If you’re anything like me, you’re also addicted to papaya.
And if you’re anything like me, then you hate seeing any part of such a big beautiful fruit go to waste.
I have a few tricks up my sleeve about how you can use your papaya seeds in a few ways that means less food waste, and happier bellies.
Papaya Seed Hacks
Papayas are incredibly healing fruits, packed with antioxidants, vitamin e, vitamin a, and vitamin c. They’re incredible for your digestion, and one of the first things I reach for when I land in a new tropical place.
While there are so many benefits that come with eating papaya, it should also be noted that they are also naturally really high in histamines. For more people, this won’t be a problem. However, if you’ve ever experienced MCAS, or have any kind of histamine regulation issues, then you’ll actually want to steer clear of papaya, banana, and avocado (I know, all the good ones, sadly) until you’re a bit more balanced.
As with all plant foods, papayas are best eaten in their natural habitat. So, if you’re living in Seattle and get a papaya at Whole Foods, it probably won’t taste as good as the ones from our farm in Nicaragua, ya know?
For sweeter papayas, look for the ruby red kind. Otherwise known as “Hawaiian papayas” in some countries. These tend to be sweeter than the orange colored papayas, which are more of an acquired taste.
One whole papaya.
Preferably organic, only because non-organic ones are often GMO and sometimes don’t have any seeds in them…wtf, right.
1. Gut health
Option 1 for papaya seed use is simple: eat a few seeds! If you’ve never tried a papaya seed before, you might be in for a shock, because they have a STRONG flavor to say the least. Eating up to 1 teaspoon is okay (not that you’d want anymore than that).
⁃ Papaya seeds are powerful antioxidants, especially high in polyphenols and flavonoids. These two compounds are great ways to fight infections, disease & keep your gut health happy.
⁃ Meaning, try to incorporate 5-10 seeds a day (you can save them in the fridge). They’ve also been said to aid in digestion.
2. Black Pepper Substitute
Next one is drying the seeds (oven or dehydrator), grind them into powder & use as a black pepper substitute!
⁃ Now that you know a little more about the health benefits, you can see why this would pack a powerful punch to your everyday meals.
⁃ Similar to black pepper, a little goes a long way! So no need to adjust the quantity when spicing things.
3. Face Scrub
The last one is less about food for your mouth, as much as it is about food for your SKIN. That’s right, homemade chemical peel coming your way.
⁃ Let me start by saying this should only be done 1-2 week, because it is super strong. It should only be left on for 15 mins MAX, to avoid burning or irritation.
⁃ Topically, these powerful seeds pack the same punch that they do when injected. Meaning, they clean up, tighten & brighten our skin all naturally.
⁃ Crush the seeds (by hand or food processor) until consistency of course sand. Mix with a bit of the papaya meat. This will provide a more soothing effect in conjunction with the stinging of the seeds. You can also use coconut oil instead of the meat (or both together) if you’re comfortable putting coconut oil on your face.
⁃ Spread onto face and neck, and sit for as long as you can bare (haha). Or up to 15 mins (absolute MAX!)
⁃ Rinse off and moisturize as you like to. Your face will feel like a baby’s bum!
How To Store Papaya Seeds
Considering you might not use any of these papaya seed hacks the second you cut open your papaya to eat, it’s important to know how to store the seeds so that they don’t go to waste.
The best way to store seeds is to scoop out the center of the papaya where the seeds are. It’s okay if there’s a bit of the fruit strings attached to it, you can pick it out later on. Put scooped out center into a tupperware with a lid, and then pop it into the refrigerator. This will ensure the seeds stay dry, and mold-free.
I’m hoping that you’re eating your papaya in a tropical place, which is why refrigerator storage is so important. As beautiful as the tropics are, this is also an environment known for its hot, damp weather- which is exactly where mold loves to grow.
If you’re planning on using your papaya seeds in a few hours from the time of opening, it’s probably fine to keep them in a sealed container at room temperature. However, anything longer than that, make sure they’re stored in a cool, dry place for longevity and health.
Have fun with it, my friends!