Monday, September 19, 2011

Closing thoughts about pawpaws

Since I was attending a conference in Lexington on Saturday, I spent my lunch hour wandering around the farmer’s market downtown. Beautifully colored and shaped vegetables, along with some wonderful fall apples, pears and berries, filled table after table. And yes, I found a few pawpaws. They were small but ripening nicely and sure to be tasty very soon.

I was hoping to wrap up this pawpaw series with a recipe or two but I’m still perfecting them, so I’ll post them later. The smoothie I made last week was quite good, although a bit heavy. I need to adjust amounts of everything. The muffins were scrumptious but didn’t have quite as much pawpaw flavor as I had aimed for. So again, I’ll adjust, try again, then feel better about sharing those recipes.

However, I don’t want to leave the subject of pawpaws without pointing out their phenomenal nutritional benefits. Dr. Hideka Kobayashi, KSU, gave a presentation at the conference about the research he has done on the antioxidant capacity and anticancer properties of the North American pawpaw. He noted that pawpaws have more nutrients than bananas, apples and oranges. They are especially high in Vitamins A, C and niacin. Their phenolic content (which is related to their antioxidant capacity) is comparable to that of a superior strawberry, peach, orange or banana. And their antioxidant capacity is comparable to some varieties of blueberries. Dr. Kobayashi concluded that the fruit offers great potential for their antioxidant and anticancer properties.

You can find a nutritional comparison chart and a portion of daily needs chart comparing pawpaws to bananas, apples and oranges at the KSU website. So read it now then run out to purchase the last pawpaws of this season.

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