In honour of one of Toronto most vibrant festivals of the year, Scotiabank Caribana Festival, this week is dedicated to the flavours and spirit of the part of the world I love best, the Caribbean.
This is guava fruit growing on a tree in St. Lucia, actually, on the very grounds where my retreat will be. Guava is one of my favourite tropical fruits and not really so much because I love the taste (their pretty sour and the seeds are just weird) but because I like saying the word guava. Say it with me, gwaaaaaaavaaaaaah. Sexy right?
In my pre-nutrition days, one of my favourite Caribean holiday breakfasts were Johnnycakes smeared with sweet guava jelly. Now just because I am all healthy and what not now, doesn't mean I don't still long for a treat of deep fried hunks of dough, a Johnnycake, loaded with guava.
Guava fruit is often sung to the tune of being a superfruit, rich in vitamins A and C, and if the seeds are eaten too, omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids. Those seeds are wicked sour though so good luck with that. Cool little factoid is that a single Guava fruit contains over four times the amount of vitamin C as a single orange. However, when you take that guava and boil it to bits with sugar, I would say the nutrtional value gets a wee bit depleted.
I headed on over to Toronto's Caribbean neighbourhood... Well I intended to until I realized that Guava are popular in many South Asian countries and since my neighbourhood is popular among East Indians and Tibetans, I found some Guava fruit at my local MiniMart. Random.
It is rare that I will grant the use of sugar in a recipe, but hey- it's Caribana after all and even if the sugar does nothing good for my beach bod, if there is ever a week to celebrate the extra junk in my trunk, I think this would be it. After all, things that are good for our spirit are good for our health, and guava jelly is definitely good for my spirit.
Play this song while you make your Guava Jelly.
Guava Jelly and Gluten-Free Johnny Cakes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Keywords: fry boil breakfast condiment lunch entree dinner vegetarian gluten-free low-sodium brown rice flour Caribbean Jamaican
Ingredients (Serves 6)
For the Guava Jelly
- 1 1/2 kgs Guavas
- 6 cups Water
- 1 Lime, juiced
- Coconut Sugar
- For the Johnny Cakes
- 1/3 cup sorghum flour
- 1/3 cup sweet brown rice flour
- 1/3 cup almond meal
- 1 and ½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp honey
- 1 Tbs of coconut oil
- 1/4 cup milk substitute or yogurt
- 1 Tbs apple cider vinegar (leave out if using yogurt)
- Oil as needed for satueeing (fine… call it frying)
For the Jelly
Put guavas in a deep saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil and coddle 20 minutes until the fruits are soft.
Place guavas in a colander and allow water trickle down. Then mash guavas.
Combine guava mass, lime juice and sugar: use 1 lime and 1 cup sugar to 5 cups guava puree). Cook until sugar dissolves and increase heat throughout for remainder of cooking time.
Remove from heat when the syrup spins a thread. Pour in jars and seal.
For the Johnny Cakes
Sift the flours, salt and baking powder into a large bowl.
Cut in the one tablespoon of coconut oil.
Add in the milk substitute or yogurt to form a stiff dough.
Place the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth.
Shape the dough into small balls and flatten using the palm of your hand.
Heat the oil in a large cast iron skillet or heavy pan.
Add the flattened dough and sautee (fine…fry) until golden brown on each side.
Image courtesy of http://z.about.com/d/treesandshrubs/1/0/V/2/-/-/GuavaFlickrVicLic.jpg