Hello! I have not been posting as much as I would like but I had a complicated week at work. Nevertheless, I’ve been thinking about what my new publication will be, and.. while I was doing my weekly visit to the supermarket, I found guayabas or guavas (of which i’ve forgotten a bit this past years) and I though about speaking of them in this post :).
Guayaba (or guava, in English) is a very common fruit in México. We do not only consume it fresh, but we also use this fruit to do marmalade, pies, agua fresca and regional candies like ate de guayaba or royo de guayaba.
Guayaba is native to Mexico, Central and South America. Although first production records in Mexico are from the state of Aguascalientes, guayaba cultivation expanded to other places like Michoacán (first national producer ♥ ), Jalisco and the state of Mexico.
The “guayabo”, or guava tree, is a small tree. It can grow about 2 – 7 meters. It is a perennial tree from the Myrtaceae family (this family also includes clove and eucalipto). Guayabos grow well in topical and subtropical regions, also in subhumid and semi-arid climates. Its optimum annual temperature is from 23 ºC to 28 ºC. Its a very fragrant tree, specially because of its small white flowers. Flowering occurs between March to September, then it takes about 90 to 150 days for the fruit to rip. Fruits appear 4 years after planting; even though this tree can last for 30 years, the production begin to decline from year 15. See below a guayabo that I found at my college last week!
Guayaba is considered a berriy; pink from inside and yellow from outside. It is a very fragrant fruit, if you put them in your fruiterer, your entire kitchen will smell like guayaba! Its a good smell though, it actually reminds me a lot of my grandpa, he had a guayabo in his garden and my aunts often made agua fresca de guayaba. Having conversations with friends from Spain and other places in Europe, they think it is a fruit with a really strong flavor. I had never though of that, maybe because I am used to that flavor, but now I think it might be a little bit too strong for people who had never tried this fruit. I personally love the smell of guayaba, it reminds me my hometown, my grandparent’s house, Christmas…
This fruit also has very interesting nutrition facts, perhaps one of the most remarkable one is its high Vitamin C content, it is three times higher than oranges! USDA recommend us to cosume daily about 60 mg of Vitamin C. 100 grams of oranges give us 88% of the Daily Values of vitamin C that USDA recommends, Now, 100 grams of guayabas provides 380% of the Daily Value! This is 432% more Vitamin C in 100 g of guavas than in 100 g of oranges! Besides vitamin C, guavas are also a great source of potassium (even better than bananas!) and of vitamin A. So if you have access to this fruit, it is worth it to add it to your diet.
But now, the delicious part: How to eat it? Well, his fruit is extremely versatile! for example, when guavas are not ripe yet my family eat them with lemon juice, a little bit of chili and a little bit of salt. But when guavas are ripe, my mom usually make agua de guayaba, or guayaba marmalade. You can eat your guava marmalade with a piece of bread and cheese, or if you feel like baking something, you can bake a basic cheesecake and put the marmalade on top! (please let me know if you want my cheesecake recipe, i’ll send it to you vía e-mail).
Of course there is not a lot of science in making guava marmalade. But here is the recipe :):
- About 10 medium size ripe guavas
- 100 to 150 grams of brown sugar
- The juice of 1 lemon
How to do it
- Cut guavas into small pieces
- Place chopped guavas in a bowl, and add 50 g of the brown sugar
- Add the lemon juice
- Let the guavas with the sugar and lemon to loose a little bit of juice for an hour
- Cook guavas at low heat for 45 minutes to 1 hour
- Enjoy the smell !!! 🙂
A few tips:
- Lemon juice gives balance to your marmalade. Without lemon juice, your marmalade may taste extremely sweet. This is also a good tip if you are making agua de guayaba.
- You can smash guavas while cooking, and then pour them to separate seeds from flesh. This may be good idea to make a marmalade for a cheesecake our a sweet sauce for a dessert.
- Wait until your guavas are ripe (completely yellow, even a little bit black). If you make your marmalade with green guavas (not ripe guayabas), you will end up with a flavor-less marmalade.
- Never get desperate and try to cook your marmalades at high temperature. They will stick to the bottom of the pot and your marmalade won’t taste the same.
So, this is my final result 🙂 :
Conabio (N.D.) Psidium guajava. Species Plantarum 1. http://goo.gl/3LO4nS
National Nutrient Data Base for Standard Reference (2015). Guavas, common, raw. The National Agricultural Library. http://goo.gl/nxn5Gg