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In Awe of Pawpaw

Prior to this year I had only tasted pawpaw once and it was at a farmers market. At that time I assumed that they were from somewhere tropical. Well, now I know, they are not!

According to Blossom Nursery's website:

The Pawpaw, Asimina triloba, is the largest edible wild fruit native to the USA, occurring naturally in moist, shady places in most of the eastern half of the USA, from the Gulf Coastal plain to the Great Lakes, and from lower New England, to the edge of the southwestern plains.

Last month when I was harvesting elderberries, I stepped on something squishy, then immediately looked up. I was in the middle of a pawpaw patch!

I took a few home as most of them were not ripe yet. I had forgotten how good they are, especially with raw honey; but I think pretty much everything is better with raw honey!

A couple of weeks later I took my grandson back to the wild forage project (I call this a field trip in virtual school.) Jackpot! We harvested so many. One hundred to be exact as he counted every single one ( I call this math in virtual school.)

We took our wild harvest loot home and the first thing I made was pawpaw bread. It was good, but really good with raw honey :)

With a harvest like this, I began asking on a Facebook page what else I should make. I got some amazing suggestions. I opted for the easiest one, pawpaw frozen yogurt. I am SO THRILLED with the outcome, but first let me explain how I got this amazing, healthy and delish treat. Easy? yes. Time consuming, also yes.

Okay here it goes:

First I cut them in half and pulled all the pulp and seeds out, putting all of it in a bowl.

This was a different way of cutting them then when I made the bread. Either way though, fishing out the seeds is a lot of work and a lot of waste as so much pulp sticks to the seeds.

In one of the YouTube videos I watched there was a suggestion of throwing all of it, pulp and seeds in a food processor. At first I thought this would chop the seeds up into the pulp, but it did not. The video suggested using a soft dough blade, which I do not have, so I was just careful and pulsed it off and on.. the result was that it pulled a lot of the pulp away from the seeds without chopping up the seeds.

Not perfect, but so much better than anything else I've tried.

This made it so much easier to get the seeds removed. Once the seeds were out, I blended the pulp some more. I then placed the pulp in molds and froze them.

I waited until the next day, but I think the pulp will be frozen in a couple hours.

Then the fun part.

I blended:

vanilla greek yogurt (3) 5 oz individual cups

3/4 cup raw honey

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

I blended all of the above then added one at a time

9 of the frozen pawpaw cubes (9 oz by weight)

I placed in a shallow-ish type serving dish, covered with wax paper and froze it.

Later the same day...

HUGE SUCCESS!! And again... better with more raw honey.

The best part of this treat is that not only was the pawpaw hand harvested and the raw honey right out of our hives.. this combo of wild pawpaw, raw honey and Greek yogurt has a plethora of health benefits.

If you are lucky enough to get your hands on some pawpaw, I highly recommend pawpaw frozen yogurt.

The skins went to our compost and while at the compost pile I grabbed some lovely compost to store the seeds until I am ready to plant them. I have read that the trees take a long time to come to fruition; that's okay.. they will be well worth the wait.

Got raw honey? If not, get some of ours here!

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