Maui Food and Dining

Papaya Bread – A Healthy Island Favorite

November 24, 2010, 9:52 AM HST
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We all know the disappointment at cutting into what we think is a ripe papaya to find that it is actually tasteless and could actually use another day or two.  But if you don’t want to waste the fruit, what can you do with it?  Answer: make papaya bread!
As we learned earlier this month, the papaya is native to North America but is cultivated in tropical and semitropical zones around the world.  Green papaya is prevalent in Thai cuisine and is popular cooked or eaten raw with lime and salt.  But ripe papaya (when the skin has turned yellow and the flesh around the top has softened) is best enjoyed raw with lime or in salads and desserts.

Papaya bread is a healthy island favorite, and the key to this recipe is to puree the fruit instead of mashing, as mashing leaves chunks which create holes during baking. Here is a fantastic recipe as adapted from


  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1-1/2 cups applesauce
  • 1-1/2 cups pureed papaya
  • 1-1/4 cups chopped walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg



Preheat oven to 325 degrees.


Lightly grease or apply cooking spray to 2 loaf pans.

Combine eggs, oil and sugar, mixing at low speed for approximately 30 seconds.  Then add carrots, applesauce, mashed papaya and nuts.  Mix at low speed for approximately 30 seconds.  Combine salt, flour, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Add to wet mixture and mix by hand until combined.

Spoon batter into loaf pans and bake for approximately 1 hour.  Let rest in pan for approximately 10 minutes.  Remove from pan and cool on wire rack.

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