Jan. 22, 2019
Food UsesRaw guavas are eaten out-of-hand, but are preferred seeded and served sliced as dessert or in salads. More commonly, the fruit is cooked and cooking eliminates the strong odor. A standard dessert throughout Latin America and the Spanish-speaking islands of the West Indies is stewed guava shells (cascos de guayaba), that is, guava halves with the central seed pulp removed, strained and added to the shells while cooking to enrich the sirup. The canned product is widely sold and the shells can also be quick-frozen. They are often served with cream cheese. Sometimes guavas are canned whole or cut in half without seed removal.
Bars of thick, rich guava paste and guava cheese are staple sweets, and guava jelly is almost universally marketed. Guava juice, made by boiling sliced, unseeded guavas and straining, is much used in Hawaii in punch and ice cream sodas. A clear guava juice with all the ascorbic acid and other properties undamaged by excessive heat, is made in South Africa by trimming and mincing guavas, mixing with a natural fungal enzyme (now available under various trade names), letting stand for 18 hours at 120° to 130° F (49°-54° C) and filtering. It is made into sirup for use on waffles, ice cream, puddings and in milkshakes. Guava juice and nectar are among the numerous popular canned or bottled fruit beverages of the Caribbean area. After washing and trimming of the floral remnants, whole guavas in sirup or merely sprinkled with sugar can be put into plastic bags and quick-frozen.
There are innumerable recipes for utilizing guavas in pies, cakes, puddings, sauce, ice cream, jam, butter, marmalade, chutney, relish, catsup, and other products. In India, discoloration in canned guavas has been overcome by adding 0.06% citric acid and 0.125% ascorbic acid to the syrup. For pink sherbet, French researchers recommend 2 parts of the cultivar 'Acid Speer' and 6 parts 'Stone'. For white or pale-yellow sherbet, 2 parts 'Supreme' and 4 parts 'Large White'. In South Africa, a baby-food manufacturer markets a guava-tapioca product, and a guava extract prepared from small and overripe fruits is used as an ascorbic-acid enrichment for soft drinks and various foods.
Dehydrated guavas may be reduced to a powder which can be used to flavor ice cream, confections and fruit juices, or boiled with sugar to make jelly, or utilized as pectin to make jelly of low-pectin fruits. India finds it practical to dehydrate guavas during the seasonal glut for jelly-manufacture in the off-season. In 1947, Hawaii began sea shipment of frozen guava juice and puree in 5-gallon cans to processors on the mainland of the United States. Since 1975, Brazil has been exporting large quantities of guava paste, concentrated guava pulp, and guava shells not only to the United States but to Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Japan.
Canned, frozen guava nectar is an important product in Hawaii and Puerto Rico but may be excessively gritty unless stone cells from the outer flesh and skin are reduced by use of a stone mill or removed by centrifuging.
In South Africa, guavas are mixed with cornmeal and other ingredients to make breakfast-food flakes.
Green mature guavas can be utilized as a source of pectin, yielding somewhat more and higher quality pectin than ripe fruits.
Food Value Per 100 g of Edible Portion*
Ascorbic acid-mainly in the skin, secondly in the firm flesh, and little in the central pulp-varies from 56 to 600 mg. It may range up to 350-450 mg in nearly ripe fruit. When specimens of the same lot of fruits are fully ripe and soft, it may decline to 50-100 mg. Canning or other heat processing destroys about 50% of the ascorbic acid. Guava powder containing 2,500-3,000 mg ascorbic acid was commonly added to military rations in World War II. Guava seeds contain 14% of an aromatic oil, 15% protein and 13% starch. The strong odor of the fruit is attributed to carbonyl compounds.
Click here for a product fact sheet and availability.