When is guava ripe?

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Trying new things on a regular basis is one of the quickest ways to expand your culinary horizons. One good rule is that the more widely popular an exotic food is, the more likely it’ll be appealing. You won’t find many people outside of Greenland eating fermented shark, for example, and fermented duck eggs don’t have much of a following outside of the Philippines. Guavas, on the other hand, are appreciated just about everywhere.

A Guava (Psidium Guajava) Recap

Guavas are one of many tropical fruits that have become widely available outside of their homelands over the past couple of decades, though they’re still a novelty to grocery shoppers in more northern climates. In appearance, they’re somewhat pear-shaped, with skins ranging from shades of green and yellow-green to a vivid burgundy. The skin is slightly rough.

Our word “guava” comes from guayaba, which is how the fruit is known in the Spanish-speaking world. Most other languages and cultures have similar-sounding names for the fruit, from guavaboom in the Netherlands to aguava in Ghana. To botanists, it’s Psidium guajava.

The deceptively similar “pineapple guava” found in many of the same growing regions is actually a completely different plant.

Testing for Ripeness

Checking a guava for ripeness involves most of your senses. For many of the guavas found in American markets, color can be a useful starting point. Guavas have a green skin with varying tints of yellow, and in many cultivars the green fades and the yellow becomes more prominent as the fruit ripens. In some, you’ll see a faint but noticeable flush of pink. That’s always a good indicator for ripeness when you see it.
Some guavas stay green, or have a completely different-colored skin, so color isn’t a completely reliable test. In those cases, draw on your sense of touch and give the fruit a gentle squeeze. Like a pear, a ripe guava will be firm but have a small degree of “give” when you apply pressure. Another test, useful for any guava, is to give it a sniff. Guavas are remarkably aromatic when they’re fully ripe, so fragrance is one of the best tests.
Ultimately, the truest test comes when you cut or bite into the guava, but if you haven’t tried one of the other methods beforehand you might be disappointed in the result.

Eating a Guava

The entire guava is edible, including the skin and seeds, so how you approach eating one is largely a matter of choice and personal preference. In countries where they’re grown, they’re often just cut into wedges like an apple, with the skin and seeds in place.

The skin and seeds can vary in toughness and astringency, though, so you might opt to remove one or the other. The skin can simply be peeled off with a peeler or paring knife, as with most other fruit. You can either eat the guava from around its seedy middle, like you would with an apple and its core, or cut the guava in half and use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and pith.

The fruit is used fresh in smoothies and baked goods, pulverized for juice, or cooked down for pies and sauces. It’s high in pectin, so it works especially well in jams and jellies.

Storing Your Guavas

If you can’t find nicely ripened guavas at your local supermarket, buy the best-looking ones you can find and let them sit out for a few days to finish ripening. It helps if they’re in a fruit bowl with quick-ripening fruit like apples or bananas, or if you keep them in a paper bag. Once they’re ripe, you can keep them in the fridge to slow the ripening process to a standstill, keeping them in perfect eating condition for a week or more.

Peeled and cut guava should be refrigerated in a plastic bag or airtight food storage container, and used within the first few days. Alternatively, you can blanch the pieces briefly in boiling water and then freeze them, or can them in sugar syrup.

Growing Guavas

If you live in the southern part of the United States, or if you have a suitable sunroom in your home, you can grow your own guavas. The trees are hardy enough outdoors to withstand some light frost or even brief freezes, once they’re established. Indoors, they’re mostly trouble-free. Check with your nursery to make sure you’re buying a self-pollinating variety, or else buy two so they can produce fruit.

One thing to be wary of, if you’re growing guavas outdoors, is that they have significant potential to be an invasive species anywhere the climate is favorable. Check with local authorities or a university extension service in your area before planting one.

The first time I heard of the elusive guava fruit was when I stayed in Hawaii over Christmas with my family as a kid. The hotel had a limitless supply of guava juice downstairs in the lobby that anyone could help themselves to, so obviously, I did multiple times a day. And I loved it! But in case you’ve never tried the tropical fruit before, let’s answer the question of: “What is guava?” And how you can get some guava juice of your own.

What is Guava?

Guava is a tropical fruit roughly the size of a tennis ball. The skin of the guava is either green or yellowish-green, while the flesh is a reddish-pink when it’s ripe (which would explain the pink color of my childhood guava juice). The taste of the fruit is like a cross between a strawberry and pear or kiwi. Think of those fun fruit cocktails you’d make as a kid mixing juices like lemonade and pineapple together.

A guava’s calorie count comes in somewhere between 50 and 112 calories when you eat the whole fruit. And while you can buy them at your grocery store year-round, they are at their most delightful during the summer.

Origins of Guava

Guava is a fruit that lacks specifics regarding its origin. However, it’s believed to be in an area extending from Southern Mexico into or through Central America. Man, birds, and other animals have spread the guava throughout the warm areas of tropical America and the West Indies since 1526.

Health Benefits of Guava

What helps make guava the “ultimate tropical fruit” are its multitude of health benefits including that it’s an immunity booster, helps to relieve stress and stabilize weight, and benefits your skincare regimen. Thank you, natural wonder of the fruit world.

But guavas also more than satisfy your daily Vitamin C requirement, as they contain 628 (yes, 628) percent of your daily requirement. The fruit satisfies 21 percent of your Vitamin A and 20 percent of your folate daily necessities, too. And as far as minerals are concerned, guava provides 20 percent of your daily suggested intake of potassium.

How to Pick Guava

Go for the guava that is more yellowish-green than light green, because that is when the fruit is ripest. You can always buy the green ones and play the waiting game for them to ripen by putting them on your kitchen counter. Once they’re ripe, store them in the fridge for up to two days. Also, the softer they are, the better. But that also means the nearer they are to perishable status, so eat them quickly! Or freeze them for up to eight months.

How to Eat Guava

When they’re ready to go, you can eat your guava by scooping out the seeds and insides, eating the whole fruit rind and all, or cutting them into slices and serving them with yogurt, ice cream, or on their own. Or of course, make your own variation of guava juice that might not be as good as the memory of the one that Hawaiian hotel concocted, but it’ll suffice, surely.

And there you have it. What is guava? Nothing more than a healthy and colorful tropical fruit you should include in your diet more. Check out the produce section at your local Ralph’s and pick one to take home with you. It is summer, after all, and most importantly, peak guava season.

Tips On Harvesting Guavas – When Is Guava Fruit Ripe

Guava (Psidium guajava) is a tropical fruit born off shallow rooted evergreen, small trees or shrubs. Sensitive to cold temperatures, guavas thrive in both humid and dry climates. In the right climate, USDA zone 10, guavas can bear copious quantities of fruit but knowing when to harvest guava can be the tricky part. How do you know when guava fruit is ripe and how do you harvest guava fruit? Read on to learn more.

When is Guava Fruit Ripe?

Guava will begin to fruit in its second to fourth year. When conditions are right, a single tree can produce from 50-80 pounds of fruit per year. In Florida, guava trees may even produce twice a year; and with proper pruning, you can even get a guava to produce year round. That’s a lot of guavas, so knowing when to harvest guava is imperative lest you lose the delicious fruit.

Large guavas can go from hard and sour to mush in short order. If picked before the fruit is ripe, it will not ripen well, but if allowed to mature on the tree,

the crop can be decimated by fruit flies.

Because guavas can fruit and ripen year round in warm climates, where they are growing anyway, an exact time is not an adequate gauge for guava harvest season. There are other indicators, however, that will allow clue you into the correct time for harvesting guava.

How to Harvest Guava Fruit

Since there is no specific guava harvest season, how do you know when to pick the fruit? As with most fruit, color change is a major indicator of maturity. Generally, red or pink guava is picked when the peel turns from light green to yellow. The fruit is then allowed to ripen further in an area of room temp. White guava is picked when full sized and green to light green. It is eaten before it is ripe, when the peel is yellow and the fruit is soft.

Another clue as to harvesting guava is the smell. The aroma should reach your nose, not your nose reach the aroma. That is, the fruit should begin to become so aromatic that you should smell the sweet, musky fragrance as you approach the tree. Also, prior to harvesting guavas, feel the fruit. It should give slightly under gentle pressure.

You can hasten the ripening of guava by placing it in a paper bag along with a banana or apple and letting the ethylene gas do its thing. A ripe guava can be stored in the refrigerator for 5-7 days. Mature, green guava can be stored for 2-4 weeks in a cool moist area; that is, with a temperature of between 45-50 degrees F. (7-10 C.) and humidity from 80-95%.

Use your guavas fresh or add them to desserts, juice them or add them to smoothies. Guava is a terrific source of Vitamin C. Oh, and the last word on guavas. If you buy them from the grocers, they may be treated with an edible wax. If you want to hasten ripening, wash the fruit with cool tap water to remove the wax.

Refreshing Guava Drink

Any drink made with fresh fruit and blended with water is known as an agua fresca or agua de fruta in Mexico. The literal translation of agua fresca is “fresh water” and the translation of agua de fruta is “fruit water.” The name of this drink is agua de guayaba which translates as “guava water.” It is delicious, refreshing and couldn’t be easier to make.

Refreshing Agua de Guayaba

You Just Might Avoid a Cold

In Mexico, drinking agua de guayaba is recommended as a way to avoid a cold due to the high levels of vitamin C and other nutrients in the guavas. We drink it because it tastes great but if you are interested you can read the nutrition data for guavas.

Guavas and sugar, the only ingredients besides water.

The Ingredients

Water, guavas, and sugar are the only ingredients. You can add a splash of lime juice which adds a nice tanginess to the drink. The recipe calls for a 1/2 cup of sugar although we add only about 1/4 cup of sugar because we prefer a slightly tarter taste.

Slice the guavas in half to blend.

The Whole Fruit

When you prepare agua de guayaba, you use the whole fruit. You don’t peel them or seed them. The drink will have a slightly gritty texture. If you don’t care for the texture you can always strain the drink. It will still taste great but you will lose some of the delicious fruit pulp which is high in fiber.

Add the guavas to your blender.

Blend Thoroughly

Blend the fruit for at least a minute to get it as smooth as possible. Strain if you prefer. We prefer the drink a bit on the pulpy side. Pour the mixture into a 1/2 gallon pitcher, add water and stir.

Blend until you get a smooth mixture.

Provecho!

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Agua de Guayaba

Recipe for agua de guayaba, a fresh fruit drink prepared with guavas typically served with the afternoon meal or “comida.” Course Beverage Cuisine Mexican Keyword agua fresca, drink, guava, guayaba Prep Time 10 minutes Total Time 10 minutes Servings 6 glasses Calories 122kcal Author Douglas Cullen

Ingredients

  • 6 or 7 guavas
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 6 cups of water

Instructions

  • Rinse the guavas in fresh water
  • Cut the guavas in half
  • Place the cut guavas in your blender jar
  • Add half the sugar
  • Fill the blender jar with water
  • Blend until smooth, about 1 minute
  • Pour the mixture into a half gallon pitcher
  • Add about 2 cups of water to fill the pitcher
  • Stir
  • Taste and add the rest of the sugar to if necessary before serving

Notes

  • The juice from 1 lime adds a nice tang to the drink.
  • Served lightly chilled or over ice.
  • The drink will separate in the refrigerator just give it a good stir before serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 122kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 14mg | Potassium: 354mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 24g | Vitamin A: 530IU | Vitamin C: 194mg | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 0.2mg

More Mexican Drinks (Aguas Frescas)

  • Agua de Jamaica – Hibiscus Iced Tea
  • Horchata
  • Watermelon Water
  • Cucumber Water
  • Tamarind Water
  • Chia Water

History:

Guavas are thought to have originated from Mexico or Central America and were distributed throughout tropical America and the Caribbean. They were adopted as a crop in subtropical and tropical Asia, the southern United States (from Tennessee and North Carolina south, as well as the west and Hawaii,) and tropical Africa. Guavas are now cultivated in many tropical and subtropical countries. Several species are grown commercially; apple guava and its cultivars are those most commonly traded internationally. Guavas were introduced to Florida in the 19th century and are now grown in Florida as far north as Sarasota, Chipley, Waldo and Fort Pierce.

Characteristics:

Guava is a tropical fruit with a vivid orange colouring about the size of a small lemon. Mature trees of most species are fairly cold-hardy and can survive temperatures slightly colder than 25 °F (−4 °C) for short periods of time, but younger plants will likely freeze to the ground. Guavas are of interest to home growers in subtropical areas as one of the few tropical fruits that can grow to fruiting size in pots indoors. When grown from seed, guavas bear fruit as early as two years old and continue to do so for as long as 40 years.

Food uses:

It is common to see guava in jellies, sauces, and compotes. Guava sauces from the Spanish speaking islands are very tasty and often spread over bread, served with cream cheese and spread on cassava or other crisp breads or crackers. In many countries, guava is eaten raw, typically cut into quarters or eaten like an apple, whereas in other countries it is eaten with a pinch of salt and pepper, cayenne powder or a mix of spices (masala). It is known as the winter national fruit of Pakistan. In the Philippines, ripe guava is used in cooking sinigang. Guava is a popular snack in Taiwan, sold on many street corners and night markets during hot weather, accompanied by packets of dried plum powder mixed with sugar and salt for dipping. In east Asia, guava is commonly eaten with sweet and sour dried plum powder mixtures. Guava juice is popular in many countries. The fruit is also often prepared in fruit salads. Because of its high level of pectin, guavas are extensively used to make candies, preserves, jellies, jams, and marmalades and also for juices and aguas frescas or may be used in a marmalade jam on toast. Red guavas can be used as the base of salted products such as sauces, substituting for tomatoes, especially to minimize acidity. A drink may be made from an infusion of guava fruits and leaves, which in Brazil is called chá-de-goiabeira, i.e., “tea” of guava tree leaves, considered medicinal.

Health & nutrition values:

Guavas are rich in dietary fibre and vitamin C, with moderate levels of folic acid. Having a generally broad, low-calorie profile of essential nutrients, a single common guava fruit contains about four times the amount of vitamin C as an orange. However, nutrient content varies across guava cultivars. Although the strawberry guava has only 25% of the amount found in more common varieties, its total vitamin C content in one serving (90 mg) still provides 100% of the Dietary Reference Intake. Guava leaves contain both carotenoids and polyphenols. As some of these phytochemicals produce the fruit skin and flesh colour, guavas that are red-orange tend to have more polyphenol and carotenoid content than yellow-green ones. Guava contains nutrients that help curb all kinds of illnesses, including cancer and diabetes. The health benefits of guava include the treatment of diarrhea, dysentery, constipation, cough, cold, skin care, high blood pressure, weight loss and scurvy. Its vitamin A content is five times that of an orange, and it also has stellar amounts of protein, fiber, and folate, and possibly more vitamin C than any other fruit.

References/Bibliography:

Guava – Wikipedia Page https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guava

What are Guavas Good For? http://foodfacts.mercola.com/guava.html

Health Benefits of Guava https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/fruit/health-benefits-of-guava.html

15 Powerful Health Benefits of Guava

The potential health benefits of guava are many and include its ability to help control blood sugar levels, regulate blood pressure, and provide relief from diarrhea. It further helps strengthen the immune system and digestive system. It also aids in weight loss, improves the skin, provides relief from cough and cold, dysentery, and scurvy.

Due to the unique and high concentrations of minerals and vitamins, guava can also help increase energy.

Guava is a sweet and delicious fruit cultivated in tropical climates. This seasonal fruit, scientifically known as Psidium guajava, is round or pear-shaped. It is light green, yellow or maroon in color when it ripens. It has white or maroon flesh, depending on its type, and has small hard seeds enveloped in its soft, sweet pulp.

The common types of guava include apple guava, yellow-fruited cherry guava, strawberry guava, and red apple guava. Guava is mostly eaten raw (when ripe or semi-ripe) or consumed in the form of juice, jams, and jellies.

Guava is believed to have originated in Mexico or Central America. It is now very popular in Asian countries and is also increasingly available in American countries, particularly after its health benefits have been revealed. Some say it has a floral taste, a cross between a pear and a strawberry.

What makes it special is that increasing the shelf life of this fruit does not require excessive use of chemicals or pesticides as in the case of grapes, apple, and other “exotic” fruits. It is one of the least chemically treated and sprayed fruits. Guava leaves also have many benefits as noted above, are used to make guava leaf tea and guava leaf juice.

Watch Video: 5 Best Benefits Of Guava

5 Best Benefits Of Guava | Organic Facts

Guava Nutrition Facts

This popular fruit is a powerhouse of nutrients. As per USDA’s Food Data Central, guava is a good source of energy, dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals. The guava fruit contains vitamin C, A, E, B-vitamins, as well as potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, sodium, and zinc.

The traditional adage says, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away,” in Europe and America. Given the plentiful benefits of guava, the phrase can be probably changed to “a few guavas in the season keep the doctor away for the whole year,” in their native tropical and subtropical regions of the world. Let us look at the most important health benefits of this tropical fruit.

Antioxidant Properties

The naturally high content of vitamin C in guavas, four times higher than that found in oranges, helps boost the immune system. According to a study published in the Food Chemistry Journal, the antioxidants in the fruit help defend the body against the proliferation of free radicals, which are one of the main causes of serious health issues.

Controls Diabetes

The intake of guava can also help patients suffering from diabetes. It contains a high level of dietary fiber, which has a beneficial effect on lowering blood glucose levels in the body. According to recent studies published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, animal models have shown that consuming guavas may help prevent the risk of type-2 diabetes. However, more research is needed to confirm the entire scope of its benefits.

Pink guava Photo Credit:

Regulates Blood Pressure

Research published in the American Journal of Cardiology found that guava helped reduce LDL cholesterol levels and blood pressure in study participants. The fruit, being very rich in fiber and hypoglycemic in nature, was also beneficial in helping to reduce blood pressure.

Improves Thyroid Health

Guava is a good source of copper, a mineral important for regulating metabolism by helping to control hormone production and absorption. The thyroid hormones play a significant role in energy regulation and metabolism in the body.

Fights Scurvy

Guavas contain 4 times more vitamin C than oranges. According to a 2003 study published in Plant Foods for Human Nutrition, the deficiency of vitamin C can cause scurvy; the only known remedy for this dangerous disease is an adequate intake of vitamin C.

Eliminates Diarrhea & Dysentery

Guava has properties that are thought to help against a number of digestive disorders like diarrhea and dysentery. Whether you chew on its leaves or eat the raw fruit, the astringent qualities add substance to loose bowels and reduce the symptoms of diarrhea. These astringents are alkaline in nature and have disinfectant and anti-bacterial properties, thus helping against dysentery by inhibiting microbial growth and removing extra mucus from the intestines. Furthermore, other nutrients such as vitamin C, carotenoids and potassium, strengthen the digestive system while simultaneously disinfecting it. The fruit is also beneficial in cases of gastroenteritis for similar reasons to those stated above.

Relieves Constipation

Guava is one of the richest sources of dietary fiber amongst fruits, and its seeds serve as excellent laxatives. These two properties help the formation of healthy bowel movements, aid in retaining water in the body and keep your intestinal tract in top-notch health. It is said that constipation can lead to 72 different types of ailments, so any dietary source to relieve constipation is certainly beneficial! Your overall health is affected undeniably by proper digestion, and more importantly, by proper excretion. Frequent consumption of this delicious fruit can ensure both.

Stimulates Cognitive Function

Another tremendous benefit of guava is the presence of B vitamins, B3 and B6. Vitamin B3 (also known as niacin) can increase blood flow and stimulates cognitive function, whereas vitamin B6 is a nutrient correlated with brain and nerve function.

Relief from Cough and Cold

Research published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology on the anti-cough and antimicrobial activities of guava leaf extract, states that it is very helpful in providing relief from cold and cough. Juice of raw and immature guavas, or a decoction of its leaves, is very helpful in relieving coughs and colds by reducing mucus, disinfecting the respiratory tract, throat, and lungs, and inhibiting microbial activity with its astringent properties.

Guava is one of the richest sources of vitamin C and iron among fruits – both of which are nutrients effective in preventing or lessening colds and viral infections. In some areas of India, the ripened fruit is roasted and used as a remedy against extreme cases of a cough, cold, and congestion. The ripe fruit should be avoided by people who are suffering from cough and cold, as it can exacerbate the problem. Also, avoid drinking water immediately after eating the fruit as it can lead to a sore throat.

Reduces Menstrual Cramps

Research shows that guava leaf extract is likely to reduce the intensity of menstrual cramps. A study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology examined 197 women who experienced painful symptoms. Upon taking 6 mg of guava leaf extract on a daily basis, it was observed that there was a stark reduction in the intensity of the pain. The study concluded that in many ways, the extract turned out to be more powerful and helpful than normal painkillers.

Weight Loss

Guava is very helpful for people wanting to lose weight without compromising their intake of vital proteins, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. It is high in roughage (fiber), has no cholesterol and contains a low number of digestible carbohydrates. This combination makes a filling snack that satisfies the appetite very easily.

Guava, especially the raw one, has far less sugar as compared to apples, oranges, grapes, and many other fruits. Add it to your lunch and you will not feel hungry until evening. Ironically, it can also help lean and skinny people to gain weight. This is probably due to its wealth of nutrients, which regulates the metabolism and promotes proper absorption of nutrients.

Skin Care

Guavas can improve the health of your skin and help you avoid skin problems. This is chiefly due to the abundance of astringents available in the fruit (more astringents are present in the immature variety). The skin can benefit from either eating the fruits or by rinsing your skin with a decoction of its immature fruit and leaves. It will tone and tighten the area of loosened skin where it is applied. The rich antioxidants and detoxifying properties are also thought to help keep skin glowing and free from signs of premature aging, wrinkles, and other dermal disorders.

Improves Eyesight

Guava is a good source of vitamin A, well known as a booster for vision health. It can help slow down the appearance of cataracts, macular degeneration, and improve the overall health of the eyes. It helps protect the cells in your eyes and can also slow the deterioration of eyesight.

Reduces Oxidative Stress

Guava juice is rich in vitamin C and a number of other important phytonutrients that can help reduce and even eliminate free radicals, slowing down oxidative stress in the body, says a 2016 report published in the International Journal of Biological Macromolecules. It is a very popular beverage in tropical and subtropical regions.

Dental Care

Apart from the fruit, the leaves also have many benefits. The juice of guava leaves has been known to provide relief from toothaches, heal swollen gums and oral ulcers.

Uses of Guava

  • Guava leaves are used in the preparation of herbal medicines for several health issues, including diarrhea, diabetes, infection, and obesity.
  • Guava leaf tea has many benefits that include weight loss, managing diabetes, and preventing or lessening diarrhea. It can be prepared easily at home.
  • The leaves have been an important constituent in folk medicines as these contain palmitic acid and palmitoleic acid.
  • Guava speeds up the healing process of wounds when applied topically. It also reduces the frequency of convulsions, epilepsy, and bacterial infections.
  • Intake of guava seeds helps fight common problems like constipation and other gastrointestinal issues. It can help bulk up your stool and will pass through your system without any problem.
  • The fruit can be halved, then the fibrous center and the seeds removed. The fruit can then be used as a topping or eaten raw, made into candies or jellies, or blended in a fruit/vegetable smoothie. Alternatively, it can be juiced, making a delicious and healthy beverage.

There are plenty of ways to consume the fruit, ranging from it raw, juicing the fruit and drinking it as a beverage, to slicing it, putting it on top of ice cream to jams and jellies, or including it in your next veggie or fruit smoothie. Adding guava-cubes to your salad can make a healthy breakfast, too.

to read more about how to eat guava and some recipes to try.

Note: Make sure you pick fresh, ripe guava that does not have any blemishes. Consume the fruit only after washing thoroughly.

FAQs

Can you eat guava seeds?

Yes, you can eat guava seeds without any negative effects. In fact, people intentionally eat the seeds because of the high fiber content help with gastrointestinal issues, such as constipation. They can help bulk up your stool and will pass through your system without any problem.

How to grow guava?

If you live in a tropical or subtropical region, growing your own guava tree actually isn’t that difficult. Guava trees respond very well to mulch, so clear out a 2-3 inch space in the soil where you can plant the tree. Then, water the tree once a week and fertilize it once a month. Adding more mulch may be required, but the tree should grow rather quickly. Thinning out excess branches can also promote more growth.

How many calories does guava contain?

One of the best things about guava is the low level of calories – there are only 38 calories in an average fruit. Given the impressive nutrient density of this fruit (also known as the number of minerals, vitamins, and phytonutrients relative to the low-calorie count) is what so many people love about it. It can provide energy and the nutrients needed to get through the day; without drastically increasing the number of calories you consume.

Word of Caution: Medicines that have a huge concentration of guava may not be suitable for pregnant or breastfeeding women. It is always better to eat the fruit in its natural form. Do consult your doctor before adding it as a supplement.

OT: How do you know when a guava is ripe?…..

When it is soft to the touch. Put in on a shelf in the kitchen, not refrigerated. Many caribbean stores carry guava paste, like a firm jelly. great for sauces.
Sauce, BBQ, Guava
I was marooned in a waiting room the other day, and in the Feb. ’07 issue of More (magazine) there was a story about a Colombian chef/restauranteur in Miami. Among other things the story included a few of her recipes, and Guava Barbecue Sauce was among them. I made a batch for use on this past weekend’s-tri tip. Predictably it was quite sweet. I post it here knowing that some folks like sweet sauces.Ken
INGREDIENTS:
3 Tbs vegetable oil
2 yellow onions, medium, chopped
6 oz guava paste, cut into chunks
1 1/2 tsp tomato paste
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 oz star anise
1/2 ground allspice
1/4 tsp curry powder
2 Tbs cider vinegar
1 1/2 tsp lime juice
1 Tbs dark rum
Preparation
1 Sautee onions in vegetable oil just until soft. Add guava paste, tomato paste, sugar, star anise, allspice, curry powder, and vinegar. Simmer gently about 15 minutes (until guava paste has melted).
2 Remove from heat and cool slightly. Discard star anise and put in blender. Add lime juice and rum; puree until smooth.
NOTES:
1 I doubled the amount of lime juice; and if I make this again will add the zest of one lime.
2 After initial tasting, I added 1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder.
Yield: 1 1/4 cups
Recipe Type
Sauce
Recipe Source
Source: BGE Forum, BlueSmoke, 04/23/07

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Guavas (Psidium guajava) is a common tropical fruit from a small growing myrtle related tree originally found in Mexico, Central America and northern South America. Guavas are grown in many tropical areas nowadays, such as India, China, Thailand, Indonesia and Brazil. This particular type was simply called “Mexican Guava” in my local Asian store.

In Latin America, the fruit is used to make a variety of juices, drinks, dried snacks or incorporated into sweets. We will simply be eating them raw today. When you pick your guavas (at least for the above Mexican guavas), they will likely be green in the store and will require 2-4 days of ripening. As guavas ripen, they will change to a nice yellow color and give off a fragrant smell. When unripe, the fruits are very astringent. We prefer the guavas when the skin gives in a little to pressure (which could take another day or two). You can eat the guava in its entirety like an apple, or scoop out the flesh with a spoon. We prefer to eat the whole guava. The seeds are a bit of pain; don’t chew them, just swallow them.

Here is the video

About the Guava

Guavas are native to Central America, but nowadays they can be cultivated in any country with a tropical weather, like Colombia, Brazil, India, Mexico and Spain. The taste resembles a mix of pear, quince and fig, with a touch of strawberry. Guavas can be smooth/grainy and green/yellow on the outside, but on the inside it should be always tender and juicy.

The guava tree can grow to 30 ft (10 m) and features wide spreading branches. It is easily identifiable by its thin bark, soft copper colour and a beautiful trunk with a diameter of up to 10 inches (25 cm).

The tree leaves are aromatic and the fruit emanates an intense and very nice scent when ripe.

How to preserve and consume guavas

Green guavas can be at room temperature (around 20ºC) until they ripen, which can be noticed by its golden colour and because it yields to gentle pressure.

You can also know it is ready for consumption because of the intense scent it gives off. When ripe, we recommend consuming it as soon as possible. However, it can be refrigerated at 6-8ºC to extend its ripening time.

To have a guava, peel it off and remove the seeds inside. It can be consumed out of hand raw, but it is also a perfect ingredient in confectionery, jams, salads and other dishes. Another very popular use of this fruit is in juices and smoothies.

Nutritional properties of the guava

GUAVA NUTRITION FACTS – 100 G
CALORIES 71
TOTAL FAT 0.86 g – 1%
SATURATED FAT 0.103 g – 1%
POLYUNSATURATED FAT 0.171 g
MONOUNSATURATED DAT 0.154 g
CHOLESTEROL 0 mg – 0%
SODIUM 10 mg – 0%
POTASSIUM 186 mg
TOTAL CARBOHYDRATE 15.9 g – 4%
DIETARY FIBER 6.5 g – 7%
SUGARS 9.36 g
PROTEIN 1.88 g
VITAMIN A 6%
VITAMIN C 73%
CALCIUM 6%
IRON 5%

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Health benefits of the guava

  • Guavas have very few calories and a very balanced content in natural sugars (fructose). Therefore, they are the perfect fruit to treat diabetes, also because of the substance in the leaves.
  • This fruit helps prevent heart diseases and cardiac arrhythmias. It also helps reduce blood pressure and keep cholesterol levels under control.
  • It is rich in vitamin C and provitamin A, providing very powerful anti-oxidant properties for skin protection.
  • Guavas have a rich fibre content of pectin-type, which is good for your digestive system health.
  • It is also rich in potassium, a component which helps alkalinize your body.
  • It is also used as an antiseptic: the leaves can be chewed as a natural antibiotic to fight bacteria causing bad breath.
  • Due to its high anti-oxidant effect, guavas are perfect for athletic people who need vitamins and be well-hydrated without consuming a lot of calories. They also have many vitamins and a great nutritional value, which helps fight symptoms of stress.
  • Guavas are ideal for smokers, as they need to consume bigger quantities of anti-oxidant, a component you can find in guavas along with carotene and anthocyanin.

Guava Varieties

  • Feijoa Guava: white or salmon-coloured flesh and a taste slightly resembling pineapples. That is why they are also known as Pineapple Guavas. It has a sweet&sour taste that makes them ideal for preparing fruit salads, compotes and jams.
  • Cas: native to Costa Rica, it presents the size of an apple. It can be consumed with the skin, and the flesh can be whisked to prepare very refreshing drinks.
  • Coronilla: this variety is cultivated in Colombia and it is extremely rich in vitamin C. The flesh is more acidic and tastes like apple, lemon and banana.
  • Java Apple: native to Malaysia and South India. It presents a firm, juicy flesh with an acidic and refreshing flavour similar to the apple.

More varieties of guava: White Flesh, Red African, Farang and Trujillo.

Curious facts about guavas

  • Christopher Columbus was offered a guava when he landed at the Antilles for the first time. A gesture meaning diversity and natural wealth from those lands.
  • Guavas are considered a tropical fruit full of vitamins: they contain three times more anti-oxidants than oranges or lemons, and it is one of fruits with more anti-oxidant effect.
  • ‘Cascos confitados’ (literally, ‘crystallized helmets’) is a very popular dessert all along South America. It is prepared in a very similar way to guava in syrup (i.e. preserved in sugar), adding cinnamon, cloves and other spices.
  • Guava trees are also used in ornamentation, specially those varieties with most eye-catching leaves and fruits. It is the perfect companion in gardens and farms.
  • In Malaysia, fruit leaves are used to obtain a sort of black dye for silk.
  • It is an excellent source of firewood and wood charcoal.
  • In Colombia, the ‘guava sandwich’ (also known as ‘veleño sandwich’) is a very popular dessert consisting of whisked guava with sugar, all wrapped in bijao leaves.

Guavas

Find Guavas

There is a dirt road, leading up to our house, lined on both sides with 6m tall guava trees, we planted them 20 years ago when we first came, and, guavas being native to this part of the world, have thrived and produced from the very beginning. (I’m actually a Peruvian farmer, writing this)
When the guava fruits begin to ripen you can smell that unique, heady, ripe guava smell. Of course all the birds and small kids from surrounding farms can smell it too, and both come in swarms to grab as much as they can from the tree tops or the windfalls respectively. Never mind, there’s plenty for all. We have three varieties, the white, the pink and the small red fleshed ones. All are light green to yellow on the outside. Guavas are well loved all over tropical America and the Caribbean not only for the fruits, which are loaded with vitamin C and pectin, and are eaten fresh or made into jellies, preserves, confections or refreshing drinks, but also because of the medicinal properties of its leaves and bark. These are astringent, antiseptic and antibacterial and are still used by the indigenous people to treat stomach ailments of all kinds.

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