It’s that time again. I get so excited when I see the new season’s fruits on the shelf. I am lucky enough to have a guava tree and it gives me such pleasure to walk outside and pluck the fruit from the tree and bite deep into its wonderful, sweet and sour cold flesh, with its musky perfume. It is a good fruit for the winter, because it is full of Vitamin C, which is excellent for warding off colds and flu. A 100g fresh fruit provides 228mg of this vitamin, more than three times the DRI.
Guavas are low in calories and fats and contain several more vital vitamins and minerals. If you are buying them from a green grocer of supermarket, buy fresh fruits, with all the skin intact. There shouldn’t be any cuts, bruises, or patches. Placing the fruit wrapped in a paper with a banana or apple will hasten their ripening process, if they are not fully ripe when you buy them.
Peel firm ripe guavas and cut them in half. Remove all the bruised and damaged parts of the fruit. Pack fruit in bottles to be used to measure them and then use syrup guidelines given below.
Prepare the syrup by dissolving 250ml sugar in 500ml water and bring to the boil. (You will need more or less 250 – 350ml syrup per large glass bottle and 125 – 200ml syrup for a smaller bottle).
Place the peeled guavas in the boiling syrup and cook for about 10 – 15 minutes, or until froth starts to appear on top of the syrup, or the pips start to loosen. Be careful not to overcook guavas, as overcooked guavas lose their pips.
Sterilise the bottles by boiling them in water for 30 minutes. All the bottles used must have metal caps and should not be cracked or chipped.
Remove the bottles from the boiling water and pack the cooked guavas into them. Fill to the rim with syrup.
Remove all the air bubbles by inserting a knife against the inside of the bottles. Close the cap tightly and place the bottles upside down while they cool.
This will ensure that the bottles seal properly.
Guava Purée (sweetened)
1kg ripe guavas, peeled and pips scooped out
Liquidize guavas in an electric food processor. Add the sugar and the water.
Cook slowly over moderate heat for 30 minutes, or until thick. Allow to cool.
Pour into sterilized jars and seal. Alternatively, pour into containers suitable for freezing and freeze until needed.
Use the same recipe without sugar for unsweetened guava purée.
Quick Guava Purée
Makes 375 ml
2 x 410g cans canned guavas, drained but retain syrup
Scoop out pips and liquidise. Add 60 – 80 ml of the retained syrup.
Wash approximately 2 kg firm ripe guavas. Peel, cut off stems and blossom ends. Slice the guavas. Boil the guavas in 2 litres of water until soft – about 20 minutes. Push the cooked guavas through a sieve to remove seeds.
Add 500ml sugar for every litre of nectar. Heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Add water until purée is thin enough to drink and sweeten to you liking.
Hint: To freeze the guava nectar, place in an airtight container and allow 3 mm headspace for expansion. This may be kept in the freezer for up to a year.