauce. Place 6 tablespoons (90 g) of raw papaya seeds into a blender with 4 tablespoons (59 ml) of apple cider vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 g) of salt, 1/2 teaspoon (6 g) of honey, and 1 garlic clove. Then, blend the ingredients until they're completely smooth.
    • Use this hot sauce in place of sriracha or tabasco sauce.

Drying and Grinding Papaya Seeds

  1. Cut a papaya in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Place a ripe papaya on a cutting board and use a chef's knife to slice it in half lengthwise. Then, use a spoon to gently scoop out all of the dark seeds from each half of the papaya.
    • To tell if a papaya is ripe, look for skin that's turning yellow and gently press the fruit. It should be slightly soft.
  2. Rinse the seeds under cold water. Place the seeds in a fine-mesh strainer and run cold water over them. You may want to rub the seeds to help some of the sticky membrane wash away. Keep rinsing until you don't feel any membrane on the seeds.
    • It's important to rinse all of the membrane from the seeds since leaving it on the seeds could cause them to spoil.
  3. Preheat the oven to 150 °F (66 °C) and spread the seeds on a sheet. Lay a piece of parchment paper on a rimmed baking sheet and scatter the papaya seeds on it. The seeds should be in a single layer so they dry faster.
    • The parchment paper will prevent the seeds from sticking to the baking sheet as they dry out.
  4. Bake the papaya seeds for 2 to 4 hours. Put the sheet in the preheated oven and leave the seeds to dry. They should harden and become slightly wrinkled once they're finished drying.
    • If you prefer, you could use a dehydrator. Read your owner's manual to determine how long to dehydrate common seeds.
  5. Grind the seeds and use the powder in place of ground black pepper. Once the seeds have cooled, you can place them in a mortar and crush them with a pestle until they're as fine as you like. Then, experiment by flavoring your food with ground papaya seeds instead of black pepper.
    • You can store the dried papaya seeds at room temperature for several years as long as they stay dry. Discard the seeds if they begin to mold.
  6. Mix ground papaya seeds with spices to make a flavor rub. Make a bold dry rub using equal parts of ground dried papaya seeds, cayenne pepper, sea salt, and garlic powder. You could also add your favorite spices or herbs, such as cumin, curry, or coriander.
    • Massage the flavor rub into steaks, chicken breasts, pork chops, or ribs. Then, toss them on the grill to add a smoky flavor.
  7. Try baking with ground papaya seeds. You can add 1 to 2 teaspoons (2 to 4 g) of ground papaya seeds along with spices and baking powder or baking soda in your baked good recipes. For example, add it to papaya muffins, banana bread, or spice bread.
    • The ground papaya seeds will add a slightly spicy flavor to your baked goods. Consider adding it to savory bread or biscuits too!

Tips

  • Papaya seeds can be an acquired taste. If you don't like the flavor the first time you try them, give them another chance!
  • You can eat the papaya seeds raw, but they may taste very bitter and could cause an upset stomach. Eat just 1 or 2 to see how your body handles them before eating them in larger amounts.

Warnings

  • If you're pregnant, it's important that you choose papayas that are ripe. Unripe papayas contain a substance that may cause contractions.

Things You'll Need

Enjoying Raw Papaya Seeds

  • Knife and cutting board
  • Spoon

Drying and Grinding Papaya Seeds

  • Spoon
  • Fine-mesh strainer
  • Knife and cutting board
  • Rimmed baking sheet
  • Parchment paper
  • Mortar and pestle or spice grinder
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