The easiest way to add papaya seeds to your diet is to simply buy a fresh papaya and keep the ones you scrape out separately in a container in the fridge. This works best if you use them regularly as I do for a consistent supply. Even a small papaya fruit yields many seeds and should keep you going for several days.
If you’re just starting out with papaya seeds, or using them less regularly, it would be better to keep them in a sealed container in the freezer. They can be kept in this way for many months, though they should be defrosted before use, or soaked in hot water for a few minutes to warm and soften them. Alternatively, you could transfer any you intend to use for the next day into a container in the fridge the night before.
How to Eat Papaya Seeds
Start slowly when using papaya seeds as they are quite powerful. For someone who has never used them before, perhaps just a few the first time would be a good start.
If these are well-tolerated, you can slowly work up over a week or two to a quarter of a teaspoon, followed by half a teaspoon, then eventually a full teaspoon of fresh seeds. Taken with each protein heavy meal, this should be a good amount to get the full benefits of the proteolytic enzymes for your digestion.
Personally, I generally just chew around a teaspoon of papaya seeds, both straight from the fruit whenever I’m eating papaya itself, and from the fridge before a big protein meal. The flavor is definitely strong, with a peppery/mustard taste, but not too unpleasant to my taste buds.
I’ve noticed the pips from the larger papaya are generally stronger, whereas the smaller fruit have seeds that are comparatively mild. If you’re worried about the taste, it might be best to start with small papaya until you get accustomed to them.
Those who like sweeter tastes may not find the flavor of papaya seeds their favorite thing in the world. If you’re having problems getting them down, taking them on a small teaspoon of raw honey is perfectly acceptable, as long as you still chew them up a few times.
In fact, honey is often recommended for use with papaya seeds parasite treatments, so maybe it’s not just to mask the taste. Manuka honey with its strong antibacterial properties would be particularly good for this.
Other options to consider include crushing the them up with a pestle and mortar and adding them to recipes where you’d usually use a strong peppery flavor.
Papaya seed pepper steak from grass fed beef is particularly good. Start by crushing up half a teaspoon of the seeds and rub them into the steak on both sides.
Leave it for about an hour before pan frying. The papain will tenderize the meat, while the seeds add a mustard and pepper flavor and really help with digesting the steak once it reaches your stomach.
Even easier still, and with a lot of potential benefits for your overall health, try this digestive system cleansing and parasite killing papaya seed smoothie.
Papaya Seed Pepper
For another way to use them regularly, try replacing the black peppercorns in your pepper grinder with papaya seeds. To do this, remove the seeds from the fruit and spread them out between thick paper towels, or better still, a tea towel you don’t mind washing.
Rub them quickly between the paper towels or tea towel to remove any attached pieces of fruit. Wash them and spread out flat to dry on a windowsill in the sunlight for several days.
If, like myself, you don’t live in the warmest of climates, particularly in winter, a dehydrator is great for these type of jobs and will cut the drying time down to hours. Dehydrators are also very useful for soaking and drying nuts and dehydrating fruits and berries for delicious homemade snacks.
Once the papaya seeds are dry, they actually look quite similar to peppercorns and can be used in just the same way. Grinding a couple over a meal, especially protein rich meals, is a simple way to add extra enzymes to your diet and improve your digestive health.
Next is a look at a more unusual but extremely important use for the little black nutritional powerhouses - as a parasite treatment.