I love papaya. When I was little, I would eat the small, yellow kind with a bit of lemon juice sprinkled on. Then, a few years ago, I discovered the large, red-fleshed variety and fell in love all over again.
Stuffed Papaya Breakfast Bowls
- 2 very ripe papayas
- 3 cups coconut yogurt
- 3 Tablespoon chia seeds
- 1 cups blueberries
- ½ cup raspberries
- ½ cup blackberries
- ½ cup coconut flakes, unsweetened and lightly toasted
- Mint or basil sprigs for garnish
- Slice each papaya in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds with a large spoon and discard.
- In a small bowl, combine yogurt and chia seeds. Stir to combine.
- Divide the coconut yogurt mixture equally between the papaya halves.
- Top with blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, and toasted coconut flakes.
- Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint or basil and serve immediately.
A Bit About Papayas
Papayas grow in tropical climates. When I was little and living in East Africa, I knew them as pawpaws, which can also be spelled papaws. They are sweet and mildly flavored and come in a variety of colors from yellow to orange to red.
The papaya fruit provides a variety of benefits, including:
- Easing digestion. It contains an enzyme called papain, which can break down the tough protein chains found in muscle meat. In fact, papaya has been used as a meat tenderizer, as well.
- High in Vitamin C. One small, 5-ounce papaya contains more than a day’s supply of this antioxidant vitamin. Vitamin C has been linked to a better performing immune system, increased heart health, and possibly better eyesight.
- Potential lower risk of certain types of cancer. Papaya contain lycopene, which has anti-cancer properties.
How to Select Your Papaya
Unripe papaya should not be eaten raw. Besides, it tastes its best when properly ripe. So how do you find papaya that’s perfect for this breakfast bowl? Keep in mind these tips:
- Look for papayas that are mostly yellow and a little green, then let them fully ripen at home. You’ll know when the papaya is fully ripe because it will be bright yellow.
- Choose fruit that is firm, yielding to gentle pressure, have smooth skin, and are heavy for their size.
- Don’t buy papaya that has blemishes, cuts, and are overly soft.
Why Chia Seeds?
In addition to the yogurt in this recipe, chia seeds add protein. A one-ounce serving of chia seeds contains 4 ounces of protein. They also are a good source of fiber, packing 11 grams of fiber into that same 4 ounces. Chia seeds are also considered superfoods because they contain so much nutrition without many calories.
Here are some alternatives and substitutions you can try out for this recipe:
- Using coconut yogurt makes this recipe dairy-free, but if that’s not an issue for you why not experiment with other yogurts? Peach, orange, tropical, and even plain greek yogurt could go very well with the medley of fruits.
- You don’t have to stick with plain chia seeds either. You could really pump up the nutrition with Nutiva® Superseed Blend (a mixture of ground flax, chia, hemp & coconut) instead.
- This recipe calls for summer fruits, but that doesn’t mean you can’t mix it up. Pears, pomegranates, bananas, and cranberries are all available in the stores right now. So give them a try!
- The coconut flakes add texture. Instead, you could use granola, sliced almonds, sunflower seeds, or pumpkin seeds. Some things you could try for sweetness include raisins, dried cranberries, dried apricot, crushed banana chips, or dehydrated blueberries.
And, you don’t have to use these ideas as just a way to switch out an ingredient — you can add them in, as well!