Mexican guava is a delicious tropical fruit that is enjoyed both fresh and in jams, juices, and other preparations. But before eating this fruit, many people wonder – should you peel Mexican guava or eat it with the skin on? Here’s a quick answer:
Yes, it’s recommended to peel Mexican guava before eating it. The skin can be thick and tough, so peeling makes the fruit easier to eat. Some benefits of peeling include exposing the tender, sweet flesh, removing any pesticides, and avoiding the unpleasant mouthfeel of the skin. However, the skin is edible, so peeling is optional if the skin is thin and tender.
What is Mexican Guava?
Mexican guava, also known as amrood, is the fruit of the Psidium guajava tree. This tree is native to Central America and Mexico, but is now grown in tropical and subtropical regions around the world. Here are some key facts about Mexican guava:
– Shape & Size: Mexican guavas are oval or round in shape and generally 2-5 inches wide. They are smaller than common guavas.
– Color: The exterior color ranges from green to light yellow as it ripens. The flesh inside can be white, pink, yellow, or red.
– Texture: The pulp is soft and juicy with edible seeds. The skin is thin but firm.
– Taste: Mexican guava is sweet with floral citrusy notes. The flavor is strong and unique.
– Nutrition: It’s high in vitamin C, fiber, calcium, and antioxidants like lycopene.
So in summary, Mexican guava is a nutritious, tropical fruit with a distinct aroma and flavor. It has edible seeds and skin, but peeling is recommended.
Why Peel Mexican Guava?
Here are the main reasons why it’s recommended to peel Mexican guava:
1. The skin can be thick and tough
Mexican guava skin is edible, but it’s often thick with a tough, coarse texture. For many people, this makes it unenjoyable to eat. Peeling it removes the chewy, fibrous skin to expose the soft, tender flesh that’s easier to bite and chew.
2. To remove pesticide residue
Like other fruits, guavas may be treated with chemical pesticides during growth. Washing can help remove some external pesticides, but peeling is more effective at eliminating residual contamination on the skin.
3. The flavor improves
Guava skin can impart a bitter, astringent taste, especially if the fruit is underripe. Peeling removes these unpleasant qualities, bringing out the fruit’s sweetness and flavor notes.
4. To avoid mouth irritation
The skin contains compounds like tannins that can cause slight mouth irritation in some people. Peeling can prevent this reaction.
So peeling makes eating Mexican guava more pleasant and flavorful. However, if the skin is thin, the fruit is very ripe, and you don’t mind the texture, you can wash and eat guavas with the skin on.
How to Peel Mexican Guava
Peeling Mexican guava is simple to do:
1. Wash the fruit
Rinse off any dirt and debris under clean running water. Using a produce wash or fruit/vegetable soap provides extra cleaning power to remove pesticides and microbes.
2. Trim off the ends
Using a paring knife or vegetable peeler, slice off the stem and blossom ends. This creates flat, even surfaces for easier peeling.
3. Score the skin
Cut a notch into the guava’s skin from top to bottom. This notch will be the starting point for removing the skin.
4. Peel the skin
Place your thumb in the notch and gently peel the skin downwards. Rotate the fruit to peel off skin from all sides. A paring knife helps separate the skin from any fleshy areas.
5. Remove any remaining skin
Use the paring knife to trim off any thin skin left behind. Also remove any brown or hard bits.
6. Rinse again
Give the peeled guava another quick rinse to wash away excess peel and bitterness from the surface.
And that’s it! With the skin removed, the guava is ready to be eaten raw, cooked, or processed into guava products.
How to Eat Mexican Guava
Mexican guava has a sweet, aromatic flavor that shines when eaten fresh. Here are some serving ideas:
Enjoy peeled slices alone or with chamoy sauce and chili powder.
– Fruit Salad
Mix diced guava into fruit salads along with mango, papaya, berries, banana, and melon.
Make a fresh pico de gallo-style salsa with chopped guava, onion, tomato, jalapeño, cilantro, and lime juice.
Blend Mexican guava into tropical smoothies with yogurt or milk for added creaminess.
Extract the juice from peeled guavas and enjoy straight or use in agua fresca drinks.
– Jams & Jellies
Cook peeled guava pieces into sweet jam. Or use the juice to make guava jelly.
Add diced guava to muffins, cakes, tarts, and other baked treats.
– Sauces & Syrups
Purée peeled guava into sauces for meat and desserts. Or cook into thick, sweet syrup.
So peel your Mexican guavas and take advantage of this fruit’s versatility and tropical flavor!
Selecting Ripe Mexican Guavas
Picking perfectly ripe guavas ensures the best flavor and texture when peeled. Here’s how to select ripe Mexican guavas:
– Color – Ripe Mexican guavas develop yellow or greenish-yellow skin. Avoid green fruits as they’ll be underripe.
– Aroma – Ripe guavas give off a strong, sweet, musky aroma.
– Touch – Avoid hard, firm fruits. Opt for guavas that yield slightly when gently squeezed.
– Inspect – Check for bruising, cuts, or mold and avoid those fruits. Select guavas without blemishes.
– Weight – Heavier guavas tend to have more flesh and juice inside. Lighter ones may be immature.
– Texture – The skin should be smooth. Wrinkled skin means the fruit is overripe.
Following these tips will lead you to perfectly ripe and ready to eat Mexican guavas!
Storing Mexican Guavas
Mexican guavas are a delicate fruit and won’t stay fresh for very long. Here are some storage tips:
– Store at room temperature until ripe – Leave unripe guavas out on the counter to ripen them further.
– Refrigerate ripe guavas – Once ripe, move them to the fridge. Cold temperatures slow down ripening.
– Keep for 2-4 days – Ripe guavas only last a few days in the fridge before declining in quality.
– Avoid plastic bags – Storing in sealed bags traps moisture and speeds up spoilage. Use a breathable bowl.
– Keep stem on – Leave the stem intact as this prevents moisture loss through the top.
– Don’t wash until ready to eat – Washing adds excess moisture that causes the fruit flesh to break down faster.
– Monitor for mold – Being a tropical fruit, guavas are prone to molding. Check regularly and remove any moldy spots.
With proper storage habits, you can enjoy peeled Mexican guavas within a few days of purchase.
Health Benefits of Mexican Guava
Beyond being a tasty treat, Mexican guavas provide many nutrients and health benefits:
Guavas are an excellent source of vitamin C. One fruit contains over 200% of the RDI for this antioxidant vitamin. Vitamin C boosts immunity and helps make collagen in the body.
The fruit has around 5 grams of fiber per serving, coming from both the flesh and edible seeds. Fiber is important for digestive and heart health.
Compounds like lycopene, carotenoids, and polyphenols act as antioxidants in the body to reduce oxidative stress and lower disease risk.
With excellent potassium levels, guavas help control blood pressure and counterbalance sodium.
Also called folic acid, folate is a B vitamin that’s crucial for cell function and growth. It’s especially important for pregnant women.
So enjoy the great taste and nutrition of Mexican guava! Just be sure to peel the thick skin first.
Mexican guava is a unique tropical fruit surrounded by a thick, coarse skin. For the best texture and flavor, it’s recommended to peel guavas before eating them. Peeling removes the tough skin to reveal the tender, sweet flesh inside.
To peel, start by washing the fruit, trimming the ends, and scoring the skin. Then simply use your fingers or a paring knife to separate the skin from the flesh. Peeling improves the flavor, reduces pesticides, and prevents mouth irritation from the skin.
Ripe guavas will yield slightly when squeezed and give off a strong, sweet smell. Once peeled, enjoy Mexican guavas raw in fruit salads, smoothies, salsas, or baked goods. Just be sure to store them properly in the fridge and use within a few days.
Mexican guava is not only delicious but also nutritious, providing vitamin C, fiber, potassium, and beneficial plant compounds. So don’t be afraid to peel this tropical fruit to fully enjoy its refreshing flavor and health benefits!