Here in the tropics it can be useful to know what to do with all that summer fruit that ripens in abundance, causing a glut. Here are a couple of papaya and mango thoughts. Each recipe will work equally with either.
- Peel, cube and packin containers in the freezer for a rainy day
- Add to oatmeal for a nutritious brekky.
- Make chutney. Note that with chutney, it is a very creative process. Measurements are not vital. But the sugar content is what preserves it.
- Make smoothies – add fruit to yoghurt and have for brekky or a snack at 4 pm!
- Make jam. Use your favourite apple based jam recipes but add 50% tropical fruit with the apples. Add a bit of pectin powder (Jamsetta).
- Dry the fruit in the sun on and under mossie netting. Slice and lay out on foil on mossie net, cover well. Keep it in a sunny spot in a window but out of the dust. I had a dryer once for this but it was so much work and probably wasted power. The sun is better and free and that’s what the Sicilians would do with their tomatoes.
- Mash into oatmeal (equal parts) and use as a natural face-pack and if left a long time will be a fruit acid peel. The oatmeal makes the skin soft.
- Papaya is a meat tenderizer. Use as a marinade mashed on cheap cuts of meat to make them as soft as fillet steak.
- Sit with your elbows in the skins of mangoes, papaya, limes or any citrus fruit. It softens the wrinkly bits! Truly. If you are habitually perched on one elbow at your desk, do this and later compare the other elbow. You WILL notice a difference. My mother passed this on to me.
- Tropical cordial. Using a simple syrup as a base, add a heap of tropical fruit (whatever you have) and a chopped root of ginger and perhaps lemon grass. Boil for 30 mins. Strain and bottle. But don’t throw out your fruit pulp as this can be made into fruit leathers (spread on foil and dry in the sun as above) or as the fruit to be added to muffins or even Christmas puddings!
I could go on forever! Using your glut food productively, even if it is just to give as gifts or surprises for the neighbours has a massive effect on your carbon footprint cutting down food transportation.
- 6 cups mango or papaya cut into small cubes
- Lime juice or fresh lime cordial (around a cup)
- 2 cups sugar
- A large ginger root chopped or grated finely
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 large chopped onion
- Cinnamon powder (1 tspn)
- Cloves (put them in a tea ball and leave throughout the cooking process then remove)
- A very finely chopped chili
- 2 tspns curry powder
- 1 tspn salt
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup raisins or sultanas
- 1 cup dried cranberries
Boil it all until thick (around 30 mins) and put into sterilized jars. This is a stunning condiment for fish or any meat or even on toasted cheese. You can also beat it into cream cheese for a unique dip.
Here I keep it in the fridge but it would be OK in the pantry if you seal then do the Fowlers Vacola water bath sterilization step, boiling for around 10 minutes at low simmer before finally tightening the seals.
Send us your ideas and we will post them too.