31 Days of Life in my Hawaii Day 3:: Food: Papaya

Almost ripe enough to eat

The Coach and I are breakfast eaters — we just can’t manage without a morning meal — and for us it always includes a piece of fruit.

Just as with rice at dinner, I can’t not have fruit with breakfast. (This got to be a bit of a problem a couple years ago when I went on the South Beach Diet and you can’t have ANY FRUIT AT ALL for the first two weeks. I didn’t like that).

A lot of the time, the fruit we have is the same stuff you have with your breakfast on the mainland: half a grapefruit, cantaloupe, berries. But our favorite, and one we have at least half the time, is papaya.

There is nothing like fresh, chilled, island grown papaya, but I have to admit it’s probably an acquired taste. One of my earliest memories is of sitting in my grandmother’s kitchen while she made breakfast for my grandfather, and of her giving me a taste of his papaya. It has a luscious, silky sweetness — which might be countered with a little squeeze of lemon or lime — but which as a toddler kind of made me gag.

So I don’t know exactly when it was that I started liking it, and my kids never had the same problem; its soft flesh makes it the perfect baby food when you are starting them on solid foods. In fact papaya and poi were two of the first solid foods I gave my babies right after the introductory rice cereal.

Breakfast isn’t the same without it

Apparently it’s full of good things, like vitamin C and lycopene. One of my girlfriends ate a ton of it during her pregnancies because she said it helped alleviate gas. I, um, don’t know about that, but I do know papaya is one of the best ways to start the day!

This is the third post in my series, 31 Days of Life in my Hawaii. Click here to get the links to the other posts in the series.

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