Saturday, May 15, 2010

Hawaiian Guava, just try it

Running up and down the grocery aisles yesterday, can't even tell you which aisle, my eye  wandered to a can of... Guava Juice....

A flood of wonderful Hawaiian memories came over me as I reached for a can and lovingly put it in my cart. Ever tried Guava?

Guava is a tropical fruit. Easy to recognize, the guava tree has smooth, thin, copper-colored bark that flakes off, showing the greenish layer underneath. The fruit is a light yellow-green with an occasional rosy blush. Inside, the pulp has either a rose or off-white flesh and a center full of seeds. Usually you peel the skin, cut it in half and scoop out the seedy center. Eat it like an apple or puree the flesh. It is a little grainy somewhat like a pear. The flavor hints of a Piña Colada drink (although guava is not an ingredient). It is an addicting refreshing drink.

When I lived in Hawaii, all things guava were at the top of my list. Better than orange juice for breakfast; bake up a wonderful chiffon guava cake; add it to your favorite fruit or cream pie; top anything with a shiny rose guava gel, and experience a myriad of mixed drinks.

Surprisingly healthy, research from the Guardian Health Guardian, January 19th, 2010, the article about super foods: "100 grams of guava gives you more than twice potassium as compared to apples, four times more vitamin C than oranges for the same amount and yet, it is not considered a super star fruit. Strange, isn’t it?"

It doesn't appears in Hawaii until the early 1800's. Now it occurs throughout the Pacific islands. No one knows for sure where the Guava tree originated, most speculate Mexico or Central America. Today it grows in both tropical and sub-tropical regions all over the world. India has many plantations, so does Thailand and Spain. It is grown in Florida and in Hawaii. As long as it doesn't freeze, for Guava trees die in a freeze although sometimes the Guava trees have been know to grow up again from the roots.


My daughter, Diane, gave me a recipe for mini-cheesecakes made in a muffin tin and vanilla wafers. Here's my spin on her mini-cheesecake with Guava.


Diane Nugent's Mini-Cheese Cakes with my Guava Addition

In a muffin pan with paper-cup liners place one vanilla wafer cookie in each space. Option: I like to put a bunch of vanilla wafers in a plastic bag and use a rolling pin, crush the 'Nilla Wafers'. Put a loaded Tablespoon in the bottom of each liner, then tap it down with a juice glass.
Blend:
          1/2 cup sugar
          2 packages 8 oz cream cheese
          2 eggs
          1 teaspoon vanilla
          1 teaspoon lemon juice
          1 Tablespoon Guava Juice
Fill Muffin cups almost to the top.
Bake at 375° for 18 minutes. Turn off the oven, leave the oven door open and let the little cakes cool completely.


Guava Gel Glaze:
2 C Guava juice
1/2 C Sugar
1 Tablespoon Grenadine
1/4 C Cornstarch

Bring the juice and sugar to a boil. Take off heat. 
Make a paste from cornstarch, Grenadine and a little water. 
Stir the paste into juice pan. Return to heat, boil for one minute or until thick.

Spoon on each mini-cheese cake in the muffin pan. Cool cheesecake in the muffin pan in refrigerator until ready to serve. Freezes well.






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