In Season This Autumn: Australian Papaya And Papaw
Prep Time: 10 mins + 30 mins Resting
Cook Time: 40 mins
1 tbsp butter
300g brioche (approx. ¾ of a loaf)
½ medium papaya (350 - 400g)
½ cup fresh or frozen blueberries (80g)
4 large eggs
¾ cups milk (125ml)
¼ cup sour cream or Greek yoghurt (75g)
1 tsp vanilla paste or extract
¼ cup packed brown sugar (60g)
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp sea salt
¼ cup chopped pecans (35g)
Spread the butter evenly across the base and sides of a 3-litre baking dish. Cut bread into 1.5cm slices. Peel, de-seed
and thinly slice the papaya. Toss pecans with 1 tbsp of the brown sugar.
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, sour cream, vanilla, cinnamon, salt and remaining sugar.
Stand a row of bread slices along one end of the buttered baking dish. Arrange papaya and remaining bread in
overlapping layers, then top with blueberries. Pour egg mixture evenly over the bread and fruit and press gently
with the back of a large spoon to submerge.
Let the baking dish stand at room temperature for 30 minutes while the bread absorbs the egg mixture.
Preheat oven to 180°C. Top the bread and fruit with the sugared pecans and bake for 35 - 40 minutes, until golden
and puﬀed in the centre. If the top is browning too quickly, tent with foil for the last half of baking. Let stand 10 minutes
Tips: The dish can be prepared to Step 3 up to two days in advance, then covered and refrigerated. Allow the unbaked mixture to come to room temperature on the bench for 45 minutes before continuing from Step 5.
Now is the perfect time to enjoy the tropical taste of Australian papaya and papaw, with an abundance of fresh fruit available this autumn.
New season produce is already hitting stores, with plenty of fresh fruit available from all growing regions available.
Innisfail (QLD) papaya grower Joe Zapalla says high quality fruit is expected, with new plantings producing fresh fruit in a couple of weeks. "We've had good rainfall and growing conditions in the Atherton Tablelands region, however, there's been quite high rainfall on the wet tropical coast. Because of this we expect a slight delay to the start of the new papaya crops, but by Easter there will be plenty of sweet, tasty fruit available to enjoy."
Known for their tropical flavour, red papaya and yellow papaw can be enjoyed in sweet or savoury dishes, or simply by themselves with a squeeze of lime. They also boast a wealth of health benefits, according to accredited practising dietitian and Australian Papaya ambassador, Caitlin Reid. "Papaya and papaw are the perfect addition to your weekly shopping basket. One serving (150g) provides a healthy dose of folate, fibre, vitamin C and vitamin A, which helps keep your immune system, gut health and skin in-check."
With the rise of 'flexitarianism' and those choosing to follow a plant-based diet, Caitlin says that papaya is one of many plant-based foods that pack a serious health punch.
"Plant-based foods contain a complex mix of useful chemicals and fibre that work in synergy to lower oxidative stress and dampen inflammation. More and more research is suggesting that plant-based diets may help to better manage or reduce the risk of developing a host of health conditions including diabetes, heart disease, obesity and dementia.
"Papaya is just one of many plant-based foods that provide these benefits, thanks to its unique combination of antioxidants, which help fight the damaging effects of free radicals in the body, while also supporting the immune system."
Here are 7 reasons Caitlin will be enjoying papaya and papaw this season:
Strong immunity– A single serve of papaya provides double your daily Vitamin C requirements, which is important for a healthy functioning immune system.
Great for the gut – Papaya contains a unique combination of powerful antioxidants including Vitamin A and C, lutein, zeaxanthin and beta-carotene. This helps to support the immune system and improve the gut microbiome, which is important for maintaining a healthy gut.
Healthy digestion – Papaya is a good source of fibre, which is important for digestive wellbeing. One serve contains almost three times as much fibre as half a cup of cooked brown rice!
Glowing skin – The unique bundle of skin-protective antioxidants found in papaya, like vitamin C and carotenoids, help your skin glow naturally. Vitamin C helps with collagen production, providing your skin with support and elasticity, while beta-carotene has a key role in the formation and repair of your skin. Papaya and papaw are also 90% water, which helps keep your skin hydrated!
Mums & bubs – Papaya and papaw are great for mums, bubs and mums-to-be. They are an excellent source of Vitamin C and a source of folate, which helps growing bodies develop and stay healthy. The soft texture is also ideal for teething gums!
Smart snack – Watching your weight? Papaya and papaw are the perfect snack. They are low in kilojoules, high in both soluble and insoluble fibre and have a moderate glycaemic level which helps keep you feeling fuller for longer.
Iron intake – Did you know more than 15% of women aged 18-30 years have low iron levels? While lean red meat is the best source of iron, there are also some sneaky ways of boosting your body's absorption of iron. One way is to combine iron found in plant-based foods with foods high in vitamin C, like papaya! So, pair your papaya with your morning muesli, porridge or vegetarian curry to make the most of its vitamin C content and iron absorption qualities.
Australian papaya and papaw have peak seasons in spring and autumn but are available all year round. For inspiring recipes and information about red papaya and yellow papaw visit www.australianpapaya.com.au and www.facebook.com/papayaaustralia.