Paw Paw Recipes: 7 Ways to Use and Preserve Your Paw Paw Fruits
If you are one of the lucky ones who has an abundance of paw paw fruits and are not sure what to do with them, this article is for you. If you do not have access to an abundance of paw paws, perhaps the tantalizing ideas in this post will inspire you plant some paw paw seeds!
Paw Paws 101
Paw paws have quite a few unique characteristics that are good to understand before embarking on cooking/preparing/preserving them. For starters, they are extremely aromatic, fragrant and flavorful. These flavors are delicate, however, and are somewhat compromised with heat. Therefore, most of the suggestions below do not involve heat, in the spirit of trying to capture the full essence of this exquisite and magical fruit. Also, as an apple’s inner flesh turns brown when left out, a paw paw’s inner flesh oxidizes when exposed to air and turns dark orange or brown. This makes things a little tricky when it comes to preserving paw paws. You can use lemon or lime juice to help keep the color of paw paw pulp bright.
7 Ways to Use and Preserve Your Paw Paws
- Fresh Paws Paws – Nothing really beats eating a paw paw fresh right there in the paw paw patch. This is hands down the yummiest, most fulfilling and most spiritual way to eat your paw paws.
- Paw Paw Kombucha – If you are a kombucha brewer, which many wild food enthusiasts are since wild foods and fermenting seem to go hand in hand, you can simply toss some paw paw pulp in your kombucha during the second ferment (or heck, even during the first). Then after a day or two, strain and drink. You can even eat the leftover kombucha-infused paw paw pulp if you’d like.
- Paw Paw Cordial or Liqueur – Alcohol is another great menstruum one can use to capture the essence of the Paw Paw. I’ve experimented with extracting Paw Paw pulp in brandy, vodka, tequila, and whiskey. Add some sugar or honey, maybe lemon or lime, and you have a paw paw flavored boozy syrup or cocktail ;)
- Paw Paw Vinegar – This is the best way to put up your paw paws if you want to preserve the deep rich golden yellow color of the fruit flesh. It looks like sunshine in a jar. I use apple cider vinegar and add fresh paw paw pulp. You can add honey or sugar to this and blend it up to make a paw paw salad dressing. You can also use sweetened paw paw vinegar as the base for a fruit soda (just add carbonated water) or an adult beverage (add alcohol of your choice).
- Paw Paw Ice Cream – Much of the flavor still remains when freezing paw paw pulp. You can tweak this recipe to your liking and use ice cube trays if you don’t have an ice cream maker. Recipe HERE.
- Paw Paw Fruit Leather – For this, you’ll need to blend up some paw paw pulp with a little lemon juice and sweetener (optional) and then pour onto trays of wax paper and place in the oven or dehydrator until dry.
- Paw Paw Butter – Though some of the delicate flavors of the fruit are lost in this method, paw paw butter is still one of my favorite ways to put up the fruit. You can do this even if you’ve never canned before and don’t have any canning equipment, as long as you have a large container for the 10 minute water bath at the end. This tastes ah-MAZ-ing with oatmeal, on buttered toast or atop chocolate brownies and vanilla ice cream :) Recipe HERE.
Paw paws truly are a super special fruit! This is what Foraging and Wild Foods Expert, Dan de Lion, has to say about them: “The only tropical fruit leftover in North America from Pangea that has fat and carbohydrates, something very rare for fruits, and nonexistent in North America otherwise….this humble Native American fruit can singlehandedly replace all of the unsustainable mono-cropping and importing of mangos, bananas, and avocados so that we may create a sustainable future.”
If you are interested in growing your own paw paw trees, for a limited time you can purchase fresh paw paw seeds from our Etsy shop HERE.
#pawpawpower #propagatepawpaws #eatmorepawpaws
To me, paw paws represent wild treasure, wild gold, the forest pot-o-gold (who needs a rainbow?), prosperity, abundance, blessings, passion, playfulness, sunshine, lightness, hope, and healing.
Are you a “Paw Paw Person”? What are your favorite ways to use and preserve paw paws? What do paw paws mean to you?
Passionate for Paw Paws,