I’ve only just started eating papaya in recent years. I’ve always known it was a healthy fruit and full of nutrients. This makes me wonder why I didn’t partake in this wonderful fruit years ago. After cutting one up and not eating the whole fruit at once, lead me to do a little research on how to store it. Therefore, I’ll be answering the question, how do you preserve cut papaya?
The best ways to preserve cut papaya is to freeze it, dehydrate it, dry it in the oven or use it to make a jam. These methods can preserve cut papaya for weeks or even months. In addition, cut papaya can be placed into an airtight container and stored in the refrigerator for up to two days.
Papaya is seasonal, so these methods of preservation will allow you to enjoy this delicious fruit all year round. Let’s take a closer, more in-depth look at some of the best ways to keep cut papaya fresh and tasty for as long as possible so you don’t have to throw it out.
Smoothie Tip: Adding frozen papaya or other frozen fruit, instead of ice, enhances the flavor and nutrient content. In addition, I routinely add pomegranate juice to my smoothies along with green vegetable 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.
How To Preserve Papaya After Cutting
There are many effective long-term preservation methods for keeping your cut papaya safe and ready to eat for weeks or even months. All of these methods produce varying results depending on how you go through the processes. Here are some of the easiest best ways to preserve this soft fruit for a long time.
How To Freeze Cut Papaya
The easiest and best way to preserve cut papaya long-term is to freeze it. This method will help the papaya to stay fresh and edible for up to one year, much longer than other methods 1.The following are the steps to freeze cut papaya.
- Remove any remaining skin or seeds from the cut papaya.
- Cut it into cubes if not done already.
- Place the cubed papaya onto a baking tray or another flat surface that can be placed into the freezer.
- Be sure to separate the pieces of the papaya when placing them on the tray and into the freezer. Papaya has a high moisture content, so if it’s placed into the freezer while the pieces are touching each other, the fruit will freezer together in one clump. This will make it difficult to separate and use once it has completely frozen.
- Once the papaya cubes have frozen all the way through, remove the tray from the freezer.
- Place all the cubes into one freezer-safe sealed container. Freezer bags can be used and take up less space in the freezer.
- For best results when freezing your papaya, try to remove as much air as possible from the freezer bag.
- Write the date on the container or freezer bag and freeze up to one year.
It’s best to use a vacuum sealer to remove all the air 2. If you don’t have one, use a straw to suck out as much of the air as you can. 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 which has an area to write the date 3. Whether you use it in smoothies or just enjoy it as a healthy snack, this preservation method will keep it ready for you whenever you want it.
How To Keep Cut Papaya In The Refrigerator
Papaya doesn’t store very well for the short-term after it’s been cut open. It can’t be left out at room temperature because cut papaya won’t last very long in those temperatures 4.
The best way to keep papaya ready to eat for a few days after cutting it up is to keep it cold in the fridge 5. Let’s take a look at the best way to do this.
Papaya produces a natural gas when harvested called ethylene, which causes them to ripen more quickly. Storing the cut papaya in the fridge will slow down the release of this enzyme and allow it to last longer before becoming over-ripe.
This method will only preserve the papaya for around two to three days longer than outside of the fridge. How about whole papaya that hasn’t been cut yet? I have a blog post on how to freeze it along with other options. You can check out that article right here, The Complete Guide To Freezing Papaya.
Airtight containers are another simple short-term portion to help preserve cut papaya. Before placing the cut pieces in the container, remove any remaining seeds. This helps to slow down the decay of the fruit. Place the container in the fridge and use it up in a few days 6. If not, you may want to use one of the longer-term methods.
How To Dehydrate Cut Papaya
If you own a food dehydrator, dehydrating the cut papaya is an excellent method of preserving it. If not you can follow the next method after this which describes how to dry it in an oven. A food dehydrator is the better way to go. They sell a wide variety on Amazon at affordable prices which you can check out right here, food dehydrators.
This method of preservation keeps the papaya good to eat for a few months and makes for a convenient, tasty and healthy snack 7.
After the papaya has been peeled and the seeds have been removed, try to take your pieces and cut them into thin strips, about half an inch thick. Place the strips of papaya into the food dehydrator and set it to run for 12 hours.
Once the papaya has been dehydrated, the texture will be satisfying, crunchy and light. The flavor will be more concentrated, making it a great snack.
Keep the dehydrated papaya in a glass storage container like a glass jar to maintain maximum freshness. You can also purchase some amazing glass jars on Amazon great for storing about anything. Some are very stylish or just plain if you want. Check them out by clicking here, glass jars.
How To Dry Cut Papaya In The Oven
Drying fruit in the oven is another excellent long-term preservation method. This method does not require any fancy tools or equipment. All you need is the cut papaya, an oven and some time.
To dry papaya in the oven, follow these steps:
- Peel the skin off and remove the seeds.
- Slice the cut papaya into thin strips and place them directly onto the metal racks in the oven. Either lay them flat across the spokes of the rack or drape them over the spokes letting them hang down between the gaps in the rack. The gaps in the rack will allow the papaya to dry evenly throughout.
- Set the oven to low heat. Low and slow is the key to drying fruit in the oven.
- Leave the fruit to dry out on low heat until it becomes stiff and slightly rubbery.
- Store the dried fruit in a glass container for the best results and maximum storage time.
Removing the moisture from the fruit changes the texture of the fruit, but it intensifies the flavor and allows it to be stored for a long time.
Papaya Jam No Sugar
Jam is a delicious option for preserving cut papaya you may have left over. Not many people consider making jams at home, but papaya is a great fruit to make jam with.
All you need to make papaya jam is the cut papaya, raisins, water and lemon juice. Most people use sugar but, as many of you already know, I’m trying to remain healthy. Other than taste, I don’t see any advantage to added sugar. Here are the ingredients:
- 1 cup of cut papaya
- 1/2 cup of raisins (for a sweeter jam, add more raisins)
- 1 cup of water
- 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
Follow these 7 steps:
- Place the cut papaya in a pot and add the raisins and water.
- Stir together and place the pot on a burner. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat.
- Once boiling add the olive oil and mix.
- Reduce heat to the lowest setting and simmer for about 25 minutes or until the liquid is almost completely reduced. Stir frequently.
- Add the lemon juice, mix together and remove from the heat.
- Let the mixture cool and then transfer to a bowl. Use an immersion blender to puree the mixture. If you don’t have an immersion blender, place the mixture into a high-speed blender.
- Store the jam in a jar and keep it refrigerated for up to two weeks.
An immersion blender is good to have on hand for small simple projects like this one. If you don’t have one, they are relatively cheap and many are sold on Amazon. I prefer the styling and reliability of the Utalent. Check them all out by clicking here, immersion blenders. I’ve included a handy video down further about how to prepare this jam.
How To Preserve Papaya Seeds
Some people prefer to save and use the seeds of cut papaya instead of throwing them out. Prior to storing them, clean them off and make sure all the fruit and jelly like pouch is removed from the seed. Lay them on a paper towel and let them dry. Once dry place the seeds into an airtight container and store them in the refrigerator or freezer.
Why save the seeds? Some people eat them as they are. Others grind them up and use as a seasoning. They taste a little bitter, peppery and some say like horseradish. The most common use is for a black pepper substitute.
How To Preserve Papaya Puree
If you took your cut papaya and made it a puree, can you store it? Papaya puree can be stored in the refrigerator or freezer. The puree should be placed into an airtight container or a freezer bag. If using a freezer bag, try to remove as much air as possible with a straw or vacuum sealer. In the fridge, it can last up to a few days and in the freezer for a year.
Wrapping Up The Cut Papaya
Papaya turns fast after it’s been cut, so it’s important to take the right steps to preserve it if you do not want to waste it.
Storing papaya in the fridge in airtight containers will help to preserve the fruit, but not for very long. Papaya stored in this manner will only stay good to eat for a few days.
For the long-term one of the best ways to preserve this tropical fruit is to freeze it. This will keep it good to eat and ready to use for up to one year. In addition, it can be made into great tasting snacks by dehydrating it or drying it out.
Papaya also makes a fantastic jam, which is a great way to preserve the fruit as well. These methods can be preserve cut papaya for long periods. Try them for yourself to find out which one is your favorite.
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- North Dakota State University: Focus On Whole Fruits: How to Select and Store Fruit