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Strawberry Guava Fruit Leather Recipe

I'm Rosetta, a young mama living the dream on an organic farm in the tropics.

Strawberry guavas in a pot, ready to be cooked down to make fruit leather

Strawberry guavas in a pot, ready to be cooked down to make fruit leather

A few weeks ago, our strawberry guava trees were covered in hundreds of fruits, and we were struggling to eat them all.

So, I did what any resourceful modern cook would do: I preserved them. In this case, I decided to make fruit leather in my dehydrator—and it was a hit!

What Is Strawberry Guava?

Strawberry guavas as truly the bee's knees of fruits: they're not too sweet, not too sour and they're bursting with vitamin C and other nutrients that are good for you.

The scientific name for this fruit is Psidium cattleianum. It is a small round fruit that tastes like ripe strawberries but looks like a tiny pomegranate and belongs to the guava family.

If you live in Hawaii or another tropical place, chances are you know of its infamous reputation as a pest. Strawberry guava trees will grow and multiply with abandon, and there is currently a man-hunt (plant hunt?) on to eradicate them.

However, where I live these plants are treated as delicacies, with hiking trips and festivals organised to pick the ripe fruits in the forest and on farms. The locals know that the plant is too valuable as animal fodder, building material and for its medicinal uses to be eradicated.

Our fence is made from strawberry guava trunks

Our fence is made from strawberry guava trunks

We use the thin trunks of the strawberry guava tree to build fences on our property.

I remember the first time I tasted a strawberry guava. My husband had picked a small, round fruit from a tree and handed it to me. At first taste, I wasn't too impressed. The skin was leathery with a slight woody taste, and the inside flesh was sweet and good but the little seeds made the experience more annoying than life-changing.

Since then, I've discovered that if you eat the fruit when it's not ripe enough it can have a less than perfect taste and texture. But picked when deep red or left to soften on the counter for a couple of days this tropical fruit rivals the sweetest strawberry.

Not only that, the whole plant can be used in a variety of ways. The leaves are used as animal fodder and in a medicinal infusion, the seeds dried and used in musical instruments or art projects, and the wood itself makes a great building material.

My husband, who never misses an opportunity to use materials growing on our land to cut costs has made nearly all the paddocks and fences on the farm using strawberry guava tree trunks. Being abundant on our land as well as many forested areas of the island makes this wood accessible and free.

Strawberry guava fruit

Strawberry guava fruit

What to Do With Strawberry Guava

When they're in season, we pick crates of these small red fruits and then have the immense task of either eating or preserving them all.

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Here's a list of treats that can be made with them.

  1. Jam
  2. Syrup
  3. Ice-cream and sorbet
  4. Jelly (Jell-O to Americans)
  5. Fruit leather
  6. Fruit sauce for pancakes or other desserts
  7. Cake
  8. Sweet and savoury sauce for meats
  9. Smoothies
  10. Fruit juice
  11. Mousse or baked custard
  12. Milkshake
My strawberry guava fruit leather recipe couldn't be simpler.

My strawberry guava fruit leather recipe couldn't be simpler.

Easy Strawberry Guava Fruit Leather

My recipe produces chewy, sweet and very convenient rolls that will last for months if stored properly. They make a wonderful post-workout snack, lunchbox addition or flu season treat as they are full of Vitamin C and other immune-enhancing goodies.

I use an Excalibur dehydrator which was pricy but worth every cent. You can use your oven but watch it carefully as results won't be as even.

Ingredients

  • Ripe strawberry guavas
  • Sugar (optional)

Method

  1. Wash the fruits. Place a food mill over a large bowl and mill the fruits until the skins and seeds are totally separated from the pulp.
  2. Pour the pulp into a pot, add optional sugar to taste and bring to the boil. Let it simmer for 3 minutes, then cool completely.
  3. Ladle the fruit mixture onto non-stick dehydrator sheets or a baking paper lined oven tray and spread evenly using a spatula or knife.
  4. Dehydrate according to your machine's instructions, or place in the oven on the lowest possible temperature and check after an hour. It's ready when the leather isn't sticky to the touch.
  5. Cool completely, then cut into long strips and roll up in baking paper.

Health Benefits of Strawberry Guava

People eat this fruit because it tastes great, but it also happens to be an amazing source of nutrients. For every 100 grams of edible strawberry guava flesh, you will find:

  • 69 calories
  • 17.4g carbohydrates
  • 5.4g fiber
  • 37mg Vitamin C (49% of your recommended daily intake!)
  • 21mg copper
  • 17mg magnesium
  • 27mg of phosphorus
  • 282mg of potassium

As well as small amounts of Omega-3 , Omega-6 and Vitamin B1, B2 and B3

Where I live, the locals have used goyaviers, as they're known here for decades to relieve all sorts of health problems.

Fruits in the guava family are astringent and rich in potassium, making them useful in small amounts for cases of diarrhea, stomach aches and dysentery.

Conversely, those suffering from constipation are told to gorge on the fruit as the high fibre content helps get the bowels moving properly.

The vitamin rich fruit is in season just as the latest bouts of colds and the flu are going around. This is handy, as the large amounts of Vitamin C are wonderful for fighting seasonal illnesses.

The anti-oxidants and B vitamins contained in the fruit promote general health and energy, and I've heard several people say they make an infusion with the fruit skins and leaves to ease fatigue and beat bacterial infections.

In the video below, go on a virtual tour through a strawberry guava forest with Green Deane.

More About Strawberry Guavas

What Do You Think?

Let us know whether you've tried out this tropical fruit, and what you thought about it.

More Strawberry Guava Recipes

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

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