Feijoa, also known as pineapple guava or guavasteen, is an edible fruit obtained from a small evergreen tree of the myrtle family. They are subtropical fruits grown in high altitudes of Europe, California, Brazil, Argentina, South Africa, and some regions in Southern Russia. It is an egg-shaped plant that is about 2-3 inches in length.
Visually, the fruit is similar to an unripe small, green guava. Feijoas fall from their tree when ripe and must be stored in a cool, dry place until it is soft to eat. The fruit can be eaten on its own, crystallized, or crushed to make jam and jelly.
What do feijoas taste like? The flesh of a feijoa tastes like a combination of fruits like pineapple, pear, guava, starfruits, quince, and strawberry. It has a sweet, tart flavor with a distinctive aromatic smell. The sweet smell is a result of the presence of ester methyl benzoate. The flesh of feijoas is dense and grainy, although it is not unpleasant. The inner cavity of the fruit houses jelly-like seeds.
Feijoas fruits can be propagated by planting their seed and layering the low branches of the fruit’s tree. The feijoa is a sweet-savory fruit with the advantage of being beneficial to human health.
Nutritional Benefits of Feijoas
Whether you use feijoas because of their sweet taste or their versatility in dishes, you would be getting a substantial amount of nutritional content from it. It has a vast range of health benefits which include boosting the immune, circulatory and digestive systems. Feijoas has a high concentration of vitamin C, vitamin K, copper, manganese, iron, calcium, and phytochemicals.
Regular consumption of feijoa provides the body with more than 50% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C, and this can help boost the immune system. The presence of vitamin C also aids the formation and functioning of white blood cells. This white blood cell acts as the body’s first line of defense against infections and diseases, while also acting as an antioxidant.
Researches have shown that potassium-rich foods are essential in the proper functioning of the human circulatory system. Feijoa is potassium-rich and useful to people in combating high blood pressure, chronic cardiovascular disease, stroke, and atherosclerosis. It can also act as a vasodilator in the body. This aids the reduction of the tension in blood vessels and arteries.
Fruits that help keep fit throughout the day and improve human cognitive ability should be consumed very often. Antioxidants in the fruit improve brain functionality and retention, enhance focus, and help fight against the risk of neurodegenerative diseases.
Feijoas contains a very small amount of calorie, low carbohydrate level, and a substantial amount of dietary fiber. The combination of these properties helps the body feel full for a very long duration without having to take on more calories and sugar in their daily diet. In the long run, this prevents overeating and keeps body weight in check.
Culinary Uses of Feijoas
The fruit can be eaten on its own and also blends wells with the taste of various dishes it is being added to. You can stew the fruit to enhance its taste. Slice the feijoas fruit in half and scoop out the inside. Afterward, pour it into a bowl filled with a mixture of hot water and sugar. Allow it to simmer until it gets softened. You can serve it with cereal or use it in crumbles.
Also, feijoa can be used as an ingredient in the preparation of salsa. Mix the finely chopped fruit with onion, fresh coriander, brown sugar, and ground black pepper. You can then roll the mixture with cheese or serve with steak, chicken, and potato wedges.
Blend feijoas with their skin peeled with ingredients like white rum, lime cordial, and ice cubes until it becomes smoothly grounded. Serve it in a cocktail glass to get optimal enjoyment. They also make a perfect ingredient for smoothies. Blend feijoa with bananas, yogurt, coconut cream, cinnamon, and honey.
Feijoa and apple crumble is a tasty recipe that puts a smile on faces and makes the taste bud want more. Mix feijoa with ginger and a little amount of water and make a topping for it by mixing flour, sugar, oat, and coconut in a bowl. You can then sprinkle the topping over the fruit and allow it to bake for about 25 minutes until it becomes brown.
Where is Feijoas Grown? How Do You Procure It?
The fruit is commonly found in regions with cool subtropical climates and low humidity like South America, New Zealand, Africa, Australia, and the United States of America. It can also be found in mountainous regions of Uruguay.
The fruit’s tree is grown as an ornamental plant in some places. Feijoa is named after a Brazilian Botanist: Don da Silva Feijo that researched the fruit.
The egg-shaped fruit is very easy to grow and was first discovered in 1815 by Friedrich Sellow in Southern Brazil. Feijoas can be plucked directly from their tree or bought in grocery stores.
Feijoa is expected to be on sale from mid-March to early June. Before you purchase a feijoa, ensure it has a firm texture. The fruit is good for consumption when the jelly-like center is clear.
To preserve feijoas and prevent them from spoilage, stew them in a bowl with a little amount of water. You can place them in a freezer or bottle them.
What Can You Do With Feijoa Skin?
Every part of the feijoa fruit is useful and beneficial to human health. After cutting out the skin from the fruit, you can blend or freeze them in an ice cube tray. They can be used to make porridge, preparing desserts, and blended with other ingredients to make smoothies.
Facts You Didn’t Know About Feijoas
- Feijoa tree starts producing fruits after 3-5 years of its germination.
- The feijoa flower blooms from May to June. The flower attracts birds and bees which helps in the pollination of the plant.
- The fruit’s tree is 8-15 feet in height and about 15 feet in width.