Kiwi's LOVE Feijoa's
Feijoa's are a strong stable of growing up in New Zealand, I am completely obsessed with them myself and although us kiwi's are sad to say goodbye to our summer season we are delighted to welcome the Feijoa season! I had a few years living in Australia, missing out of these tasty little treats, everyone I asked over there had never heard of them and had know idea what I was raving on about. Here are some little known facts about these green egg shaped fruits and what you can do with them.
What Is a Feijoa?
It’s called feijoa (pronounced FEE-joh-ah), and it’s a fragrant, egg-shaped fruit from South America. It’s packed with nutrients and fiber.
The feijoa plant (feijoa sellowiana, or acca sellowiana) is a shrub-like evergreen plant native to Brazil and parts of Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay, though it’s now popular in New Zealand and other parts of the world.
Taste-wise, feijoa has been described as a cross between pineapple and guava, or pineapple and strawberry—with a hint of mint or apple thrown in. Hence its nickname, “Pineapple Guava.” As far as appearance goes, feijoas look similar to avocados, and you select them in much the same way. You’ll know a feijoa is ripe when it’s bright green and slightly soft.
Feijoa supports healthy digestion, Per 100 grams, feijoa is almost as rich in fiber as avocado! Fiber is essential for two big reasons.
One is that it keeps us regular, the most important way you excrete waste and toxins from your body. When we’re not so regular, waste and toxins build up and can actually be reabsorbed into the bloodstream. This can lead to all kinds of health issues—some of which you’ll feel, like fatigue, pain, and allergy-type symptoms.
Two it is so crucial is that it’s food for our good gut bacteria. When those bacteria are strong and healthy, we’re able to absorb more of the nutrients in our food. Plus, healthy gut bacteria are better able to protect the lining of the gut wall, which means the toxins I just mentioned aren’t as likely to slip through and wreak havoc.
Feijoa helps the heart, it is rich in vitamin C and antioxidants, it contributes a healthy dose of potassium to the heart and body. Antioxidants, scavenge the blood for free radicals. This helps reduce oxidative stress in the lining of the arteries. Potassium is one of the minerals, or salts, known as “electrolytes.” Electrolytes help regulate muscle function in the body. Potassium not only helps ensure that it keeps beating in a steady, predictable way, but it also influences the smooth muscle function that allows our arteries to dilate and contract as needed. Add it all up, and potassium plays a big role in keeping our blood flowing. The fiber in feijoas also has its impact on cholesterol.
How you eat feijoa is up to you. Here in New Zealand, where it’s a part of summertime life, the preferred way is to simply scoop it from the rind with a spoon. But you can also mix it in salads, smoothies, and other recipes. Their unique flavour means feijoas are versatile and can be used in all kinds of cakes, salsas, jams and curries. One big advantage of feijoa is that it can be frozen without losing flavour or texture. You may be sick of stuffing your face with feijoas in April but come Spring, you'll be craving that distinctive sweet taste.
Here are a few of my favorite ways to use them:
Instance Feijoa Ice Cream - https://nadialim.com/recipe/instant-feijoa-ice-cream/
All you need is a food processor – no fancy ice-cream machine needed. When feijoas are in abundance this will save them from going to waste and rotting on the ground! Make sure you freeze the feijoas for long enough until they are frozen very hard – this will make sure you get a nice ice-cream consistency that’s not too soft. Place it back in the freezer for 20-30 minutes after making it if you want it to firm up a bit more. I’ve added fresh mint into the mix (mint and feijoa are lovely together), and a whole fresh feijoa (including the skin) to really give it that characteristic feijoa flavour, and little specks of green. Feijoa ice cream in a waffle cone on a warm Autumn day is bliss! Enjoy!
Feijoa Paste - https://www.countdown.co.nz/recipes/2353/feijoa-paste
Feijoa Friands - https://www.annabel-langbein.com/recipes/feijoa-friands/3490/
With a fancy name like 'friands', you might imagine these would fall into the 'too hard' basket, but they are possibly the simplest thing you'll ever bake - no mixer needed, just a bowl and a spoon.
Feijoa, Pear and Ginger Chutney - https://www.homegrown-kitchen.co.nz/2015/05/18/feijoa-pear-ginger-chutney/