Food Profile - Guava

Guava is one of my absolute favourable fruits....its very unusual in its physical shape and its taste is also quite unique.

Guava is a tropical fruit, thought to have originated from Central America. I personally think guava is not indigenous to Nigeria, but rather, like mangoes, guava was brought into African by the slave traders, who often used such exotic fruits as part of their bargaining chip.

Guava is a soft, sweet, and mildly fragrant fruit. Its oval in shape with numerous, edible woody tiny seeds enmeshed in its centre. Its green in colour turning faint yellow or cream colour when ripe. The flesh is whitish to creamy in colour and when ripe, it becomes really soft and feels creamy...! Some varieties have a light pink flesh.

In Nigeria, guavas are eaten just as they are..! not much is done with them in terms of cooking or adding to recipes...! I don't think its because we are not that adventurous, I believe its mainly because of the nature of the fruit itself... First of all, the fruit cannot be juiced....although it can be made into a smoothie and water added to make a juice drink. Also its taste which is mainly sweet with some stringency, makes it not so suitable for cooking or adding to recipes.

Guava is considered to be a super fruit because of its high content of vitamin C, dietary fibre and quite a high content of protein compared to other fruits. It is also high in other vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin A, Folates and Potassium.

Nutritional Data (based on 100g raw fruit)
Calories: 68 (kcal)
Fat: 1 g
Carbohydrates: 14 g
Dietary Fibre: 5 g
Protein: 3 g
Vitamins: A, C Folates
Minerals: Potassium, Calcium, Iron

In Nigerian cuisine, there is limited use for guavas other than to eat them raw when in season (usually around June - August). They are not processed for juice, but I have effectively used them in my smoothies. They serve similar purposes as bananas in smoothies because they can add bulk. They can also be used in fruit salads.

Smoothies- in smoothies, guavas add bulk and can help to balance tastes and flavours because of thier almost alkaline less tart taste.

Salads - They are best in fruit salads, where again they are great for balancing tastes and adding volume to the salad. They can also be added to vegetable salads.

Garnish - When chopped or diced finely, they can be used to garnish food or other dishes.



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