We are always looking for new and exciting things to try over here, and this week, though it may seem boring, normal, average and everyday to your family, we tried a totally new-for-us fruit. The papaya. Thats right. The papaya is a totally new for our family fruit. That oblong, greenish-yellowish, heavy, strange-looking fruit. Maddy spotted it on a recent shopping trip, and said, Mommy! We have to get this. We have to try a papaya. It looks so. . . weird. How could I argue her logic? And so our family began 2013 by trying this tropical wonder, and it resulted in a wee bit of research, some reading, watching, trying, and reflecting. Some serious, on-the-fly learning in our every day. Heres the skinny. . . The PapayaTotally New-For-Our-Family Fruit: It was surprising to Maddy and me just how many people commented on the papaya in our cart: What is that thing? What are you going to do with that? Wow! Looks like you two will be busy today! The papaya: in all of its long, greenish, yellowish, squishiness. Granted, Maddy stuck it in the spot where flowers are supposed to sit, so it did look a little strangeeven to us. But the conversation-starter with strangers in the grocery store clued us into the fact that we did have a strange and unusual fruit on our hands! It made the pricetag (gulp! A tropical fruit in the winter in Marland?) a little easier to take. When we got home, she buzzed to the computer. We have to research how to cut the papaya! We cant totally wreck it like we did with our mango! So after we unloaded the groceries, ate lunch, and did a few other things, we did our research. It was actually very funny to have this crazy, new fruit on our countertop for a few hours. It made the kids curious: What do you think it tastes like? Wonder if its sweet? Maybe crunchy like an apple? I bet its so juicy. . . We hopped on google and talked about what key words we could use for our search. I think lets just do how to cut a papaya, said Maddy. And thats what we did. Papayas have some serious seed action going on. . . . . . and gosh they are strong-tasting! So peppery! We landed on Jeannettes Healthy Living How to Cut a Papaya into Chunks, and we also learned a little bit about papayas along the way: Who knew the papaya was considered a power food? That it was packed with vitamin C and A and E? That it was high in folate, potassium, fiber and vitamin K? That it contains several unique protein-digesting enzymes? So exciting! Now all it had to do was taste great, and wed have a brand-new fruity bff! We followed her lead by cutting the papaya half and scooping out the seeds. Maddy, Owen, and Cora each held seeds, squished and squeezed the seeds, and tried the peppery seeds. (Good thing we had drinks on hand! They are really peppery!) We cut the papaya in quarters. . . . . . and then sliced off the skin. Then we cut into big chunks and dug in. I cut the long slices into chunks, and the kidsand I!couldnt wait to try it. And. . . Man, what a disappointment. Not at all sweet. Not at all juicy and yum like we all hoped and imagined. It. . . tastes like nothing, Maddy said. Or kind of like a tomato? Cora said, Its squishy and tastes like water. And then she spit it into the sink. I want to like it, said Owen. But it is so strange in my mouth. Yeah, Maddylike something with a taste of nothing. And I whole-heartedly agreed. Our papaya had a grainy texturekind of like a ripe tomatobut didnt have the fresh, sweet, tropical taste we had hoped for. Lets try it with a little lime on top! I tried. Like on the website? But the kids wouldnt buy it. I think one kid gave it a go but spit the papaya chunk with lime into the sink. Its beautiful when cutI love the colorbut man. Not a winner. The winner? Papaya in our breakfast smoothie. With vanilla yogurt and other good stuff thrown in. However, in smoothies the next day at breakfast, the papaya stole the show. Though it was a really hard sell. With a little vanilla yogurt, a banana, a splash of orange juice, and about 1 1/2 cups of our papaya chunks, the kids loved it. We all agreed that the papaya really seemed to lighten the smoothiegave it a fresh taste and a smooth texture. Want to know how you can get your kids to be excited to try new foods? Check out How to Get Your Kids to Try New Foods. Happy eating! And thats it. Just some fun, sneaky learning to kick off the new year while trying a little something new for our family. We are always, always, always looking for new and exciting things to try! In fact, our goal is weekly to try one new thingwhether its food, crafts, activities, events, toys, thinking, programming, you name it. Its our New For Us Friday tag, and if ever you have an idea for us, please give us a shout. Or check out our pinterest board: neat-0, fun, NEW things for us to try board. Packed with our ideas for the year! Pin ItThe post the papaya: totally new for our family fruit appeared first on teach mama.