Paw Paws – North America’s easy-care native tropical fruit

The Paw Paw is a native American fruit.  It looks tropical, and the mature fruit is about the size of an avocado.  It’s a carefree tree that grows to about 12-15 feet tall in a pyramid shape, with long green leaves that turn bright yellow in the fall before they drop off.

Also known as ‘the poor man’s banana’, Paw Paw’s are high in protein and a good source of vitamins and minerals.  The fruit is delicious – like banana/vanilla/mango pudding.  When it’s ripe, it just drops off the tree, so you don’t need to worry about when to harvest, or purchase a ladder, or anything – just pick up the Paw Paw’s when they fall to the ground, slice them open, take out the 5-6 black seeds, and scoop out the creamy pudding-like filling.  It’s pudding from a tree in it’s own compostable cup:).

This is a delicious and nutritious fruit that you will rarely if ever find in stores (probably because when it’s ripe it needs to be eaten within a few days, and it probably wouldn’t travel well due to this fact).  You need to check each day in the mid fall when the leaves start to turn yellow, for fallen fruit.  You need to eat the fruit within 1-3 days, or you can scoop out the fruit and freeze it to add to smoothies later.

Paw Paw’s need 2 trees for pollination, and are hardy to at least minus 20 degrees F.   The trees are beautiful, disease and pest free, and the fruit is heavenly.  I’ve got two in my backyard, and I eat them like pudding from their own little included bowl, I also scoop out spoonfuls of fruit to mix with yogurt and peanuts for a parfait.  I haven’t tried them in baking yet, but I’m thinking you may be able to use them in recipes that call for bananas, since they are similar in taste/texture.

I ordered my trees from One Green World  in Molalla Oregon.

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