Saturday, November 13, 2010

What Is Guava?

Whenever I have the good fortune to visit Maui, I often partake in the regional produce.  Across the street from the condo where my wife and I stay, a farmer’s market, loaded with local fruits, veggies, and other homemade products, conducts a brisk and relaxed, aloha-spirited exchange of goods and smiles bartering for our hard-earned mainland cash.

Each time I visit Hawaii I make it a point to try something different, something healthy, while learning as much about it from the friendly island folk as I can, helpful souls who take the time to explain, no doubt for the hundredth time, what it is they are vending.

Over the past few years I have been lucky enough to discover:

* Papaya 
* Passion fruit
* Star fruit
* poi

Recently, I grabbed a handful of green and yellow orbs, asked my friend across the table what they were, and happily discovered guava, adding that tasty and healthy fruit to my growing repertoire of nutritional delights.

What is guava?

So glad you asked.

Guava grows on trees (in fact, my local amigo at the market informed me that in his backyard grew a prolific guava tree that produced the very fruit in my hands, but he was constantly battling his Vietnamese potbellied pig for them; yes, pigs, and most animals, love guava!) in tropical climes like Hawaii - also Southeast Asia, the Caribbean, Africa, and even Florida.

Guava has both a sweet and sour taste, depending on ripeness (you gotta try it yourself to fully understand), with little edible seeds one has to navigate as you munch your way through one.

But taste alone is not what makes guava a worthwhile venture to discover.  Guava is also considered a super food -  and that’s a good thing!

Why, you ask?

* loaded with dietary fiber
* four times the vitamin C as an orange
* low in calories
* no fat or cholesterol
* good source of folic acid, potassium, copper, and manganese
* antioxidants! (high in carotenoids and polyphenols)
* vital part of POG

Huh?  Um, what the heck is POG?

Oh, POG is an Hawaiian fruit drink made from Passion fruit, Orange juice, and, you guessed it, Guava.  (stay tuned for a couple of videos from my recently concluded trip to Maui about POG in the coming weeks)

Guava can be enjoyed in many different ways:

- smoothies
- juices (like POG)
- ice cream
- with fish
- or right off the tree (watch out for pigs, though)

You need not travel all the way to Maui to taste guava (though that’s not a bad idea, is it now?), just search your local produce aisles and ask around.  I wish you luck, because besides tasting amazing, guava is a super food worth discovering.

Until next time…




Susan Blake said...

Hi Mike! I always get so darned hungry watching your videos - I'm just thankful it is always good food you have on and not cookies and pies! haha!

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