Papaya oatmeal with crunchy macadamia granola is my newest healthy vegan breakfast. I love how the smooth buttery papaya and warm oats taste with a sweet and crunchy topping.
Like my dollar-sized Buckwheat Banana Pancakes, it's low in sugar, high in fiber, and still tastes like dessert for breakfast.
⭐ Why it works
- Wholefood breakfast
- Papaya bowl
- Sweetened with maple syrup
- Naturally gluten-free
- Quick stove-top granola
- High fiber source
🌟 Fun fact
Botanically speaking, papayas are berries, even though some varieties can grow up to 10 pounds each.
- Papaya - Organic or labeled GMO-free.
- Rolled oats - Old-fashioned oats for chewiness. Select gluten-free if desired.
- Raw macadamia nuts - Can be replaced with pecan halves, walnut pieces, or whole almonds.
- Raw sunflower seeds - Can be replaced by raw pumpkin seeds.
- Sesame seeds - Tiny size helps hold the crispy granola topping together.
- Real maple syrup - A little goes a long way and is a healthier option than refined sweeteners.
- Coconut oil - For golden brown granola.
Make the maple-glazed macadamia nut granola first and let it harden while the oatmeal is cooking.
You'll have a little more than you need to top papaya oatmeal, but trust me, that's good. It's hard to resist munching on it while it cools and crisps up!
- Make homemade granola.
- Cool granola on parchment paper.
- Cook oatmeal.
- Scoop papaya for serving bowls.
Fill and top papaya
- Shape a well in each papaya.
- Fill with warm oatmeal.
- Top oatmeal with scooped papaya.
- Finish papaya oatmeal with macadamia nut granola.
🌴 How to choose papaya
You'll want smaller papayas weighing about one pound each to make papaya oatmeal. That makes them easy to handle and fill with oats.
Papayas are harvested green and ripen over a few days time. A partially ripened papaya from the market may be ideal for eating in as little as 24 hours.
If you buy greener fruit, you can simply leave it on a counter or in a fruit bowl until it's ripe enough. Placing it in a paper bag with a banana will hasten the process.
Look for the yellow color to spread to the stem end. Papayas should yield to gentle pressure and leave a thumbprint when pressed, but you don't want them to be overly soft.
If your papaya is fully ripened and you aren't ready to use it, put it in the refrigerator for up to a week. The sooner you use it, the better it will taste.
🌈 Organic vs. GMO-free
The easiest and safest way to ensure your papaya is GMO-free is to buy certified organic produce. Then you are protected by enforced standards that screen out genetically-modified fruit.
But what if you aren't sure if your papaya is organically grown? You can still look for labeled papayas from producers like Kumu Farms in Hawaii, dedicated to cultivating non-GMO varieties.
Look for labels stating non-GMO or PLU stickers that start with the number 9, and avoid Rainbow, Sun-up, Kahuku, Laie Gold, and Sunrise if they are not clearly marked.
Outside of Hawaii, you'll have to do your own homework while shopping, but fortunately, papaya grown in Mexico, Belize, Brazil, and Asia is more likely to be free from genetic modification.
New Limeco is one company that specializes in tropical fruit and sells GMO-free papaya, including the smaller Solo variety.
Once your oatmeal is cooked, and the papaya is hollowed, it's a snap to fill and top the papaya breakfast bowls.
👩🏻🍳 Expert tips
- Ripe papaya that yields with thumb pressure but isn't mushy or watery is best.
- Slice a very thin piece off the bottom of each papaya half, so it sits flat.
- Make macadamia nut granola first.
- Stir crunchy topping mix frequently over medium heat to keep it from burning.
- Cool granola on a sheet of parchment to harden.
- Make oatmeal and scoop seeds from papaya while the granola hardens.
- Cook oats so they are still chewy and drain off any excess water.
- Break granola into clusters before topping papaya bowls.
Both papaya and oatmeal are high in fiber and assist with regularity and healthy elimination. Papaya also contains papain, an enzyme that promotes the absorption of nutrients. Together they make delicious breakfast food to fuel your morning.
Quaker oats are available in both standard and gluten-free labeled products. Quaker Oats company explains why oats, which are naturally gluten-free in and of themselves, must be carefully processed to make them safe for persons sensitive to gluten.
You can substitute pecan halves, walnut pieces, or whole almonds for macadamia nuts in this papaya oatmeal recipe. I recommend including sesame seeds and sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds because the smaller pieces help hold the crunchy topping together.
I hope you give this healthy and delicious whole-food tropical breakfast a try. Go ahead and indulge!
🥞 More breakfast recipes
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Papaya Oatmeal With Macadamia Granola
Sesame macadamia Crumble
- ½ cup macadamia nuts
- ½ cup sunflower seeds
- ¼ cup sesame seeds
- 1 TB coconut oil
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- ¾ cup gluten-free old fashioned oats
- 1 ¼ cups water
- ⅛ tsp. salt, optional
- 2 16 oz. papayas
Sesame macadamia crumble
- Whisk maple syrup and coconut oil together in a small bowl and hold aside.
- Toast macadamia nuts, sunflower seeds, and sesame seeds for approximately 5 minutes in a dry skillet over medium heat. Stir frequently and take care not to burn the mixture.
- Once the macadamia nuts begin to show the first golden edges, you can add the coconut oil and maple syrup mixture to the hot pan.
- Cook for 5 minutes over medium heat until the syrup is thickened and completely absorbed. It's important that the syrup cooks long enough to candy the nuts, but don't let it burn.
- Spread the macadamia nut granola on a flat surface lined with parchment paper to cool.
Cook oatmeal and prepare papaya
- Bring water to a boil, add salt, and stir in oatmeal. Reduce heat and cook for about 5 minutes until the oatmeal has softened but is still chewy.
- Drain any excess water from oats once they are cooked.
- Cut papayas in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds. Use a spoon to draw a line around the inside flesh to leave a three-fourths-inch thick wall.
- Scoop out papaya flesh and place in a small bowl to top oatmeal later.
Make papaya oatmeal boats
- Place the four hollowed-out papaya shells on a counter. Divide cooked oatmeal between the papaya shells.
- Top each papaya oatmeal boat with ⅓ a cup of maple-glazed granola.
- Papaya oatmeal can be served right away or chilled and eaten later. If eating later, store crunchy topping in an airtight jar and add just before serving.
- Store oatmeal-filled papaya in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Store maple-glazed granola separately in an airtight jar at room temperature for up to one week.