Pawpaw Benefits: Pawpaw Fruit Ideas And Uses

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By Bonnie L. Grant

Incorporating fruits and vegetables as part of a healthy diet can help reduce the use of some prescription drugs and add a healthy note to your beauty regimen. Most natural foods have hidden benefits beyond the obvious nutrient, fiber, amino acid, mineral and healthy fat components. Many foods are also a part of traditional medicinal preparations and even used in building and as cordage. Pawpaw fruits are not exception. There are numerous uses for pawpaw fruit as a food and beyond.

What to Do With Pawpaws

You may be new to pawpaw fruit or have a pawpaw tree in your backyard. Either way, pawpaw benefits transcend the culinary and their applications have the ability to skyrocket health. The most common pawpaw fruit uses are in recipes where their custard-like texture and mild tropical flavor enhance beverages, candies, pies, puddings, cocktails, and other dishes. The internet is filled with pawpaw fruit ideas, recipes of which your doctor would approve and topical remedies that can save your pocketbook.

Pawpaw is a native North American tree. In fact, it is the largest edible fruit indigenous to the United States, found in 26 states. Pawpaws are often simply eaten raw, picked fresh from the tree and eaten out of hand. But there are many other uses for pawpaw fruit.

The fruit may help metabolize other food you eat and is rich in riboflavin, thiamine, B-6, niacin and folate. It is also rich in Vitamin C and other antioxidants. Vitamin C keeps your immune system in tip-top shape while helping the body absorb other nutrients such as iron and calcium. The minerals represented in a pawpaw encompass potassium, magnesium, phosphorus and iron.

When deciding what to do with pawpaws, consider all the nutritional benefits and pack in as many of these snack-sized fruits as you can during the season.

Pawpaw Fruit Ideas

Outside of eating these powerful fruits raw, there are many other pawpaw fruit uses. The flavor resembles mild bananas and is a useful addition to baked goods, puddings, ice cream, salad and even in liquors. It was traditionally mashed and made into cakes or dried to preserve it. Make jams, smoothies, quick breads and pastries.

The green pawpaw is an excellent substitute for squash or cherimoya. A new and exciting use for the fruit in its most common growing regions is in craft beer. One of the unexpected pawpaw fruit uses is as a cough syrup and expectorant. It harnesses the pawpaw benefits found in its high vitamin content and antioxidant properties.

Pawpaws are rather delicate and do not last long, either on the counter or in the refrigerator. Ripe pawpaws can easily be frozen for later use, as their refrigerator life is only a few days. To prepare them, peel the fruit and then smash the pulp and seeds through a food mill or sieve. The pulp remains and may be used immediately, refrigerated for a couple of days or frozen for another time.

Frozen puree can be used just as you would applesauce. Cooking can destroy some of the flavor, so using a quick flash sear is the best method of applying heat if using in cooked recipes. There are many pawpaw fruit uses in the dessert category but don’t forget their high nutrient value and sweet, tropical flavor when eaten fresh from the tree.

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