Batida de lechosa (papaya milkshake) is one of the most popular recipes on our blog, and one of the most popular drinks in the Dominican Republic. If you have ever tried this before, I am sure you need no convincing. Hurry up and serve yourself a tall glass of this icy-cold, creamy, dessert-like marvel.
Why we ❤️ it
A popular item in the Dominican diet is papaya, known in the DR as 'lechosa', and most commonly consumed in this delicious batida de lechosa (papaya milkshake). Of all the batidas dominicanas, this one is queen.
I am a huge fan of lechosa (have you tried our Dulce de lechosa?). At the risk of being excessively poetic or even cheesy, I would describe the subtle flavor of papaya as the taste-bud equivalent of inhaling the gentle perfume of a fragrant rose. Ah, another hot day in the tropics. This is a good time for an ice-cold papaya milkshake, don't you think?
Typically, in the Dominican Republic batida de lechosa is made with evaporated milk, and with that dash of vanilla, this papaya smoothie tastes like vanilla ice cream, but you can also use whole milk or skim milk if you don't mind the change of taste.
And if for whatever reason you prefer not to consume dairy, you can use almond milk, though bear in mind the result won't be as thick and creamy.
Batida de lechosa (papaya milkshake).
A batida de lechosa with a cheese-melt and ham sandwich is a classic Dominican meal, great as a quick lunch, mid-afternoon snack, or midnight party-ender for the younger ones. It can also be served on its own as a merienda (aftenoon snack).
Once blended, you need to hurry up and serve it ice-cold, mixed with milk, payapa turns bitter once it starts to warm up.
About this recipe
There are only so many ways to make a batida de lechosa, and we give you above many of the changes you can make to adapt it to your own taste. If you have another great trick for great papaya milkshake, let me know in the comments.
And check out all our Dominican drinks and find more to enjoy.
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[Recipe + Video] Batida de Lechosa (Best Papaya Milkshake)
- Put the papaya cubes, vanilla, ice, evaporated milk, and half of the sugar in the blender and keep on at high speed until the ice is blended. Try and add more sugar if needed, blend for a few more seconds until it has a silky consistency.
- Serve immediately, once blended it will become bitter once it starts warming up.
Tips and Notes
How to make a vegan Batida de LechosaFor a vegan shake, use soy milk, or your preferred milk substitute.
How to make a light Papaya MilkshakeIf you want a lighter alternative, use skim milk in place of evaporated milk.
Nutritional information is calculated automatically based on ingredients listed. Please consult your doctor if you need precise nutrition information.
Lechosa is rich in vitamin A, B complex, C, and potassium, and is low in fat and sodium. It has tenderizing properties and so the skin or the green fruit is used in the preparation of meat and fish.
Benefits of papaya
Some of the benefits of papaya fruit are well-known. It is alkaline, contains digestive enzymes which help balance stomach acid and is often recommended for people who suffer from acidity and digestion issues. In more extreme cases like gastric infections and intestinal parasites, it is said to be an excellent remedy, providing you eat the black seeds together with the flesh of the fruit. It is also used to prevent and treat constipation.
Lechosa is also apparently effective in soothing insect and jellyfish stings.
How to pick
It's fairly easy to choose a good papaya, and even if green it will ripen quickly at room temperature. To speed up the process you can carve some long notches along the surface of the skin with a fine sharp knife. Putting some citrus fruit in the bowl together with the unripe fruit also works wonders. Once it is soft and mainly yellow/orange colored, it must be refrigerated and eaten within a couple of days.
Papaya, lechosa or lechoza?
Lechosa is how Dominicans call papaya in Spanish. Several countries in the region seem to shy away from the word papaya, which has - it appears - other, erm, risque connotations. Venezuelans also call it "lechosa", and Cubans call it "fruta bomba". In English, it is also known as 'pawpaw'.
So, is it lechosa or lechoza?
It's lechosa. For the longest time, Tía Clara herself misspelled it, but yeah, it's S, not Z.
Dominican history of papaya
Brought over from Central America by the Spaniards in the early 16th century, lechosa grows very easily in the Dominican Republic. The plant - which is technically a herb - is very hardy, and is one of the main items on the Dominican fruit vendor's cart. It is bought whole or peeled and cut into chunks for consumption on the street. It is also popular as a fruit shake, with or without milk.
I myself eat it sliced and chopped, for breakfast, or as a snack, usually combined with a banana, mango, or a couple of passion fruits. Some people drizzle it with a bit of honey, but that's wholly unnecessary in the Dominican Republic, given the sweetness of papaya here.
Published Aug 25, 2011, and last revised