Jun 182013

guava fruitIf you’re trying to stretch beyond your taste buds, and are looking for a nutritional punch, you have to try the guava fruit.  The guava, or guayaba in Spanish, is a unique fruit grown in the tropics, and enormously popular in Mexico and Caribbean countries.  Because of it high nutritional density, guava is considered to be a superfruit–just a single fruit contains four times the amount of Vitamin C of an orange.  This under appreciated fruit is being discovered by many chefs as a tasty and nutritional ingredient in sauces, salad dressings, and desserts.

Guava fruit varies–they can be round, oval or pear shaped, can be white, pink, yellow, orange or red.  The fruit is pungent and sweet, an almost perfect balance of sweetness and acidity, containing lots of small edible seeds. The entire fruit is edible, and its flavor can be described as something between a strawberry, pear, and fig. It can be used in tropical drinks, smoothies, yogurts, ice creams, jams and jellies. Guava paste can be found in most ethnic markets and can be added to create a delicious barbeque sauce.  I first discovered guava fruit in Hawaii many years ago, and remember having guava bread, and delicious guava cocktails.

How many calories are in a Guava?

There are just 61 calories in an average size guava fruit—about the size of a large apple.  They have less than 1 gram of fat, 12.9 grams carbohydrate, 2.3 grams of protein, and a whopping 4.9 grams of fiber.  They are cholesterol and sodium free.

What is the Nutrition in Guava fruit?

Guavas are rich in dietary fiber, vitamins A and C, folic acid, and the dietary minerals, potassium, copper and manganese.

Guavas contain both carotenoids and polyphenols–the major classes of antioxidant pigments that help prevent many chronic diseases.

They flesh of the fruit also contains lycopene, known to help prevent prostate cancer, in larger amounts than tomatoes.

What are the Health Benefits of Guava fruit?

Guava is known to kill bacteria, fungi and yeast, fights free-radials, reduces spasms and helps lower blood pressure and blood sugar levels.

Studies have shown the fruit can be used for stomach troubles.  The astringent properties may be helpful in treating diarrhea, stomach bugs, and indigestion.

How to select and store Guava

Be sure to choose blemish-free fruits that give with gentle pressure.  They ripen quickly, and are highly perishable. A ripe guava will have a tropical lemony fragrance.  Once they’re ripe, you have about two days to enjoy them, or they can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week.  I bet they don’t last that long.  Be sure to check them daily and turn them often in order to get the most out of your fruit.

guava barsRecipe for Guava fruit bars

I hope the tropical and nutritious guava finds a place on your menu, and please check out this week’s recipe for Guava fruit bars.

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