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Papaya seeds: An alternative seasoning

by Bryony Harrison (follow)
I'm a freelance writer & poet; if you would like to read my poetry, please check out my book, 'Poems on the Page' from tinyurl.com/pgyyx76
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When we buy fruit, our primary intention is to eat the fruit, but all too often we end up wasting some of the most nutritious parts - the skin and seeds - by throwing them in the bin.

Sometimes we do save these bits, but their health benefits are skewed slightly by the way we use them. For example, grating a lemon and putting the zest in a fattening cake, or toasting pumpkin seeds and scattering salt on top of them.

Papaya seeds are another one of those ingredients that usually end up in the bin, but we can in fact use them. Papaya seeds in small doses have many health benefits, which include being anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and anti-parasitic. There are also suggestions that they can aid in the prevention of liver disease, kidney problems, and cancer.

Chewing on the seeds can be a bit overpowering as the have a taste somewhere between pepper and mustard. This, however, also makes them a brilliant alternative seasoning to salt and pepper. Once ground, you can sprinkle it over soup, meat, fish, etc. When ground, the flavour is milder and just gives off a slight heat that can really enhance a dish.

1. Slice a papaya in half.

papaya seeds

2. Scoop out the seeds.

papaya seeds

3. Rinse the seeds with a sieve and remove any bits of pulp that are still attached.

papaya seeds

4. Pat the seeds dry with paper towels.

papaya seeds

5. Toast the seeds in the oven at its lowest setting for an hour or until the seeds are dry.

papaya seeds

6. Allow the seeds to cool before putting in a pepper grinder.

papaya seeds, ground papaya seeds, stuffed mushrooms, couscous

7. Grind the seeds over your meal.

NB: pregnant and breastfeeding women and young children should avoid eating papaya seeds as they are too strong for an infant's gastrointestinal system. Papaya seeds can also temporarily reduce men's fertility.

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