Rachel Reed

Papaya Seeds: DIY Black Pepper

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Papaya seeds dried and gorundPapaya: low in calories, high in dietary fiber. Packed with vitamins and anti-inflammatory enzymes. Growing on the farm. Extra tasty with a squeeze of lime. Also nice unripe, shredded, in curries. Que bueno. But wait! Don’t forget the seeds: high in (“good”) fat and protein and a good source of calcium, magnesium and phosphorus.  (Source: LiveStrong)

I had never heard of consuming the seeds, raw or otherwise, until I lived with a guy in Philly whose Vietnamese family always ate a few along with the fruit.  I recently read that some Asian Pacific cultures believe the seeds prevent/kill parasites. Though I seem to recall his parents’ logic was related to digestion. Meh.

The seeds taste super spicy raw but once dried and ground make a great black pepper substitute for salad dressings.  How, you ask?  In a strainer, rinse gelatinous coating and any papaya meat residue off seeds.  Set out in sun, if possible, to dry.  It may takes a couple days depending on heat and humidity.  Grind in a pepper mill or coffee grinder.  In the image above the whole, dried seeds are pictured on the right, and ground on the left.  In a small glass dish I mixed my papaya powder with Himalayan salt, so when recipes call for a “pinch” of salt and pepper no need to fret whether you nabbed to much. Okay, now que bueno.