Are you a Haghan fan? Despite how it might sound, Haghan has nothing to do with Vegan! It's a combination of Harry and Meghan, my favorite royal newlyweds. The media often pays attention to what Meghan has to give up to marry Harry. According to Daily Mail, Harry also had to give up some bad habits to win Meghan's heart, including smoking and eating junk food. Prince Harry used to enjoy hunting and burgers, while Meghan is a animal lover and a yoga practitioner. She prefers "lean, clean, and green" diet. To Prince Harry's pals' amusement, he has taken an interest in yoga. Prince Harry enjoys kale and quinoa and starts his morning with vitamin-infused green smoothies. There is no doubt that Meghan has inspired him to live a more healthy life style. No wonder the Queen agreed that Meghan has brought a positive influence to Prince Harry.
According to Top Trends in Prepared Foods: In 2017, 6% of Americans now identify as vegan. A huge increase of 600% over just three years. Some people believe that a vegan diet is better for your health. Some people believe it will be a more sustainable food system if humans consume less meat and more vegetables. Personally, I don't eat fruit and vegetables because of any of the above reasons above. I believe humans are omnivore, and we should eat both meat and vegetables. I eat a lot of vegetables and fruits a day, simply because vegetables and fruits are delicious!
I grew up in Taiwan, the "Kingdom of Fruit." It's a tropical island next to China. We have delicious and juicy fruit all year around. My favorite to-go spot is the night market where there are vendors which each of sell one or two specialty dishes. You can always find a juice vendor in any night market. They sell watermelon juice, papaya milk, avocado milk, etc.
Those venders do not market their juice as a cleanser or detox. We don't necessarily drink juice because of the benefits to consume it. We enjoy drinking it because it tastes so good! Furthermore, the juice in Taiwan is about two dollars per cup. Here a detox juice can range from six dollars to ten dollars. For Taiwanese people, juice is not a luxury!
One thing Taiwanese people love to do is to add fruit into milk, including avocado and papaya. Here in the US, I've seen avocado in sushi (California roll), avocado + lime+ cilantro + tomato (Guacamole), and of course, avocado toast. Avocado + milk + honey is a great combination. It can be a snack whenever you're hungry.
Here is my personal twist of Taiwanese avocado milk: I add two dry dates, one banana, chia seeds, and baby spinach into the milk. I have tried both regular milk and home-made almond milk. These are both great options. There is no need to add honey, since dates and banana are already quite sweet. This is a smoothie that can help bowl movements and will make you feel full for a few hours. Avocado contains good fat and bananas contain good carbs. Chia seeds have been super food for several reasons. They reduce food cravings by preventing some of the food that you eat from getting absorbed into your system. This blockage of calorie absorption makes them a great diet helper, as well. They can also help your diet by making you feel full. This is because they absorb 10 times their weight in water, forming a bulky gel. Interesting!
Another my all time favorites is papaya milk. Papayas are originally from southern Mexico (particularly Chiapas and Veracruz), Central America, and northern South America; the papaya is now cultivated in most tropical countries. There are plenty of papayas cultivated in Taiwan. You can find papaya milk in any night market. My personal twist is to add Chia seeds to my papaya milk. It makes me feel full and can last for a few hours.
When you go shop for the best papayas for papaya milk, be mindful that two kinds of papayas are commonly grown. One has sweet, red or orange flesh, and the other has yellow flesh; these are called "red papaya" and "yellow papaw," respectively. Either kind, picked green, is called a "green papaya." Green papayas are perfect for a Thai salad, but not ideal for papaya milk. Only choose red papaya for papaya milk.
You can find papayas around the Boston area easily at Wegmans or some Whole Foods. I love the local supermarket at Watertown called Russos. You can find both small and big red papayas there. I like both small and big papayas. As a tip, the small ones ripen quicker. One thing important to note is that you have to wait until the papaya is fully ripen to make the delicious papaya milk.
Here are some more tips:
Papayas will ripen more quickly when put in a paper bag with ethylene-producing fruits, such as apples or bananas. Never put the papaya in the fridge. It will NEVER ripen in the fridge!
Step 1 Observe the papaya's color
- Papayas are picked when they are still green and hard to minimize potential bruising during shipping. Buy a papaya when it is half green and half yellow. It will further ripen at home at room temperature and will be ready to eat when it is predominantly yellow.
Step 2 Examine the end where the stalk was
- The papaya will ripen well if there is a yellow ring, but if the ring is green, it won't ripen.
Step 3 Examine the papaya's skin
- Wrinkled skin will not affect the taste of the papaya, but sunken areas or bruises indicate rough handling during transit.
Step 4 Press on the papaya with your fingers
- A ripe papaya should be soft and retain slight indentations, but a papaya that isn't ripe will be hard. If it is too soft and mushy, it's overripe.
Step 5 Smell the papaya
- A ripe papaya will smell faintly sweet. If the papaya has no scent, it isn't ripe yet. But if it has a strong, sweet odor, it's overripe
Here are many health benefits to enjoy papayas. Let me list a few of them.
- Cholesterol - As it is a fruit that is rich in fiber it lowers blood cholesterol levels. It contains enzymes that help prevent oxidization of cholesterol, which in return helps to prevent heart-attacks.
- Anit-aging - The antioxidants in papaya help in controlling premature ageing. This quality of the papaya helps you to get a younger look.
- Constipation - Papaya helps in preventing constipation and aids in digestion. The enzyme papain is a digestive enzyme that helps in natural digestion.
- Weight Loss - It is low in calories and high in nutritional values. Hence, it is a good food for those who want to lose some weight.
I love papaya milk because it tastes so divine. If I don't have it for a while, I will even have cravings! How many "detox" or "cleanse" foods make you crave? Probably not many. As I say, food should be delicious in the first place. We should never suffer for eating healthy. Now you know how to make papaya milk and all the benefits to consume it, it's time to get some papayas and start your power breakfast!
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Melissa is 100% MIT (Made in Taiwan), where she worked as a food writer. She’s also worked alongside renowned chefs like Ming Tsai and Joanne Chang, honing her craft and gathering stories along the way. Part story-teller, part educator, and part food lover, Melissa brings a special blend of experience, skill, and enthusiasm to her work. She blends her Asian background, her new home of New England, and love of food and culture to bring joy, optimism, and inspiration to food lovers and fun-seekers everywhere.
What sparked your passion for the industry?
The desire to make things by hand. The joy of sharing delicious, hearty food with students. The opportunity for people to get connected via cooking and baking. When a child smiled broadly and told me it’s the best scone he has ever made and eaten, it really made my day!
In your opinion, what’s the most important course?
Well, I usually take a peek at the wine list first. I like tapas style, so the course doesn’t really matter. Cheese and charcuterie are always a good place to start. And since I’m a pastry chef, there is always room for dessert!
Bill Gates is picking up your tab, where would you go?