Papaya has recently become one of the most popular fruits. Consumption of this exotic fruit provides so many health benefits it’s easy to understand why people love it. One of the most common uses for papaya is in smoothies. Since many smoothie lovers prefer their drinks on the colder side a reasonable question comes to mind, can papaya be frozen?
Papaya can be frozen whole or in pieces. Unripe papaya should be allowed to ripen before freezing. It should be frozen in airtight containers or freezer bags. Papaya can last up to one year in the freezer.
Although it can be frozen there are a few things you should look out for. If you would like to learn step by step the most effective method to accomplish this continue reading. In addition, I’ll inform you how to tell if your papaya is ripe and how it can last in the refrigerator and freezer.
Smoothie Tip: Adding frozen papaya or fruit, instead of ice, enhances the flavor and nutrient content. In addition, I routinely add pomegranate juice to my smoothies along with green vegetable and carrot juice. The secret to an easy smoothie is having a blender powerful enough to handle the workload.
The blender I recommend has a 6 blade, multi-tiered blade, check it out and the current price on Amazon, Nutri Ninja BL685 with Auto-iQ Technology. In addition, try these easy to make smoothies for incredible health, rapid weight loss and energy!
Disclaimer: Some of links in this article are affiliate links which means I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Can Papaya Be Frozen?
Typically, papayas are large and are green or orange color depending on its ripeness. Papayas can last at most five to seven days in the refrigerator once ripe. Many people who enjoy this fruit wonder if freezing it would prolong its life before going bad.
Similarly to avocados, papayas go bad quickly once they ripen. Once this occurs, the fruit will become softer to touch and will develop brown and dark brown patches. If this continues during the next few days, the fruit will start developing a bad odor as well as patches of mold. At this point, the fruit is no longer safe for consumption 1.
Before the fruit goes bad, it can be frozen and store in the freezer for consumption at a later time. The next section will explain to you, in steps how to freeze papaya.
How To Freeze Raw Papaya
Since papayas are relatively large it can be challenging to eat the entire fruit before it goes bad. This makes it impractical for many consumers. Luckily this can be avoided by freezing the fruit.
While it’s possible to freeze the whole fruit, the better approach is to freeze it in pieces. The process is actually easy, and the only thing you need is ripe papaya.
If you are unsure if the papaya you picked is ripe there are a few signs you should check to make sure it is. The most telling sign is the color of the papaya skin and the feel. Papayas start with green skin and it gradually becomes yellow or orange depending on how ripe it is.
Another sign is the fruit will be soft to the touch when ripe. If the fruit is not ripe enough leave it outside the refrigerator until it is ripe.
The following are the steps how to freeze papaya:
1. Wash the papaya.
Quickly rinse the whole fruit under cool running water to remove any dirt.
2. Cut the papaya.
Cut the papaya in half long ways.
3. Remove the seeds.
Use a spoon and scoop out the seeds 2. The seeds can be used for another purpose or discarded.
4. Quarter the papaya and remove the skin.
Cut the two halves into quarters which make it easier to cut in the next step. After quartering the halves, peel the skin off.
5. Cut the papaya into cubes.
The size of the pieces will determine how long it takes the pieces to freeze. However, you can pick the size which will work the best for your intended purpose.
6. Place the cubes onto a tray or plate.
Space them out evenly and leave some space in between so they’re not touching each other.
7. Place the tray into the freezer.
Depending on the size of your cubes will determine how long they will take to freeze. An average size cube typically takes about 45 minutes.
8. Once frozen place the cubes into a freezer bag.
Remove the tray or plate from the freezer and place the papaya cubes into a freezer bag or airtight container. It’s best to use a vacuum sealer to removal all the air from the bag.
A vacuum sealer is one of those items you’ll wonder how you did without once you purchase one. They sell a nice variety of them on Amazon which you can check out by clicking right here, vacuum sealers. In addition, make sure the bags you use are freezer bags. They’re quit affordable on Amazon which you can check right here, freezer bags.
9. Place the freezer bag or airtight container into the freezer.
The frozen papaya can be stored in the freezer up to one year. Write the date onto the freezer bag 3, so you know exactly when you froze them.
Does Freezing Papaya Kill the Enzymes?
Papaya is a viable source of vitamins and nutrients with many proven health benefits of its consumption due to the fact that it is loaded with fiber, nutrients and antioxidants. Papayas are known to be rich in vitamins A and C. These benefits include high levels of vitamins and the promotion of heart health 4.
One of the most notable components of the papaya flesh is the enzyme papain 5. The enzyme is extracted from the raw papaya fruit.
It’s the most widely known as a meat tenderizer. Historically papaya flesh was used in marinades to help break down the tough protein chains in muscle meat.
Besides meat tenderizing, papain is known to have other health benefits. It’s often used in products intended to treat inflammations, swelling and to reduce pain 6. Papain is also used in products that relieve toothaches. In addition, papayas are used to boost the immune system and improve digestion. Papayas have also been recorded to aid during weight loss.
Since there are so many health benefits 7 many people are concerned whether freezing papaya would affect these enzymes.
Enzymes are a type of protein found inside the cells. They can be destroyed using things like extreme heat or acidity. However, freezing does not have the same effect. Colder, freezing temperatures will cause the molecules to move slower than they normally would. The slower movement will cause the molecule to collide less often. This will reduce the enzyme activity.
Despite this effect on the enzymes, once the fruit is reheated back to the room temperature the molecules will start to move faster, increasing the enzyme activity.
Frequently Asked Questions About Freezing Papaya
How to freeze green papaya? Green papaya is unripe and should be ripened prior to freezing. Once green papaya is ripe it can be frozen by following the following steps:
- Wash the fruit.
- Cut the fruit in half long ways.
- Remove the seeds.
- Remove the outer skin.
- Cut the papaya into cubes.
- Place the cubes onto a plate or tray.
- Place the tray in the freezer until the cubes are thoroughly frozen.
- Remove the tray and place the cubes into freezer storage bags.
- Remove the air as much as possible and place the bag in the freezer up to one year.
Can you freeze papaya puree? Papaya puree can be frozen. Place the puree into an airtight storage container and place it in the freezer for up to one year. When it’s time to use it, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight.
Can you freeze papaya seeds? Papaya seeds can be frozen and stored in the freezer for up to five months. The seeds should be stored in an airtight container placed into the freezer. The frozen seeds should be defrosted prior to using by thawing them in the refrigerator overnight.
How Long is Papaya Good in the Fridge?
Usually, ripe papaya will be safe for consumption for as long as five days outside the fridge. Compared to other types of fruit, this is a short amount of time. For example, apples in normal conditions can last a few weeks before starting to go bad.
Their shelf life can be prolonged by storing them in a fridge 8. By storing them in a fridge, the papayas will be able to stay good for around a week. This works because the lower temperatures will slow down the ripening process 9.
If the papaya is whole, you can place it into the refrigerator the way it is. If it’s already been cut, place the pieces into an airtight container.
If the papayas have been in the fridge for five days and you know you won’t be using them in the next few days, freezing them is best. The storage time can be prolonged by freezing the papaya as described earlier. Typically, the frozen pieces will be safe to eat for as long as a year.
Read Next – More Food Storage
- University of Wyoming:Papaya Power!
- Mexican Papayas: Papaya Storage
- University of Wisconsin: Preserve Summer Time’s Best Flavors by Freezing Fresh Fruit
- National Center for Biotechnology Information: Nutraceutical Potential of Cardiac papaya in Metabolic Syndrome
- National Center for Biotechnology Information: Papain
- National Center for Biotechnology Information: Anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory properties of Cardiac papaya
- USDA: Papayas, raw
- University of Florida: Papaya Growing in the Florida Home Landscape
- University of Hawai’i: Papaya: Postharvast Quality-Maintenance Guidelines