Papaya Time!

If I was living in Michigan right now I’d be getting apples, pears and pumpkins at the farmer’s market. Because that’s what I’ve done my whole life. Until this year. When you’ve lived with four seasons your whole existence you don’t even realize how life sort of revolves around the seasons.  I have to say that it’s a little strange going into the credit union and seeing it decorated for Halloween when it’s 82 degrees outside. It’s pretty much never 82 degrees in October in Detroit. And there are never papayas at the farmers markets there… never. In October in Michigan you go to the cider mill and drink apple cider and eat cinnamon donuts. You buy apples and pears and pumpkins. That’s just what you do.

But apples and pears don’t grow well in Hawaii. You can certainly find them, but they’ve traveled long distances and Mike and I are making a commitment to buy and eat local as much as possible.  I’ve been getting to know the local fruits and experimenting with ways to use them. Mike and I found some beautifully ripe papayas, which he loves (and grew up eating) so we bought one. I wanted to surprise Mike with a papaya concoction so I made little yogurt boats out of it. They were so delicious I thought I’d share the recipe here…

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I’m still working on my Photoshop skills so this picture isn’t as great as the real thing. But, trust me, it was yumsicles!

Papaya Yogurt Boats

1 papaya, halved and seeds scooped out (make sure to get non GMO papayas…yuck!)

3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt

1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon raw local honey

1 teaspoon fresh lime juice

2 drops Young Living lime vitality essential oil

1/2 teaspoon grated lime zest

2 tablespoons chopped pecans

Cut a small slice off the back side of each papaya half so they lay flat on the plate. Mix together yogurt, honey, lime juice, lime essential oil and half the lime zest. Spoon yogurt mixture into the hallows of the papaya halves. Top with remaining lime zest and pecans.

Enjoy!

Green Papaya: Fruit or Veg?

As someone who tries to eat local organic food as much as possible, it has been a bit of a challenge figuring out what to do with some of the local fruits here. I mean, we don’t have local bananas, soursop, pineapples and papayas in Detroit. Because, you know, they don’t grow there. Lucky for me, I love me a good challenge!

One thing I really love that is hard to find in  Michigan is green papaya salad. Typically you might find this on the menu in a Vietnamese or Thai restaurant, but it’s sort of rare to see them in Detroit. Too bad because that is one delicious salad! Although papaya is a fruit, when picked young it has a mild taste and crunchy texture and is used as a vegetable in Asian cooking.

At the farmer’s markets here in Hawaii, you can often find shredded green papaya in bags. This is super handy if you don’t want to shred the papaya yourself. However, we scored this amazing peeler set when we went to the Kakaako market one Saturday, it’s called the Wiki Wiki peeler set and it is amazing! Look what it did to our papaya…

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The Wiki Wiki took the outer skin off this papaya like nobody’s business
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Then the second peeler turned the papaya into perfect shreds… what the what?

I think it’s the serrated blades on this thing that make it so amazing. I can’t believe I’m so excited about a vegetable peeler, but, come on! That is pretty cool if I do say so myself!

Another thing we bought at the farmer’s market was Hawaiian chili pepper water. It’s a condiment that is used a lot here and, I have to tell you, I am addicted! I will try and figure out a recipe one day so that everyone can share in my joy. It’s not a traditional ingredient in green papaya salad but I personally think it should be. Our family agrees. Even my mother-in-law said that she likes my green papaya salad better than the ones in the restaurants here. I am giving credit to the chili pepper water for that!

Green Papaya Salad

Salad:

1 green papaya, shredded

1/2 cup Chinese parsley (cilantro), chopped

5 green onions, chopped (about 1/2 cup

1/2 Japanese cucumber (or any small seeded cucumber such as English), thinly sliced

1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half (optional)

1/2 cup chopped peanuts (roasted and salted)

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Assemble salad ingredients in a large bowl. This may be done up to one day ahead of time (except wait to add peanuts until just before serving)

 

 

 

 

Dressing:

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Make sure to warn your guests not to eat the chili pepper (unless they love spice). You can also remove it just before adding the dressing to the salad.

1/3 cup olive oil

1 Tablespoon shoyu or soy sauce

1 Tablespoon Hawaiian chilipepper water (or 1 teaspoon hot sauce mixed with 2 teaspoons water)

2 limes, juiced (about 1/4 cup)

1 Hawaiian or Thai chilli pepper, cut in half and seeded

2 drops Young Living lime essential oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

 

Directions:

Combine salad ingredients in a large bowl. Mix dressing ingredients together well in a small bowl then pour over salad. Toss well and serve.

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Come to mama you delicious salad!

Soursop: A Spiky Fruit with Big Taste

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This week is turning out to be Tropical Fruit Exploration Week for me. Mike and I loaded up on all kinds of mysterious fruits (to us anyway) at the farmer’s market and now I’m trying to figure out what to do with them. Not a bad problem to have and actually pretty fun! I’m also learning a lot about which fruits are indigenous to Hawaii and which fruits were brought here for cultivation (well they all were brought here by someone or something but I think you know what I mean).

Today’s experimental fruit is soursop. I didn’t even realize that I had seen products containing this fruit before. As a big fan of Mexican grocery stores in Detroit, we’ve actually seen it called by it’s other name; guanabana. You can find it at E &L Mercado in Detroit in the freezer section as pulp or in the juice section. They might even have it fresh… who knows?

Soursop has a sweet and sour flavor; a bit like guava, and a creamy yet fibrous texture. It has been noted to have some quite amazing health benefits ranging from cancer prevention to curing a hangover… sign me up!  It’s porcupine-like appearance makes it seem a bit daunting but I went ahead and decided to turn it into a smoothie.

cut-fruit-1First things first… you need to extract the pulp. I read that it’s easy to slice the fruit in half then scoop out the flesh with a spoon. Um… no. That didn’t work so well as the fruit is extremely fibrous and sticks to the exterior of the fruit like crazy. In addition, there are some really big seeds in there which were popping out all over as the spoon was just digging into nothing. I made a big, sloppy mess of the first half. No bueno.

So, for the second half, I decided to cut of the outer peel. This worked much better! I was able to then cut it into chunks and push all the seeds out. I collected all the pulp in a bowl and just pressed it with my fingers to make sure that I had gotten all the seeds… phew!

I decided to make a smoothie with the pulp since it was breakfast time, I was hungry, and I was getting tired of my usual smoothie ingredients. I also thought the creaminess of the fruit would be a nice texture in a smoothie and also that blending it would help to break up all the fibre. I have to say, it was pretty delicious! Muy bueno!

Soursop (guanabana) Smoothie

Ingredients:cut-in-blender-1

Pulp of 1/2 soursop, about 3/4 cup (you can also use frozen pulp which would actually be much easier)

1 small banana

3/4 cup frozen fruit (I used pineapple and mango)

3/4 cup fresh kale or spinach leaves

2 scoops protein powder- I use Young Living Pure Protein Complete; vanilla spice flavor

1 1/2-2 cups coconut milk

Directions:

Place all ingredients in a blender and process on high until smooth…yumsicles!

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