February 06, 2014

Homemade Papaya Seed Peppercorns

 I've been trying to come across interesting health tricks to help change my eating habits in small and big ways. This one was something that really stood out for me.

Did you know you can make your own form of pepper by drying out Papaya seeds? And they are crazy potent. It helps your digestive system by helping you break down undigested food and helps normalize your intestinal tract. They can aid by killing parasites and bacterial infections, and even help with liver detoxification or Cirrhosis of the liver. They have so many health benefits. In fact they're more like a drug in terms of their medicinal value. How cool is that? That being said, you should carefully research it to make sure it's right for you. It should only be used in smaller amounts and is not good for children and pregnant women. So weird to think, right? The fruit itself has amazing benefits as well, but the seeds are highly concentrated.

Have you ever eaten the seeds? It tastes a lot like eating pepper. They're coated with a jelly-like outer shell and inside they're hard, almost like a pomegranate seed. It's spicy and strange and a lot of people don't like eating straight Papaya seeds. I know I don't. I found many articles about drying out the seeds and grinding them down to use as pepper in your cooking, so I thought I'd give it a try.

Firstly you have to separate the seeds from the fruit. I scooped them out and placed them in a large strainer under the sink. I washed away the bits of fruit and separated large pieces with my hands. I noticed the seeds come away really easy. You barely have to do anything, which is nice considering prep work with other types of seeds that have a lot of fibrous meat to them. 

Once you have most of it off, pour your seeds into the middle of a dish towel. I did this part over top of a cookie sheet to make sure I didn't spill any. Gently rub them in the dishtowel to both dry them and also transfer off the rest of the fruit that's still hanging onto the seeds. This part was again, really easy and the seeds are very tough, so they didn't burst or break open in the process. 

I lined my cookie sheet with dry paper towel and spread the seeds out on top of it. 
Now it's time to wait! 

I have left my seeds for a week and a half now, checking on them periodically to see how they're coming along. They dried out so much faster that I originally imagined. Of course it will completely depend on your own home; It's temperature and how much moisture is in the air. I will probably leave mine until the two week mark. They should look matte and not have any shininess to them. 
Here are mine right now:
Big difference between before and after, huh? 
When they're dry you can put them in a pepper grinder and use them in any way you would use normal pepper. I can't wait to try it!

I hope you found this as interesting as I do! It's certainly a weird idea, but completely worth a try given the Papaya's track record. 

Marissa xo

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