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Guava Psidium guajava L.

Photo Credit:Ian Maguire

Guavas are a delight to cook with as they can be used in a variety of dishes,and offer a wonderful tropical taste.

Guavas grown in Florida are of two types:the pink Florida guava,and the white Thai guava.

  • The Florida pink guava is sweet with a strong fragrance and is   most often used in dessert type dishes.
  • The white Thai guava can be eaten in its green state like an apple,or can be used in its ripe state,like the pink guava.


Below are a few tips to help you enjoy your guavas at their best!

Selecting fruit

Guavas are picked from the tree when they are mature,but not ripe.  This means that the fruit has reached its full size and shape,but the starches inside the fruit have not yet converted to sugar. When those starches have changed into sugars,usually over a few days of sitting on the kitchen counter,the fruit will soften and emit that wonderful guava fragrance.

Florida PINK Guava – Pink guava from our growers will be carefully selected at the farm and will arrive ready to start ripening on the kitchen counter. It the market,look for pink guavas that are firm and free of soft spots. The skin will be green with a yellow tinge.

WHITE Thai guava – The white guavas ordered from our growers are also carefully selected and will arrive at your door ready to further ripen,or be used right away. At the market,choose a Thaie guava that is free from any blemishes,or soft spots.The color of the Thai guava will be a bright green,like a Granny Smith apple.


Ripening

Again,this fruit is harvested when it is mature,but not ripe,and you may need to ripen it,depending on how you want to use your guava. To ripen both types of guavas,just leave them on the counter in the warmth of your kitchen,until the fruit yields to a gentle pressure and your kitchen is filled with that heavenly guava scent!

For the white guava,use it while it is firm,or let it soften a bit for a sweeter fruit.


Handling

The entire ripe fruit can be eaten,so it is easy to enjoy Florida guavas!

After washing the fruit,cut the fruit in half,scoop out the pulp,and enjoy it – seeds and all! The pulp has a similar texture to a pear,the taste is reminiscent of strawberries,and the aroma is intoxicating!

You can also eat guavas like you would an apple or a peach,biting right through the skin. The skin is packed with Vitamin C,so eat the entire fruit to get all the health benefits from your guava.

The white,or Thai guava,is eaten the same way as the pink ones,but is also can eaten while still firm. At this stage,the white guava has a crispy texture and flavor of a mild apple.


Storage

Well,how do you store your guavas once they are ripe?

  • Once both the pink and the white guavas are ripe,that is when they give under gentle pressure,use them within a day or two,or else put them in the refrigerator or freezer to make them last longer.
  • RIPE guavas will stay just fine for a few days in the refrigerator if kept in a plastic bag or container. If the guavas are not yet ripe –they are still firm –put them in a plastic container or bag and they can keep up to about two weeks.
  • In the freezer,they last a lot longer,up to a year. To freeze guava,cut up the guava into a freezer container,and cover with a light simple syrup. Allow a little extra space in the container for expansion.


Recipes

Both ripe guava types can be used in dessert dishes,made into jams,and /or to flavor meats. In Thialand,the White guavas are sliced like an apple,and the slices are then dipped in a dry salt-and-granulated sugar dip seasoned with crushed chilli called prik kab kleua,  or dippd in a savoury chilli dip prepared by blending palm sugar with fish sauce heated to a caramel-like consistency called nam pla wan.

Anyway you try them,you are sure to enjoy the exotic flvor of guava.

Below are a few tips to help you enjoy your guavas at their best!


Pan Fried Guava Glazed Chicken

Lori A. Wong,LDEI Honolulu Chapter

Yield:4

A very simple and colorful entree using fresh guava or guava’s frozen in a zip lock bag for off-season pleasure.

4 Chicken breasts

1/4 cup Flour

To taste Salt and Pepper

2 oz. Butter

2 oz. Triple Sec

1 clove Garlic,minced

1 tsp. Ginger,grated

1/2 cup Fresh Guava,seedless,julienned (approx. 2 guavas)

Vegetable oil

Season flour and lightly dredge chicken breasts.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.

Pan fry chicken breasts ‘til golden brown on both sides.

When nearly cooked,drain oil from the pan and deglaze pan with Triple Sec Chicken is still in the pan. The sugars in the Triple Sec will thicken and glaze the chicken.

Turn down heat and add minced garlic,ginger and guava (the 3-G Trilogy!). Heat until you can smell the exoticup aromas of the 3 G-Trilogy open up!

Move chicken breast to the side of the pan,and cream in butter.

Remove chicken breasts and pour guava butter sauce over each breast. The guava slices are your garnish.


SPICY GREEN SALAD WITH GUAVA VINAIGRETTE

Diane Forley,LDEI Los Angeles chapter

Serves 4

1/4 lb. guava,peeled and seeded,cut into ?4inch pieces

1/4 cup balsamicup vinegar

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 piece star anise

6 Tablespoons grapeseed oil

2 endive

1/2 lb. mixed spicy greens:such as:arugula,dandelion,frisee

2 oz. Ricotta salata cheese,shaved finely

To make the vinaigrette,combine the guava,vinegar,pepper and star anise in a small saucepan. Add 2 Tablespoons water and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and cook until the guava is tender,15 to 20 minutes.

Remove the star anise and puree the mixture in a blender. Slowly add grapeseed oil with blender on medium speed. Strain through fine meshed sieve. Adjust seasoning if necessary with pepper.

For salad,remove any tom outer endive leaves and slice into rounds,avoiding the core. Combine the endive and spicy salad mix in a salad bowl. Add sea salt and just enough dressing to coat the greens. Garnish with ricotta salata cheese shavings and serve.

Guava Pie with Cinnamon and Cardamom

Jane King,LDEI  Austin,Texas

1 pie crust

10 cups guava,frozen or fresh,sliced,and seeds removed

1/3 cup sugar

1/4 cup guava nectar

1tsp ground cinnamon I tsp groundcardamom %cup guava preserves

Combine guava,sugar,guava nectar,cardamom and cinnamon in a large skillet. Toss gently over medium high heat until liquid starts to bubble. Simmer 2 minutes. Remove guava from skillet with a slotted spoon to a colander over a bowl. Drain weft. Add syrup from bowl to skillet. Boil until juices in skillet are thick and reduced to about 2/3 cup. Mix in the guava preserves. Cool and then add the guava pieces.

Preheat oven to 375°. Place piecrust into pie pan and spoon filling into it. Top with a second crust or a lattice.. Bake until filling bubbles and crust is golden,about 45 minutes. Cool completely.

Serve with vanilla ice cream.


Five-Minute Guava Ice Cream

Suzanne Dunaway Los Angeles Chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier

This is the easiest,tastiest dessert one can serve-fresh,fairly light,and it takes only 5 minutes to make! One can use the sapote also with this recipe. Delicious!

6 medium or 8 small ripe guavas

% cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar

Juice of a lime

1 pint heavy whipping cream

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Scoop out the flesh of the guavas,chop coarse,and place in a bowl. Sprinkle with sugar and stir to mix. Place guava pieces in a plasticup container with a lid and freeze.

To make the ice cream:

Just before serving,place the whipping cream in the bowl of a food processor,along with the vanilla. Process until cream stands in firm peaks. Remove the guava from the freezer,microwave for a few seconds to release the mixture,and break up the mixture with a sharp knife.

Add the guava to the cream and pulse,just until the guava is mixed with the cream and is firm,about 30 seconds.

Pile the ice cream in pretty glasses and serve!