Cuban Papaya Salad- Benefits of Papaya

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Papaya

Papaya is just not the tropical fruit but a natural source of anti-inflammatory enzymes that breaks down proteins. Papaya aids digestion and eases stings, burns and wounds. It also slows clotting to improve circulation and hasten nutrient delivery to inflamed areas. Rich in folate and vitamins A and E, papayas have 33% more vitamin C than oranges, Carotenoids, which are antioxidants that give papaya its orange hue, combine with vitamin C curb heart disease and rtheumatoid arthritis. Papaya is also loaded with potassium and magnesium , which fight hypertension. Fiber-rich and ringing in at just 59 calories each, papaya is an ally for weight loss, too.

CHOOSE IT & USE IT

Papaya is available all year long. Ripe ones last a week in the fridge and should be reddish yellow with skin that yields slightly to the touch. Avoid ones with bruises shriveled skin or soft spots. Swap papaya for tomatoes in salsa or dried fruits in baked goods. Add it to yogurt. ice cream, granola. Don’t use it in dishes that must solidify, such as custards, or they won’t set up.

Cuban Papaya Salad

Serves 4 Hands-on time : 40 Minutes Total Time: 45 Minutes

2 tbsp Slivered unsalted almonds

1 tbsp olive oil

1 boneless.skinless chicken breast ( 5 -6 oz)

Pinch each sea salt and ground black pepper

1/2 cup Israeli couscous, divided

1 Cup diced red onion ( 1 small ) , divided

1 Cup low-sodium chicken broth or water

1 Cup BPA-free canned black beans, drained and rinsed

2 packed cups baby spinach

2 tbsp fresh lime juice + lime wedges for garnish

1 tbsp raw honey

1/4 red pepper flakes

1/4 tsp ground cumin

1 1/2 cups peeled and diced papaya

  1. In a large nonstick skillet on medium high heat, toast almonds, stirring, until fragrant and beginning to brown. Remove almonds from skillet; set aside. Add oil to same skillet and heat on medium-high.

  2. Season chicken on both sides with salt and black pepper. Add chicken to skillet and cook until center is no longer pink, 5 to 6 minuets, then shred with 2 forks and set aside.

  3. Add couscous and 3/4 cup onion to same skillet, stir and cook until couscous is lightly toasted and onions softens, 3 to 4 minutes, Add broth to skillet and continue to cook and stir until almost all liquid is absorbed, 4 to 5 minutes, Add beans and cook for 1 minute, Add spinach, toss and heat until spinach begins to wilt, about 1 minute more.

  4. Meanwhile, In a small bowl, whisk together lime juice, honey, pepper, flakes and cumin.

  5. Add chicken, papaya and lime honey dressing to couscous-spinach mixture in skillet; gently toss until well combined. Top remaining 1/4 cup onion, almonds, and, if desired, lime wedges, service warm.