A friend has recently given me surplus guavas from her backyard. Her trees are laden, and Linda hasn’t been finding many takers for them. Apparently, people aren’t enamoured with the fruit because of the seeds, which can be a little too crunchy for some people’s taste.
I’m never one to look a gift horse in the mouth, especially fresh, home grown produce. Having a good quantity in the fridge, I decided to do a little research as to the health benefits of guavas. What a surprise – they’re a little power-pack of vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidents, with some pretty good anti-cancer properties as well.
Firstly, they grow in tropical or sub-tropical climates. Busselton seems to be perfect for them. I gather they’re easy to cultivate with few pests, and are prolific fruiters. I think the small, red fruits from Linda’s trees are an Hawaiian variety.
I read that there’s four times the amount of vitamin C than in oranges, with just one small fruit holding twice the daily vitamin C requirement. They have more lycopene than tomatoes – so guys, they’re excellent for the prevention of prostate (and other) cancers.
They’ve been shown to improve sodium/potassium balance, thereby regulating blood pressure. They’re beneficial by increasing HDLs (good cholesterol), and lowering LDLs (bad cholesterol). Additionally, they contain B3 and B6 (good for brain function), and magnesium to help relax muscles.
The seeds – firstly rest assured they are edible, and in fact are a particularly good source of fibre, so even more anti-cancer properties. However, they are a tad too crunchy for some people’s taste. I personally don’t mind the crunch of the seeds, but if you find them too crunchy, then flicking them out with a small knife (or your finger nail) isn’t too difficult. The smaller seeds aren’t as hard as the larger ones, so you may find the smaller ones palatable enough to leave in. Fortunately, Paul and I don’t object to the seeds, whether large or small.
We’ve eaten a good quantity of the fresh berry like fruits. Today I decided to see what they were liked cooked. Using my mum’s apple sponge recipe, I substituted guavas for the apples – here’s the result:
GUAVA FRUIT SPONGE (serves 6 – 8)
A good quantity of guavas (I used 750gms of whole fruit)
2 tablespoons of sugar
For the sponge:
150 gms of butter
75gms of sugar
1 cup of self raising flour
2 tablespoons of milk
Desiccated coconut or icing sugar for garnish (optional)
How to prepare:
Pre-heat oven to 175°C
Prepare the guavas by slicing off the belly button at the top of the fruit. Cut the larger ones in half. Remove any seeds that are too large for your liking. (I left all the seeds in mine).
Place into a saucepan with 2 tablespoons of sugar and cook over a gentle heat until heated through. Don’t let them over cook or they’ll loose their shape. Tip the hot fruit into a greased oven-proof dish (approximately 1 1/2 litres in capacity)
Now make the sponge:
Cream the butter and sugar. Beat in the egg. Stir in the flour and milk. Spoon over the warm fruit.
Cook for approximately 45 minutes, or until the sponge springs back when gently pushed.
Removed from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes. Garnish with a sprinkle of coconut, or icing sugar (if using) and serve with cream, ice-cream or custard. Yum – A pleasurable way to eat your vitamins!