Everyday African Food and Beautiful Culture: Papaya Seed Tea

Friday, April 24, 2009

Papaya Seed Tea

Papaya is a tropical fruit crop in Kenya, South Africa, Côte d’Ivoire, Uganda, and Zimbabwe. It is grown widely both as a commercial crop and in small gardens where it is an important source of nutrition and income. Papayas grow best in hot areas. The black seeds in the center of a papaya are edible and have a peppery taste making a unique Papaya Seed tea to drink.

Papayas are large oblong shaped tropical fruits with thin skin that are golden yellow when they are ripe and ready to eat. The fruit will be slightly soft to the touch and ripe papayas can be yellow, orange, pink or red, depending on the variety. Most people only eat flesh of the papaya, but you can also create tasty teas from the small, black seeds in the cavity of the papaya.

Drying is the oldest method of preserving food. The first European settlers in America often ate dried corn, apple, currants, grapes and meat. Drying eliminates moisture from the food resulting in a longer food life. Organisms that make food spoil require moisture to survive, so foods that have been completely dried have the longest life.  

Photo by noii's
Look for richly colored papayas that give slightly to palm pressure. Scoop the seed from the papaya. The seeds are  encased in a gelatinous envelope, I find it best to break them and wash the seed thoroughly. Allow the seeds to dry to completely dry about three days on the counter top. Grind seeds using a food processor or coffee grinder ground papaya seeds have the same consistency as finely ground coffee.

Did you know…?
Papaya seed tea goes well with the healthy African recipe boiled plantains; plantains are a major food staple in many regions of Africa

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