Papaya is an all-rounder fruit that can be used for a myriad of reasons. It has proven health benefits and is loved by many. Being a super versatile fruit, it is a staple in many households that can be used in fruit salads, your meals, and marinating. However, the most widespread use of papaya is in smoothies.
One issue with papaya fruit is that it is highly perishable and can go bad sooner than you would expect. One way this issue can be tackled is by freezing papaya. This article is the ultimate guide to freezing papaya fruit to perfection, so keep on reading!
Yes, you can freeze papaya. Papaya starts to ripe as soon as you cut it. Thus, freezing is the only way to slow down the ripening. Dip the papaya in a 30% sugar solution and leave it in the freezer to freeze it.
The bonus point of frozen papaya is that it can be used directly (as frozen) in your smoothies. There won’t be any noticeable change in the taste of the fruit, given that you freeze it the right way.
What is the best way to freeze papaya?
Frozen papaya can last you super long and be used in fresh smoothies. But if not frozen properly, this yummy fruit can go bad quickly. Follow the steps below to freeze your papaya to perfection!
5 steps to freezing papaya!
STEP 1: Cut the ripen papaya
Cut a medium-sized fresh and ripe papaya in half. Make sure you cut it length-wise so that it is easier to clean the insides.
STEP 2: Remove the seeds
Remove the seeds and scrape any of the strings that you see.
STEP 3: Chop the cleaned papaya into cubes
After cleaning the center, chop up the fruit into smaller cubes.
STEP 4: Line the pieces on a tray and freeze
Line the freshly chopped papaya pieces on a baking sheet lined with parchment or butter paper so that the papaya doesn’t stick to the tray. Pop the tray in the freezer until the papaya cubes are completely frozen.
STEP 5: Transfer the cubes to a freezer-safe container
Transfer the frozen papaya cubes to a freezer-safe ziplock bag or an airtight Tupperware container so that the fresh fruit can have maximum protection against air.
Using a vacuum sealer
One other way to freeze your papaya is by using a vacuum sealer. Simply follow steps 1-3 mentioned above and transfer the frozen papaya cubes to a vacuum sealer bag. Seal the bag as per the instructions mentioned on the vacuum sealer and freeze it. This method allows you to portion the fruit however you prefer.
Here is an interesting post on freezing queso at home!
How do you thaw frozen papaya?
You must know how to defrost frozen papaya because if you go wrong on this step, all your hard work could go down the drain. The methods mentioned below will guide you on how to thaw frozen papaya!
Method 1: Defrost your papaya in the fridge
If you are going to use the frozen papaya the next day, then you should leave it overnight (24 hours) in the fridge. This method will slowly thaw your papaya, and you will have it fully defrosted by the time you want to use it the next day.
Method 2: Defrost on the countertop
Leave the frozen fruit on the kitchen countertop for an hour or two, and you will have defrosted papaya super soon. This method is suitable if you want to use the papaya on the same day.
How do I know the papaya has gone bad?
If your papaya has brown bruises and several sunken marks on its surface, then your papaya has gone bad. Moreover, a fermented smell and bitter taste also indicate a rotten papaya.
Is frozen papaya as good as fresh?
Frozen papaya will taste as good as fresh if frozen properly. Properly frozen papaya will retain its taste and texture for 4 months. You can add it to smoothies to enjoy it.
Amidst the ongoing pandemic, making recurrent trips to the grocery store is neither safe nor possible. Therefore, the best option to stock up your favorite fruits is by storing them in the freezer.
How do you use frozen green papaya?
The unripe green papaya can be used as a salad, pickle, or as a topping in a chilled dessert. Green papaya is also a meat tenderizer.
Also read this article about freezing mint leaves for later use!
Are papayas healthy?
Papayas are mostly popular for their numerous health benefits. They are enriched with antioxidants vitamin A, C, and E, which make them great for your health. Diets that are high in antioxidants may reduce the risk of heart diseases.
How do you store leftover papaya? – 2 steps to storing papaya
You don’t have to deal with bad papaya anymore. The steps mentioned below will guide you on how to store leftover papaya.
If you wish to consume your leftover papaya in the next 2-3 days, then you should do it as follows.
STEP 1: Let the papaya rest on the counter
If you have a papaya cut in half, then you can leave it as-is on the counter. But this method is only feasible when you are sure of consuming it in the next 2 days.
The thin brown layer that you see on the papaya after leaving it on the counter for a while is the fruit’s natural way to preserve itself.
STEP 2: Remove the brown layer
Using a knife, scrape the brown layer off and consume as you wish. Make sure you leave the seeds in if you want to go by this method.
If you don’t want to deal with the brown crusty top, then just cover the cut papaya with a kitchen towel and leave it on the counter. Consume it in the next 2-3 days.
When should we not eat papaya?
Unripe papaya should always be cooked before consuming, especially during pregnancy, as its high latex levels can be harmful to pregnant women and can also lead to birth defects.
What is the side effect of eating papaya?
Papaya can possibly be unsafe if taken in large amounts by mouth as it could damage the esophagus. Applying papaya as latex on the skin can cause a severe allergic reaction to some people. Nausea or vomiting is rarely suspected, which is caused by an enzyme called papain that is present in papaya.
Furthermore, you should never consume water when you have just eaten papaya as this will affect your digestive system.
Papaya is rich in fiber which means that it helps in facilitating bowel movements. Chugging down water immediately after may cause diarrhea, and being already high in water content, papaya fruit can disturb the pH of the inner lining of your stomach.
Can you eat papaya seeds raw?
Papaya seeds are edible, however they have a bitter taste. Moreover, if you do not chew them properly, they can upset your stomach.
Concluding my thoughts on freezing papaya!
One of the best attributes of papaya is that it tastes as good as new even after being frozen. This article has all the dos and don’ts of freezing papaya and has the answer to any other questions you might have had. With that being said, you can fairly call yourself a papaya fruit guru after reading this article!
Check out this article on freezing bean sprouts!