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Monday, March 8, 2010

Papaya pepper!

Today I am making papaya pepper.  It is a simple recipe that I got from the book Nourishing Traditions using the seeds of a papaya.  Well, the recipe itself is simple, but the preparation is a bit tedious.  Properly prepared, the papaya seeds can be used similarly to black pepper - in fact, the seeds even resemble peppercorns in appearance.

Papaya seeds have numerous health benefits.  According to Eat This!, the benefits include:
  • Antibacterial Properties - Research has found that papaya seeds are effective against E. coli, Salmonella, and Staph infections. 
  • Kidney Protection - Research has found that papaya seed extract may protect the kidneys from toxin-induced kidney failure. 
  • Eliminate Intestinal Parasites - There is evidence that papaya seeds eradicate intestinal parasites. In a study done on Nigerian children with intestinal parasites, 76.7% of the children were parasite-free after seven days of treatment with papaya seeds compared to only 16.7% of the children who received a placebo. 
  • Liver Detoxifier - In Chinese medicine, it is believed that a teaspoon of papaya seeds will help detoxify the liver. Papaya seeds are often recommended by natural doctors in the treatment of cirrhosis of the liver.
 The seeds are prepared similarly to other nuts and seeds in that you need to soak them for a period of time followed by drying them in an oven (though I intend to use my food dehydrator for this).  The tedious part comes from the fact that the individual seeds are encased in a sort of pulp that needs to be removed prior to soaking.  I am sure that this could be done with some sort of mechanical process, but I ended up pinching each seed to 'pop' the pulp and remove it.  It took me about an hour for that process.  As I write this entry, the seeds are soaking in filtered water.  Later today, I will transfer them to the dehydrator to dry them out.  The seeds can then be used/eaten as is or ground to be used as a pepper substitute - not that there is anything wrong with pepper.  Supposedly, papaya seeds also make an excellent meat tenderizer.

I recently returned the copy of Nourishing Traditions that I had borrowed from the library.  I was planning on buying my own copy, but I hadn't gotten around to it yet - partially due to the cost.  Yesterday however, I obtained amazon.com's Kindle for PC.  This software, available for free at amazon.com and allows you to read the Kindle version of books on your PC.  Amazon.com also sells Nourishing Traditions in a Kindle version for only $9.99.  The price combined with the instant 'delivery' made the decision to buy the book a lot easier.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This sounds great!