In much earlier times, during the 1500's, Spanish explorers found guava trees growing in Mexico and as far down as Peru. Later, around 1816, there was evidence of the trees growing in Florida. The Portuguese colonizers carried the seeds from "The new world" to the East Indies. Somehow cultivation then travelled to Egypt, and then on to the coastal regions of France. This marvellous, brightly coloured fruit is enjoyed all around the globe today.
Besides being an edible fruit, every piece of this tree is worthy of use. In some countries the wood is used in carpentry, in Malaysia wooden handles are produced, in India the bark is used for ornamental carving, and in central America exotic decorative hair combs are produced.
By this time of the year these exotic summer fruits should be ripening beautifully "on the bough". Many benefits are derived from eating guavas. They supply multiple nutrients as they are loaded with fibre, protein, minerals and vitamins, especially vitamin C, and have a low fat content. Guavas are excellent for the brain, for vision, constipation, and the body's immune system, and are ideal to be consumed by diabetics.
Nutritionally, guavas have umpteen uses. In South Africa the fruit is turned into yummy cereal flakes, mixed with cornmeal and other ingredients. They can be included in cakes, tarts, ice cream, desserts, jam and preserved fruit for future use. For readers willing to forego the sweetness, guavas are excellent as a base for chutney and are colourful in summer salads.
South Africa is well known for an array of dried fruits, with these glorious pink strips of guavas being amongst them.
In closing, here are a few quirky suggestions for putting guavas to use:
Roll firm peeled wedges in sesame seeds and include in salads;
Cut ripe, but firm guavas into cubes and place onto skewer sticks with an assortment of other fruit;
Insert guava halves into a curry towards the end of cooking - the fruit will absorb the delightful spices;
Combine a mix of guava juice, tomato sauce, soy sauce, ginger and garlic, and pour over meat as a marinade - while cooking, baste frequently.
If you enjoy entertaining during the summer months, create a great summer cocktail by using 1 cup of guava juice, a cup of mashed, strained papaya, and combine with well-chilled sparkling rose wine. Dampen the rims of champagne glasses, dip into sugar for a frosted effect, then pour in the above to delight your guests.
The fresh fragrance of MatsiMela Home Spa's soap scrolls and fizzballs will add a little something special to your table setting. Bombonieres that are pure indulgence.