#5: Five Steps to Ripen and Store Papayas

You already know how important papayas are to your health, especially your eyes and overall immune function.

You’ve planned for smoothies or to you’re teaching your teen how to make her first Immunonutrition dish, Papaya Salsa with Salmon.

Now we need to know about storing the papayas you so patiently picked while being picky at the market! Keep your calendar in mind:

  • When are you going to use them?
  • How ripe are they now?
  • Where will you store them?
  • Store and keep in the same place, in the same way until you have done it a few times before inviting guests for dinner; this way, you will ‘know’ how they ripen in your kitchen. Make sure to keep them at room temperature, same place.
  • Plan your dish. Use ripened, yellow papayas that are neither over- or under-ripened.

5 Steps to Ripen and Store Papayas:

  1. Fully Ripe (Yellow) to use Withing 3 Days: If fully ripe, refrigerate it. You can refrigerate a whole papaya for 3 days.
  2. Fully Ripe, to use in over 4 – 7 Days: If you’re not going to eat your yellow papaya in 3 days, put it in a plastic bag and refrigerate for up to 1 week.
  3. Green Papaya that Needs to Ripen: If you buy a papaya that is too green and you want to speed up ripening, place it in a paper bag at room temperature. Check 2x daily. When it is fully yellow, use it or refrigerate it.


If your papaya looks this green, you need to ripen it before eating.

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4. Fully Yellow Papaya: Use a papaya when it is fully yellow and only gently squeezable. It should weigh heavier than it looks. Review How to Pick a Papaya here.

Several papaya may ripen at different rates, depending on the temperature of each one. Many times, several papayas you bought at the same time will ripen at different rates. Use the most yellow ones for guests.

Thus, if you are going to use 2 papayas for salsa, it is okay to buy 3 and then see “the best 2” to use for your guests. The 3rd one can decorate your table for dessert.

5. Over-ripened, Yellow, Soft Papaya: Don’t let papayas overripen. If it dents in with your thumbprint too much, it’s probably best to trash it. Next time, either buy it more green or just purchase a yellow one and use it within 3 days.

You should feel good about buying, storing and ripening your beautiful papaya! Enjoy and soon we will be cutting it up and using it for a delightful salsa & salmon dish that is full of immunonutrition for you!

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The Series: “Immunonutrition of the Papaya”

#1: Ten Reasons to Choose Papaya for Immunonutrition

#2: Ten Health Benefits of Papaya Seeds

#3: Five Steps: How to Pick a Papaya: Be Picky

#4: Avoid 5 Forms of Papaya in Pregnant Women and Small Children

#5: Five Steps to Ripen and Store Papayas

#6: Five Medicinal Properties of Papaya

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