Simple Sundays | Papaya Slushy

With summer beckoning its hot, lazy days so temptingly ahead, my mind is lured into a state of vacation. I close my eyes and am transported to a place of aloha, where time is just a suggestion. Wake when you want to wake. Play when you want to play. Eat when you want to eat.

I dream of paradise, of mangoes and pineapples, and most especially, of papaya. Funny enough, when I first encountered papayas, I was a little girl, about my son’s age, vacationing in the Philippines.

I scrunched up my face as my mother sat across from me; I watched with a critical eye as her spoon scooped glossy egg-like seeds from the vibrant fruit. With each spoonful, she was in bliss – her transplanted tongue had not had such sweet papaya in years. As I watched her, I turned away in disgust – I was convinced that it smelled quite putrid.

Show me a bowl of ripe papayas today, however, and my heart will swoon. My tastebuds have been convinced, and to me there is nothing better than to eat a papaya simply, as my mother had. But perhaps a sip of a cool Papaya Slushy will force me to slow down even more. Each sweet sip transports me to paradise, even if my feet are firmly planted on my kitchen floor.

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Papaya Slushy

Yield: Serves 4.

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 2 minutes

Total Time: 7 minutes

There’s nothing better than beating the summer (ideally island) heat with a sip of something cool and sweet. Find the ripest and sweetest papayas you can and you’ll be transported in no time.


3-4 medium ripe papayas, seeds removed (It should yield about 3-4 cups of fruit from the rind)
1/4 cup agave nectar or simple syrup (below), to taste
squeeze of fresh lime juice (optional)
4 cups crushed ice


Spoon the fruit from the papayas into a blender and puree until smooth. Sweeten to taste and add squeeze of lime, if desired. Add ice and blend until slushy. Pour into glasses and serve immediately.

Simple Syrup

Makes 1 cup.

1 cup water
1 cup sugar

Combine water and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer until sugar dissolves, about 3-4 minutes. Cool completely.

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by Liren Baker on June 3, 2012

31 Responses to “Simple Sundays | Papaya Slushy”

  1. Cookin' Canuck June 3, 2012 @ 6:22 am (#

    Papayas have been one of my favorite fruits since I was a kid, and I’ve always enjoyed it with a little squeeze of lime. These slushies would be the perfect thing to ward off the blazing heat we are experiencing. So refreshing!

    • liren replied: — June 3rd, 2012 @ 3:34 pm

      I really love that you enjoyed papayas at a young age, because I distinctly remember thinking they smelled awful! It took me a while to really appreciate them :) And yes, this heat! You’d think it was already July! Stay cool out there :)

  2. Laura (Tutti Dolci) June 3, 2012 @ 7:35 am (#

    How cool and refreshing, I’m all for a momentary trip to the tropics!

    • liren replied: — June 3rd, 2012 @ 3:33 pm

      Yes, these virtual vacas are a must ;)

  3. Holly June 3, 2012 @ 7:44 am (#

    I look forward to these posts every Sunday. :) This looks delightful, I’ve always wanted to buy papaya at the market, but I don’t know how to choose a ripe one. Do you tell if they are ripe like you would a mango?

    • liren replied: — June 3rd, 2012 @ 3:00 pm

      Aw, that is so nice, Holly! Thank you for making *my* Sunday!

      When I look for papayas, I look for ones that are nearly all yellow (or no longer green), and like a mango, it is a little soft to the touch. The outside of a papaya is not exactly the most photogenic when it is ripe, as it can get that mottled look, but inside will be lovely! Hope that helps :)

  4. Platanos, Mangoes and Me! June 3, 2012 @ 9:07 am (#

    My mother would make papaya chunks in syrup skin attached. Oh I love that with “queso blanco” – white cheese and also milk shake with papaya….

    Yours looks very refreshing.

    • liren replied: — June 3rd, 2012 @ 3:01 pm

      That sound so tasty – I must try it with queso blanco!

  5. Barbara | Creative Culinary June 3, 2012 @ 9:27 am (#

    This looks soooo good. Is it bad that I can imagine a splash of vodka and sparkling soda? :)

    • liren replied: — June 3rd, 2012 @ 3:01 pm

      Oh, the thought crossed my mind, but when I made it it was rather early in the morning, so I had to behave. But for later in the day, absolutely!!

  6. Kelsey {Itsy Bitsy Foodies} June 3, 2012 @ 10:19 am (#

    I want one of these right now! :) I, too, have always loved papaya with a squirt of lime juice…

    • liren replied: — June 3rd, 2012 @ 3:33 pm

      It really is lovely, isn’t it? Wish I could have papaya all year long :)

  7. thyme (sarah) June 3, 2012 @ 12:31 pm (#

    That drink looks fabulous. We have lots of papayas here since we are just north of Mexico. I haven’t had them in a drink like this and it looks perfect for our hot and humid summer weather.

    • liren replied: — June 3rd, 2012 @ 3:02 pm

      You are so lucky to have papayas at your fingertips!

  8. Vicki Bensinger June 3, 2012 @ 12:46 pm (#

    I love papaya’s, mangoes, and pineapple as well. Your papaya slushy sounds divine. I usually make something with mangoes but your papaya’s sound perfect and looks refreshing. Great idea using simple syrup or agave nectar. Did you try it with the agave nectar or the simple syrup? The reason I ask is typically agave nectar is very sweet and oftentimes I find I cut the amount by 1/2 of what I’d use if adding sugar.

    Great drink and so healthy too!

    • liren replied: — June 3rd, 2012 @ 3:03 pm

      So true, agave can be rather sweet. I made it with the agave, but definitely try it out with less, you can always add a little more!

  9. Cate June 3, 2012 @ 4:10 pm (#

    Papaya was never my favorite…but since there’s always so many local-grown papaya available, I’ve learned to jazz it up. Now I love it puréed with some lime juice, ginger and sparkling water. Super good!

    Glad you had fun out here :)

  10. Rowena @ Apron and Sneakers June 3, 2012 @ 4:11 pm (#

    Funny, I never liked the smell of papayas. I still don’t. I like the taste though. Especially the small ones that they say are Hawaiian papayas because they are so sweet. I try to shut my nose when I eat them. It reminds me of my daughter who has an extra sensitive nose and doesn’t like anything that smells strange. One hand pinches her nose and her other hand is used to put the food in her mouth.

  11. Sandra's Easy Cooking June 3, 2012 @ 6:19 pm (#

    Your Papaya Slushy sound so refreshing and I love the idea of a lime kick in the there.
    I wish I can just take this off the screen right now..Beautiful pics!!!!!

  12. Suzanne June 3, 2012 @ 10:03 pm (#

    Beautiful slushy that I really want to sip on right now. You had me transported back to Hawaii just thinking about them. The first time I stayed in Maui we stayed in a complex of condos that had papayas trees in the courtyard and mangoes too it was a just so tropical and lush. Don’t even talk about how good the pineapple is either nothing like here in the states.

  13. Nami | Just One Cookbook June 4, 2012 @ 12:33 am (#

    I’m so thirsty looking at your delicious papaya drink! Liren, do you think this recipe works for other fruits too? Maybe we can adjust the amount of syrup depending on fruit? My kids are not into papaya but they would love slushy!

  14. Oh Liren, unlike you, I am still stuck in that “i-hate-papaya” stage. My grandma had a papaya tree in her garden before, but I never touched that stuff. I can literally count with both hands how many times I’ve tried papaya in my life. Your slushy looks really good, though. It looks kinda like a mango shake (which I love)! Time to let go of the chains of the proverbial papaya prejudice! Hahahaha…Kidding aside, your slushy looks sooooooo refreshing!

  15. Jean June 4, 2012 @ 11:35 am (#

    I love papayas! I’m having a “duh” moment right now because I’ve enjoyed a similar drink with cantaloupe but never with papaya. I can almost taste this gorgeous slushy. Bliss indeed.

  16. ATasteOfMadness June 4, 2012 @ 2:22 pm (#

    What a delicious drink! Perfect for summer! I have a love for papayas, mangoes..all the colorful fruits. I’m dreaming of vacations and lazy summer days too. When it gets warmer here, I’ll be sure to buy some papayas :)

  17. Patty June 4, 2012 @ 2:42 pm (#

    We rented a house in Hawaii years ago with a papaya tree in the backyard. Every morning we would go out and pick a papaya to split for breakfast, sure wish I had your recipe for the slushy at that time;-)

  18. Rikki June 5, 2012 @ 7:00 am (#

    OH this looks so delicious! I love papayas, and this slushy must be the perfect bit of refreshment. It’s so vibrant and colorful too, I just love it!

  19. Lisa { AuthenticSuburbanGourmet } June 5, 2012 @ 8:38 pm (#

    Liren – I adore papayas and need to make this very soon! Love the color and I bet it was so refreshing, especially since the weather was just about darn perfect on Sunday!

  20. myfudo June 5, 2012 @ 11:25 pm (#

    Honestly, I don’t eat papaya. I am a little uncomfortable with the texture…Recently, however I had to search for papaya treats because my sister is having bowel problems and her doctor recommended papaya purees and smoothies. This looks really perfect for her. Thanks for sharing.

  21. Katie @ Epicurean Mom June 6, 2012 @ 7:43 am (#

    Ahhhhh, this post reminds me of our Hawaii vaca! Hubby and I would eat Hawaiian papaya’s everyone morning!! Sounds so refreshing!

  22. Magic of Spice June 6, 2012 @ 2:13 pm (#

    I adore papaya and this is such a wonderful way to enjoy them! Looks amazingly refreshing and perfect for summer!

  23. Cindy@MijoRecipes February 7, 2013 @ 10:23 pm (#

    Awesome recipe! I already pinned it. I LOVE papayas, I will be making this in summer!

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