Creamy Citrus Pawpaw Smoothie (Vegan/GF)

creamy citrus pawpaw smoothieDo you find that making smoothies is almost foolproof? I found that making them is a fun and easy way to be creative. For the most part, you just mix all your ingredients together and it’s good to go, right?  I used grapefruit and tangerine to blend with the pawpaw because I thought they might pair well together to make a nutritious fall smoothie. I was right and we all enjoyed this sweet, tropical flavored pawpaw smoothie.

Creamy Citrus Pawpaw Smoothie

Let me say that again that I’m using pawpaw, not papaya. When I first saw the name and appearance of a pawpaw fruit, I thought they were baby/unripened papayas. After cutting one open, I realized it was something totally different.

If you live in North America, you may see this greenish-blackish and oval shaped fruit at a farmers market, or even growing on trees in your neighborhood. Some people refer to pawpaw fruit as America’s best secret fruit because they’re hidden and not likely to be found in grocery stores.

Creamy Citrus Pawpaw Smoothie

Pawpaw fruit have a soft, yellow flesh, a sunny tropical sweet taste, and a custard-like, extremely creamy texture. They also have a very alluring floral but distinct taste, resembling a blend of tropical flavors such as mango, banana, and pineapple. These features all make pawpaw a fantastic fruit to enjoy raw, in foods such as smoothies, salsa, pudding, or even sorbet.

Have you heard or watched the NPR first aired story about pawpaw fruit in 2011? Ever since, the market demands have gone up according to a food company. Pawpaw fruit ripens in September or October and are not easy to find in grocery stores. However, you can buy the frozen pulp all year round. Because pawpaw fruit is high in vitamin C, iron, copper, and other vitamins and minerals, I’d be surprised if they didn’t become more and more visible in recipes and kitchens in the near future.

Creamy Citrus Pawpaw SmoothieNow, let’s get back to the smoothie. It takes a bit of effort to get all the flesh from the pawpaw. Unfortunately, I only found one YouTube video showing the cutting of pawpaw fruit.

After practicing on more than 20 pawpaw fruit, I finally found my preferred way to cut and scoop out the flesh.

  1. On each ripe pawpaw, you’ll find a dark line from one end to the other.
  2. Use a paring knife to cut along the line and then twist open the pawpaw like you cut an avocado.
  3. Once they are separated into two pieces, use a small spoon with a thin edge to remove the pits and then scoop out the flesh. It’s going to be a little messy, but that’s alright. Remember, pawpaw flesh easily oxidizes once it’s exposed to air, so you should use them right away or add some lemon juice to prevent oxidation.

Because of the sweet taste and aroma from the pawpaw fruit, adding some citrus really gives the smoothie a tangy kick. With its natural sweetness, this creamy citrus pawpaw is ready to enjoy as a nutritious smoothie.

Creamy Citrus Pawpaw Smoothie

Creamy Citrus Pawpaw Smoothie (Vegan/GF)
Prep Time
30 mins
Total Time
30 mins
Tools: Paring knife, a small spoon, measuring cups and spoons, blender
Course: Snack/Breakfast
Cuisine: Vegan/Gluten-Free
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Joyce @Light Orange Bean
  • 2 cups pawpaw puree
  • 1 medium grapefruit peeled and membrane removed
  • 1 tangerine peeled and membrane removed
  • 1/2 cup fruit juice no sugar added preferred
  • 5 ice cubes
  • optional tangerine rind slices
  1. Cut the pawpaw: find and cut along the dark line on the pawpaw from one end to the other. Twist the body of the pawpaw and open (like cutting an avocado). Use a small spoon to remove the pits and scoop out the flesh.
  2. Blend together all ingredients. Garnish with tangerine rind slices and serve cold.


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