Payaya, “Fruit of the Angels” [recipe]


It’s getting hot in here! The kitchen was hot! My friend and I were already overheated from harvesting tons of green beans in the afternoon sun. Now we were standing over a scalding stove while canning the beans.

To cool off, I suggested a refreshing Papaya smoothie since I had picked up a beautiful, ripe Papaya at the farmer’s market. Not being familiar with Papaya, (which is different than mango), my friend watched closely as I whipped up my creation.

“You’re not going to throw the rind in there, are you?” “What are you going to do with all those seeds?” “Do you chop it up or throw the whole thing into the blender?” My friend was very curious. I chuckled. But, I guess she may not be the only one with little knowledge about this wonderful fruit.

So, here’s a little history on one of my favorite fruits, and an easy-to-follow recipe for my Tropical Papaya Smoothie.


Columbus called Papaya “Fruit of the Angels”

Papaya (Carica Papaya) has a high nutritive and medicinal value. This enzyme-rich fruit is full of vitamins, minerals and fiber. It is no wonder that Christopher Columbus named Papaya the “Fruit of the Angels”.

Explorers from Spain and Portugal are credited for bringing the fruit to the tropics. Soon after, Papayas grew all over the world. In Britain, papaya is known as the “pawpaw”.  In Brazil, it is the “mamoa”.  The Spanish call it papaya or “lechosa” (Venezuela). India is the world’s largest producer of papaya.

Loading papaya at the market near Manek Chowk, India.   Photo courtesy of Meena Kadri.

Loading papaya at the market near Manek Chowk, India. Photo courtesy of Meena Kadri.

 “When eating fruit, remember who planted the tree;

when drinking water, remember who dug the well.”

Vietnamese Proverb

It’s easy to grow your own papayas. Just a short time ago, my grandmother scattered some papaya seeds in her Miami Beach yard.  Look at her tree now!


“The entire fruit is already present in the seed.”

Tertullian, (“Founder of Western Theology”)

The Papaya tree can grow up to 20 feet!

 “Of all the wonders of nature, a tree in summer is perhaps the most remarkable; with the possible exception of a moose singing “Embraceable You” in spats.” 

Woody Allen 

Fruit grows under the leaves, on top of the tree. My friend’s tree is filled with gigantic fruit! I joked that I was coming back in the middle of the night to “harvest” the papayas! (Lucky for her, I couldn’t find a ladder high enough.)


 “You’ve got to go out on a limb sometimes because that’s where the fruit is.” 

Will Rogers

Papayas are pear-shaped and green when raw. The fruit turns yellow when ripe.

Papayas ripening on tree. Photo courtesy of Guah.

Papayas ripening on tree. Photo courtesy of Guah.

 “There is no fruit which is not bitter before it is ripe.”

Publilius Syrus, (Roman Writer, born 85 B.C.)

With it’s beautiful sunset color, ripe Papaya is used in many mouth-watering recipesPapaya has a thick, creamy texture with a sweet, tropical hint.  Personally, I prefer mine chilled, with a little bit of fresh lime juice and a sprinkle of sea salt. Do yourself a favor and get a Papaya as soon as you can.  It’s an experience you will not soon forget.


Papaya is the star in my healthy, refreshing smoothie. This exotic fruit’s soft-buttery texture mixes well with other tasty tropical fruit like coconut, lime, pineapple and ripe bananas. (“You put the lime in the coconut…” I can’t get that song out of my head!)


Blend these delicious flavors together for a sweet Papaya Smoothie that will make you believe that you are in paradise. Relax with this tropical treat in your hand and your toes in the sand. (Don’t forget the suntan lotion!) Aloha!


Tropical Papaya Smoothie

Serves 4


1 – 20 ounce can pineapple chucks in natural juice, chilled

1 – 14 ounce can coconut milk, chilled

½ of a large papaya, peeled, deseeded and diced

Juice of 1 lime

1 tablespoon peeled fresh ginger, finely chopped

2 tablespoons coconut oil

2 tablespoons agave or honey

1 ½ ripe bananas, cut into pieces (preferably frozen)

1 cup ice cubes

Raw coconut, toasted, for garnish


Add ingredients to blender in order listed. Blend for one minute or until smooth.  Pour into your favorite exotic glass and sprinkle with toasted coconut.  Garnish with lime.  Add a tropical accent with a colorful straw and a paper umbrella. Serve immediately.

Enjoy a taste of the tropics with this Tropical Papaya Smoothie. Cheers!



What is your favorite papaya recipe? 

I am bringing my smoothie over to party with the folks at Fiesta Friday #28!

Photos courtesy of Guah and Meena Kadri

Original photos courtesy of Seedy Lawyer.  All rights reserved.

  • Lina | StrictlyDelicious

    I have been eyeing the papayas in the grocery store for a few weeks, wondering if I’d ever get up the courage to try my hand at cooking this fruit my Cuban grandmother always loved. Now that you’ve given me the run-down (and a lot of confidence) I’m actually going to do it! Thanks!!!

    Ps. Do you know if papaya and mango are related?

  • Julianna

    Oh, this does sound so refreshing ! I have bookmarked it until I can get to the market! 😀

    • Awesome, Julianna. Let me know how you like it 🙂

  • Yum and I love the quotes!

  • saucy gander

    Lovely post! Papaya juice was one of my favourite drinks during a recent trip to Myanmar. Isn’t it the best? I’ll try your smoothie too as it looks so good!! Thank you for sharing this with Fiesta Friday! 🙂

    • Thanks Saucy! It sure is the best! Thanks for co-hosting Fiesta Friday! Cheers!

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  • Mr Fitz

    wow.. papaya in the backyard? that’s amazing!

    • I love visiting Grandma.. And her papaya tree! 😉

  • Judi Graber

    Great pictures – sometimes I wish I lived in the south to just go out my front door and pick some luscious fruit 🙂 Good recipe too 🙂

    • Judi, thanks! Yes, South Florida has so much selection of wonderful fruit right in your backyard!

  • Polianthus

    hi lisa – a test of patience waiting for the comment field to open up I almost gave up on it, love the site, welcome to FF parties, really like the quotes you have peppered your blog with 🙂 look forward to reading more – I guess if you are the seedy lawyer I could call myself the earthy doctor, dirty doctor, doesnt sound so good, and I never liked calling earth dirt…anyway I love food, cooking and planting and eating like you do and look forward to reading more of your blog 🙂 Poli

    • Thanks for visiting! Love the folks at FF. I learn a lot from everyone. Cheers!

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