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Papaya Orange Creamsicles

April 27, 2010 - Jill Anderson

Before moving to Florida about a decade ago I had never eaten a fresh papaya.  There was a canned tropical fruit cocktail blend that had pineapple, mango and these icky, slippery chunks of some squishy orange fruit that didn't have much flavor except for SUGAR! 

That being my only experience with papaya, I just assumed that I did not like them and that was that.  The first time I tasted a fresh ripe papaya was a bit of an eye opening experience.  Their flesh is sweet, succulant and somewhat creamy.  They are wonderful!  There is NO resemblence whatsoever to that mushy canned stuff.

Papaya Facts

Papaya are pretty much available year round...especially here in Florida.  They are a tropical fruit in every sense of the word and require year round warm temperatures to thrive. 

It is thought that the fruit originated in Mexico and spread into South America.  Hawaii is now one of the largest producers of papaya in the world.  Some varieties of papaya can weigh as much as twenty pounds but three pounds is a typical size for the Maradol. 

The tough skin is not edible but the seeds are.  They have a spicy, peppery flavor and dried papaya seeds are used in place of pepper in some ethnic cuisines.  The flesh of the papaya may be eaten ripe or green though the green must be cooked. 

Smell the fruit.  Ripe papaya will smell sweet and flowery.  The skin may be green with significant yellowing or completely yellow.  Usually they are purchased green and easily ripened on the counter at home.  Two or three days is generally enough.  To slow down the ripening process, wrap in paper towels and stash inside one of those "green" bags. 

You may also halve and seed your ripe papaya.  Peel and cut the fruit into cubes and pack into containers or zippered bags to stash in your freezer for smoothies.  This is what I do so that I always have some on hand.

Papaya Orange Creamsicles

This recipe takes advantage of your stash of frozen ripe papaya!

  • 1 cup frozen papaya cubes
  • 1 large navel orange
  • 1/2 cup organic full fat unsweetened coconut milk
  1. Use a rasp (zester) and remove 2 teaspoons of orange zest; set aside.  With a paring knife, peel away only the colored orange outer layer of the orange.  For this application you want to leave the white pith around the orange segments.
  2. Run the orange through a juicer.  You will have about 3/4 cup of fresh orange juice.  Pour the juice into your blender and add frozen papaya chunks and coconut milk.  Blend until smooth.  Pour mixture into a bowl and stir in reserved orange zest.
  3. Fill 6 (2 ounce) moulds of choice with papaya mixture.  It may be thick enough to stand a lollipop stick in it right away but if it isn't, place in the freezer for 15-20 minutes.  Place lollipop stick in the center of the mould all the way to the bottom.  Freeze pops until firm. 
  4. Unmold and eat as is or serve with some simple raspberry puree.  Make by adding 1 pint of fresh organic raspberries to the blender with 2 tablespoons of either honey or raw blue agave nectar.  Blend until smooth; strain out the seeds. 

Note:  I do not add any additional sweetener to the creamsicles themselves because they happen to be sweet enough for my taste.  However, if you find you like a sweeter treat, add honey or agave nectar to the papaya mixture when blending.

If you have children (or even if you don't), I hope you will give these simple, healthful treats a try.   There is no artificial colors or flavors like commercial frozen treats and sugar has been kept to a minimum by utilizing the sweetness of fruit. 

Today's Food Quote

"I cook with wine.  Sometimes I even add it to the food."  W.C. Fields


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