Papaya con Leche

img_5685My husband and I got married over the summer in Costa Rica, and one of the things I loved the most about the country was all the fresh tropical fruit. Every morning, they served a fresh juice of some sort. I’ve always loved papaya, not only for its countless nutritional benefits and flavor, but for its vibrant beauty. Costa Ricans love their papaya, too. Every day, we’d visit the local “sodas”, which are the Costa Rican equivalent to the small American cafe, in search of some authentic Tico food. Batidos are the local drink, very similar to a smoothie, but only using fruit and either water or milk. You can either order it con leche (with milk, David’s preferrence), or con agua (my go-to). I fell in love with the very simple but delicious papaya-con-agua that became my morning staple there. To my delight, my new neighborhood is home to many papaya trees. Jeff brought a few the other day, and today I was very lucky to find a roadside tree loaded with them, ready to pick. Lately the papaya gods have been very good to me, showering me with brightly colored fruit… hallelujah! I froze some, ate some, and was finally reunited with my beloved batidos (con leche for David, con agua for me). It’s literally just straightup ripe fruit (NOT frozen, although you definitely could) blended with just a bit of either water or milk. In Costa Rica, they’d add a little sugar, but these didn’t need any since these Maui papaya I find sweet enough on their own. Top them with a sprinkle of chia seeds, and there you have a delicious snack… muy bien!

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