Description: Papaya is a pear shaped fruit with yellow skin when ripe and averages about 7 inches in length. The flesh has a sweet smooth consistency and range in color from pale yellow to deep orange. Their tiny black seeds are edible and slightly peppery. Food - papaya2

Facts: The papaya is actually a berry and it grown in tropical climates. The papaya used to be considered an exotic fruit but is now readily available in produce sections at major grocery stores.

Serving Size: ½ cup of fruit

Availability: Available year round with peak season from March to July

Selection: Select papayas that are firm with some yellow streaks and free of blemishes.

food - nutrition label papayaStorage: Keep at room temperature for 2 -3 days until it is totally yellow to orange. Papaya can be ripened in a dark area at room temperature or by placing it in a paper bag with a banana to accelerate the ripening process. Only ripe fruit should be refrigerated for up to a week. It should be stored in plastic while in the refrigerator. Papayas bruise easily and should be handled gently.

Nutrition Benefits: Fat free, cholesterol free, sodium free, good source of potassium and folate, excellent source of vitamins A and C.

Pigments: beta-carotene,

Phytochemicals: cartenoids, Cryptoxanthin