Rangi Mitaera-Johnson: There is power in the pawpaw

Thursday March 19, 2020 Written by Published in Art
Lately I’ve been cooking my pawpaws from Aunty Tua at the markets, setting aside the pulp for my poke and the juice for drinks.  20031802/20031803 Lately I’ve been cooking my pawpaws from Aunty Tua at the markets, setting aside the pulp for my poke and the juice for drinks. 20031802/20031803

The hygiene and safety measures strongly suggested by our government are a sign of what is real and here for us all today. 

If you think it will all pass by in a few weeks, think again. This is no joke, and ignoring these measures will make you and your family the most vulnerable.

 

While cleaning our hands regularly, keeping our distance and keeping exceptional hygiene practices are crucial, it is also just as important to maintain a good eating and exercise regime. 

Hygiene takes care of the external, but eating good food can assist our immune systems by creating resistance. 

The interesting thing is that many who are most vulnerable are those that have been impacted by non-communicable diseases. 

I encourage you all to eat fruit and vegetables daily, drink water but not too many cold drinks.

We are in challenging times where warm conditions force us to quench our thirst with a cold drink.  A few too many cold drinks combined with an air-conditioned room and fans blowing full force equate to colds, sore throats and the flu. 

Include in your day a good dose of vitamins, even adding a dash of freshly squeezed lemon or lime to your water and keep away from the junk foods and sugary drinks. 

We live on a paradise filled with the bounty of fresh fruit and vegetables; we can help our own people by consuming more of these foods.

Foods like nu, pawpaw and dragon fruit are plentiful these day and can be turned into amazing dishes for the family. 

I love pawpaws for their colour, flavour and amazing nutritional value. Lately I’ve been cooking my pawpaws from Aunty Tua at the markets, setting aside the pulp for my poke and the juice for drinks. 

The flavour is delicious with a double purpose – it helps keep me regular. I swear I feel 10 times better after drinking this liquor, there’s never enough of it for us to drink. 

This raw pawpaw chutney is very simple and can be made up in minutes to complement your meat or vegetarian dishes.

Pawpaw seeds have been in our cupboard of knowledge for many years. They are eaten or swallowed whole to assist with deworming. I sometimes dry my pawpaw seeds and add them to my pepper grinder.

 

RECIPE:

Raw pawpaw chutney

Ingredients

½ green pawpaw, grated

½ tsp turmeric paste or powder

2 tsp of fresh coriander

2 garlic and 2 green chillies, ground to a paste

1 tsp brown sugar

juice of 1/2 a lemon

 

Method

Mix pawpaw chutney ingredients well in bowl.

In a pan heat 1 tsp of cooking oil and add the spice for a couple of minutes to release flavours:

¼ tsp fenugreek

½ tsp mustard

½ tsp cumin seeds

When cool, add these spices to the pawpaw mix and serve

 

You can add in other vegetables to kick in more flavour or swap certain herbs to suit your taste.  Add more crisp vegetable to make it more like a salad.

Pawpaws are rich in Vitamin C and E and antioxidants like beta-carotene, which helps prevent your skin from free radical damage, keeping wrinkles and other signs of ageing far away. 

Pawpaw is a rich source of antioxidants, phytonutrients and flavonoids that prevent your cells from undergoing free radical damage. Vitamin C and Vitamin A, made in the body from the beta-carotene in pawpaw, are both needed for the proper function of a healthy immune system. 

Pawpaw may therefore be a heathy fruit choice for preventing such illnesses as recurrent ear infections, colds and flu.

Those looking to lose weight can consume pawpaw during breakfast and as a snack, between lunch and dinner.

For breakfast, pair pawpaw with a source of good quality protein and a small amount of healthy fats.  Eating pawpaw as a snack after lunch helps you stay feeling full longer.

E kai e ma’ara ia Ripo …

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