Papayas always feel special somehow. And it's no wonder: The creamy orange fruit is grown from hardy seeds that can last for up to three years in the proper dry and cool conditions. The plant spread from the Caribbean coast of Panama and Colombia through the south via the aboriginal Americans, and later to the entire Caribbean, Pacific Islands and Europe courtesy of the Spanish explorers. It was introduced to Hawaii in the 1800s, and Hawaii is currently the only U.S. state that produces papaya for commercial purposes.
Papayas offer a wonderful jolt of Vitamin C, potassium, and folate, as well as substantial amounts of fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin E, lutein and lycopene.
Here's a recipe for refreshing Cucumber-Papaya Salad, by way of FoodNetwork.com. And you can easily wipe up any spills with Seventh Generation 100% Recycled Paper Towels, which are made without any added dyes or fragrances.
- 1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded and thinly sliced (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
- 4 teaspoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon peanut oil
- 1 teaspoon minced Hawaiian chilies or chili paste
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
- 1 large papaya, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 6 lettuce leaves
Sprinkle the cucumber with salt and let drain in a colander for 20 minutes. Rinse and pat dry.
In a bowl, whisk together the vinegar, sugar, oil, chilies, and ginger. Add the cucumber, papaya, and cilantro and toss. Line a serving platter or 4 individual plates with lettuce leaves, and top each with about 1/2 cup of salad.