All About Guava

By into the rustic - 10:38 AM

Psidium Guajava L. of the Myrtle family (Myrtaceae).

Background and History

In Spanish, the tree is known as guayabo, or guayavo, and the fruit, guayaba or guyava. The French call it goyave or goyavier; the Dutch, guyaba, goeajaaba; the Surinamese, guave or goejaba; and the Portuguese, goiaba or goaibeira. Hawaiians call it guava or kuawa. In Guam it is abas. In Malaya, it is generally known either as guava or jambu batu, but has also numerous dialectal names as it does in India, tropical Africa and the Philippines. Various tribal names–pichi, posh, enandi, etc.–are employed among the Indians of Mexico and Central and South America.

The exact origin of the guava is unknown, but it is believed that it came from an area extending from Southern Mexico into Central America. It is common in warm tropical areas of Mexico, South and Central America, the West Indies, Bahamas, Bermuda and Southern Florida. Through the global market is has now spread to places all over the world that are able to cater to its environmental requirements.

Qualities of Guava

I had never tasted nor known about guava until I rented this one small ranch house in Mexico. We had two trees that were just covered in apple sized guavas and produced it in the bucket loads. At first it was fantastic, but then we grew quickly sick of the taste as it was basically guava with every meal. Guava pancakes, guava empenadas, etc.

It’s fruit is very aromatic, almost floral or perfume like, and the taste is amazing. Some people find the aroma too much, but I think it is wonderful. Not to mention this fruit has an excellent source of vitamin A so it is very healthy for you. The wood itself from the tree is gorgeous and very easy to recognize. The bark is copper colored and flakes off showing a greenish hue beneath it. The trunk itself has a “bony” like quality. The fruit is yellow skinned with some pink blushing on it when fully ripened and has a musky sweet odor. The flowers are small, white, and sweetly scented. The wood is yellow to reddish, fine-grained, compact, and moderately strong. It is durable indoors for use in carpenter work. Though it may warp on seasoning, it is much in demand in Malaya for handles; in India, it is valued for engravings. Guatemalans use guava wood to make spinning tops, and in El Salvador it is fashioned into hair combs which are perishable when wet. It is good fuelwood and also a source of charcoal.

Types of Guava and Related Species

There are several different kinds of guava, some have yellow flesh and some are pink toned. There is the Brazilian guava, Guisaro (Psidium guinense Sw.), Cattley Guava, Strawberry Guava (P. cattleianum Sabine- and yes it actually tastes like a strawberry), Costa Rican Guava (P. friedrichsthalianum Ndz.), Para Guava (P. acutangulum DC.), Rumberry, Guavaberry (Myrciaria floribunda Berg), and Pineapple Guava (Feijoa Sellowiana)

Medicinal Uses

The roots, bark, leaves and immature fruits, because of their astringency, are commonly employed to stop gastroenteritis, diarrhea and dysentery, throughout the tropics. Crushed guava leaves are applied on wounds, ulcers and rheumatic places, and can also be chewed to relieve a toothache.

The leaf decoction or extraction is taken as a remedy for coughs, throat and chest ailments, gargled to relieve oral ulcers and inflamed gums, taken as an emmenagogue and vermifuge, and treatment for leucorrhea. It has been effective in halting vomiting and diarrhea in cholera patients and is also applied to help remedy skin diseases. The leaf infusion is prescribed in India in cerebral ailments, nephritis and cachexia. An extract is given in epilepsy and chorea and a tincture is rubbed on the spine of children in convulsions. A combined decoction of leaves and bark is given to expel the placenta after childbirth.

Growing Guava

Seeds from guavas are scooped out and cleaned of the flesh of the fruit. Take the seeds and the flesh attached to them and place them in a bowl and cover with either foil or plastic wrap with holes poked in the top. Let this sit for a couple of days in a warm area with filtered light. As the bacteria grows it will cause the fruit to ferment and the gelatinous sacks to let go of the seeds.

Rinse the seeds off and let dry on paper towels or on coffee filters where the paper won’t stick to the seeds as they dry.

Once dry, nick each seed with a knife and place them in warm water to soak for 1-2 days until the seed is about double in size. Place in seed starting trays with a light covering of soil and keep them moist with a covering of plastic in a warm place (75-85 degrees) in your house or greenhouse.

Transplant when they have sprouted at least two sets of leaves in full sun or partial shade. Guava trees need good drainage and to be fertilized well with organic manure or compost. 2 years after planting, your guava tree will start to bear fruit.

Guava seeds remain viable for many months. Most varieties of guava are self-pollinating, but a few are not so be sure to check ahead of time. They can germinate when planted in about 2-3 weeks but sometimes may take as long as 8 weeks. The plant may not germinate true to seed so vegetative propagation from a guava tree is highly recommended.

Guava can also be grown from root cuttings that are medium sized (avoid the very small and large roots) and are cut in 5-10” lengths. Place root cuttings in a prepared soil bed and cover it with 2-4” of dirt. Keep the soil nice and moist and warm.

Guava Recipes

Guava Cake

Original recipe makes 1 -13x9 inch cake


2 cups white sugar

1 cup butter

4 eggs

1 cup guava pulp

1/2 cup guava nectar

3 cups cake flour

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour one 13x9 inch pan.

2. Sift together flour, nutmeg, soda, cinnamon, and cloves.

3. In another bowl, mix together guava pulp and juice.

4. In another bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time. Add flour mixture and guava mixture alternately to creamed mixture. Pour batter into prepared pan.

5. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30-35 minutes.

Rose Sangria with Pineapple and Guava


* 1 750-ml bottle rosé

* 4 6-ounce cans pineapple juice

* 2 11 1/2-ounce cans guava nectar

* 4 cinnamon sticks

* 2 cups 3/4-inch cubes fresh pineapple

* 2 oranges, halved through stem end, thinly sliced crosswise

* Ice cubes


* Mix first 5 ingredients in large pitcher. Set 12 orange slices aside for garnish; add remaining orange slices to pitcher. Cover and chill at least 6 hours or overnight.

* Fill tumblers with ice. Pour sangria over. Garnish with orange slices and serve.

Guava Jelly


* 12 very ripe guavas

* 5 cups water, enough to cover the fruit

* sugar

* lime juice or lemon juice


Dice guavas into one inch cubes.

Place in a large saucepan and cover with just enough water to cover the fruit well.

Cover and cook till guavas are very tender, about half an hour.


Cover a large bowl with a muslin cloth and invert fruit onto the cloth taking care to catch the liquid that drips through the muslin, into the bowl.

Gather the four ends of the cloth and tie a knot and hang this'bag' for about four hours and collect all the drippings into the bowl.

LIGHTLY squeeze out any juice left in the cloth.

Discard pulp.

Measure the liquid.

For every cup of liquid add one cup of sugar and one tablespoon of lemon juice.

(Eg. if there are four cups of liquid you would need to add four cups of sugar and four tablespoons of lime/lemon juice.) Put this mixture back on fire and bring to a boil.

Lower heat and cook, stirring constantly (as the liquid tends to boil over), till the liquid starts coating the spoon thickly and the juice/jelly drips from the spoon in jointed drops.

Let stand for half an hour and pour into jars while still warm.

Cover and seal.

Gauti guava paillard by Chef Gautam Mehrishi


Sifted flour: 125 gm (about 1 ¼ cups)

Softened butter: 50 gm (3 tbsp)

Sugar for the tart pastry: 25 gm (5 tbsp)

Milk: 5 tbsp

Egg yolk: 1

Guava: 2

Flaked almonds: 30 gm

Sugar: 20 gm (4 tbsp)

Butter: 20 gm (4 tbsp)

Brown sugar: 15 gm (3 tbsp)

A pinch of salt


For the tart pastry, combine the butter, flour, sugar and salt in a bowl. Add the egg yolk and milk. Do not over work the pastry. Wrap in plastic wrap and let it rest in the refrigerator for several hours.

For the guava palliard, roll out the pastry to a thickness of 2 mm. Using a round cutter cut out 4 discs of 12 cm each in diameter. Place on a baking sheet. Arrange thinly sliced guava in a rosace (like the petals of a rose) on each disc, leave a 1 cm border. In the centre, place chopped guava combined with brown sugar. Sprinkle on a few flaked almonds, a little sugar and a knob of butter. Bake in a pre heated 220 degree Celsius (450 degree F) oven for 15- 20 minutes. Serve warm, accompanied with an ice cream scoop.

Guava Rum Cheesecake


1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs

1/3 cup melted butter

2 tablespoons granulated sugar


1 cup guava paste

1/3 cup rum

2 pounds cream cheese, room temperature

2 cups granulated sugar

4 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 tablespoon grated lemon zest


1/4 cup guava jelly

1 tablespoon water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9−inch springform pan.

Crust: Prepare the crust by combining the ingredients and pressing onto the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Bake until dry − about 8 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Filling: Melt the guava and beat constantly two to three minutes until very smooth. Add the rum and let it cool. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese. Add the sugar, eggs one at a time, vanilla extract and lemon zest. Gently fold in the melted guava mixture. Pour into the prepared pan. Bake for 1 1/4 hours. If top starts to brown, tent with foil.

When done, turn heat off, open oven door a few inches and let it cool inside oven for 20 minutes. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.

Glaze: Mix glaze ingredients together in a small saucepan until melted and it is the consistency of heavy cream. Let it cool and brush on top of cold cake. Cover and chill for at least 30 minutes to set.

Guava Custard Pie

4 eggs

1/2 can condensed milk

2 cups fresh whole milk

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

6 medium guavas

Peel guavas, remove seeds. Cut into small pieces. Combine ingredients in order given: egg, milks, sugar, lemon juice and guavas. Pour into unbaked pie shell. Bake at 450 degrees F for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 325 degrees F and bake 30 to 40 minutes longer until knife comes out clean.

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