At the end of the 19th century, a Portuguese biologist accidentally discovered an unknown variety of exotic fruit. The traveler was called João da Silva Feijo, and in his honor the overseas fruit was baptized, which is located in Brazil.
In its wild form, Feijoa is well established in northern Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay. The subtropics of South America are the ideal climate for this ornamental fruit bush.
It was introduced in Europe in 1890, and the first cuttings took Yalta from France at the beginning of the 20th century. Abjasia was the first country of the Caucasus to cultivate Feijoa, and since then it has been cultivated in neighboring countries.
Despite its thermophilic nature, the plant is capable of supporting frosts of up t o-11 C.
What is Feijoa?
Feijoa is a perennial bush or a small tree that belongs to the family of the myrtles. Its average height is 2-3 m, although it rarely reaches 4 m. The trunk is robust and has a rough brown bark. The branches are yellowish gray, they fold easily and have perennial oval leaves of dense structure.
The exterior is smooth and the interior is covered with a fine fluff that gives it a light gray color. The flower has delicate crimson petals with scarlet stamens with a white account at the end.
The inflorescences occur in pairs or lonely and are pollinated by insects in May and June. The fruit is oval or oblong, green with a brown dye. When it starts from the branch, there is a sepaid on the tip.
The fruit pulp is dense and juicy. Inside there are seed nests, which are very tender and, therefore, it is not necessary to remove them. The flavor of the aromatic berry is bittersweet and remembers a mixture of kiwi and strawberry.
Chemical composition and calories of Feijoa
In the composition of Feijoa, two main elements stand out: iodine and vitamin C, the latter contained in a proportion of 33 mg per 1 kg. In addition, there are useful substances of the groups: B1, B2, B3, B6, K, PP and E. The fruit is rich in calcium, boron, fluorine, potassium, silicon and phosphorus.
Carbohydrates per 100 g of product:
- fiber – 6. 5 g;
- glucose – 3 g;
- Pectina – 2 g.
The shell contains catechins (natural antioxidants), leucoantocianins and phenolic components, which have tonic properties. Proteins and fats are present in the pulp, but in small quantities, so the fruit is rightly considered dietary. The fruit only has 45 kcal per 100 g. The characteristic flavor is given by citric, malic, succinical and tartaric acids that are part of the feijoa chemical formula.
Note. The amount of iodine per 1 kg of berries is 0. 4 mg, equal to that of algae and other shellfish.
Benefits and possible contraindications
People who suffer from the thyroid gland and digestive disorders are especially recommended. It is an excellent laxative and has a beneficial effect on stomach walls and intestines.
Fiber and pectin normalize blood cholesterol levels and strengthen the body’s cells. Natural antioxidants save the heart and blood vessels from overload, which allows blood pressure to control in hypertensive patients.
Ascorbic acid protects against all types of viruses and colds, has an excellent effect on the human immune system. The micronutrients contained in Feijoa can prevent inflammation of the prostate and improve hormonal levels in men.
Vitamin B5 can inhibit respiratory diseases and is recommended for chronic bronchitis, tuberculosis, etc.
It is a fact. Only 3-4 fruits of Feijoa a day include the necessary norm of iodine for the adult human body.
Feijoa is contraindicated for people who have too much iodine in the body, since when eating it they can suffer nausea, vomiting and dizziness. It is not recommended for those who suffer from hyperacidity. Its composition is equated with citrus fruits, so it can cause allergies.
How to choose the right feijoa?
The greatest feijoa fruits come from New Zealand. In Krasnodar, Crimea and Abjasia, varieties with smaller berries are grown. The product is more useful if its size reaches 10 cm long.
The ripe fruit is dark green and must be smooth to touch. The presence of dark brown spots indicates that the rotting process has begun. The interior of the ripe fruit is cream and the pulp is juicy and has a flavor similar to the strawberry. You can eat directly.
Bright emerald skin indicates that the fruit is not ripe. When it is mature, the exterior is hard and the interior is white with a thick center. Immature berries must be placed in a dry place and keep at room temperature for 2-3 days. Once the Feija has darkened and softened, it is ready for consumption.
How to peel a feijoa
If you have a mature berry in your hands, the knife should be as sharp as possible. Hold the fruit carefully so as not to squeeze the precious juice. First cut the sepals on one side and the upper part of the other.
Then, remove the bark, careful not to touch the pulp as much as possible. The immature feijoa can peel in the same way, but it will be much easier, since the structure is hard and you can easily remove the skin in a thin layer.
Important: Do not throw the shells, they contain many useful elements.
You have to dry them and add them simply to tea, compotes, mousses and other drinks. The rich taste of feijoa allows you to prepare it pure, without additional ingredients.
How and what to eat
Feijoa can eat with or without skin. Rinse the fruit and cut the sepals. Next, the fruit is cut in half and discarded with a teaspoon.
There is another way: peel the fruit first, put the media in a bowl, crush it a bit and eat it as mash. If the label does not weigh, it is possible to remove the upper part of a ripe feijoa, and simply squeeze the content directly in the mouth. This method is highly appreciated by children.
The green fruit combines well with meat and fish dishes, is cut in dishes together with the skin and is used in oven sources. The mature feijoa is great as coverage for ice cream and any other dessert.
It can also be chopped in fruits and vegetables, often without peeling. Remember that the greener the feijoa, more bitter and acidic will be its cortex. The daily ration for an adult is 2-4 pieces, depending on the height and weight, and 1 piece for a child.
Feijoa jam without boil (feijoa grated with sugar)
- Feijoa – 1 kg;
- Sugar – 1 kg;
- salt – 0. 5 teaspoons.
Rinse the mature berries without stems and sequence them in a towel. In small portions, make them puree in a blender (or chop them). Put the mixture into a wide bowl and pour the sugar, distributing it evenly along the surface. Add salt and let stand for a day. Then remove the jam; The sugar must be completely dissolved in the berries.
Sterilize a glass jar, put in it the cooked jam and cover it well. Guard it in the refrigerator, since the jam can ferment in a warm place.
Feijoa Kormpot for Winter
For a 1 liter jar use
- 250 g of feijoa fruit
- 150 grams of sugar;
- 1 small lemon.
Prepare the dishes: sterilize the jars and boil the tapas. Peel the berries, cut the edges and rinses under the tap. Remove the skin from the lemon, cut it in hoops and take off your nuggets.
Place the feijoa in the bottom of a jar, cover with the lemon slices and sprinkle with sugar. After slightly stirring, pour boiling water up to the neck. With the help of a special roller, close the jar tightly with a lid. Fragrant and healthy compote in winter will enrich and strengthen your body.
Feijoa compote for every day
For 5 liters of water you will need
- 1 kg feijoa
- 150 grams of sugar;
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt.
The feijoa fruits must have a clean shell, without spots or stems. Wash the berries and place them in an enamel saucepan. Pour cold water over them and put on a high heat. When the water is boiling, add the sugar and salt and stir gently so as not to damage the feijoa. Cover with the lid and cook over low heat for 2 hours, until the compote is ready. If you are overweight, reduce sugar to a minimum.
Feijoa and honey recipe to improve immunity
Take 0. 5 kg of ripe feijoa, washed and without stems. Puree without removing the skin. Next, pour 0. 5 l of liquid honey into the mixture and mix it well. When the mixture becomes homogeneous, put the resulting medicine in a glass jar and cover it well.
Keep such a mixture should be on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator. Adults should take 1 teaspoon a day, and children 0. 5 teaspoon on an empty stomach.
Other uses of feijoa
Feijoa trees and shrubs are widely used to decorate houses and flats. Its evergreen foliage and strikingly beautiful inflorescences have long earned a special place on the decorating lists of designers around the world. The tannins contained in the bark of the bush are used in the production of essential oils that are then incorporated into the aromatic additives of various products.
in traditional medicine
Pregnant women are advised to take fresh feijoa berries because they promote the growth and proper development of the fetus. Calcium and potassium strengthen the heart muscle and blood vessels of the mother and child. After childbirth, the fruit was used as a dietary product, its ability to break down fat helping the young mother to lose excess weight.
To treat coughs, bronchitis and other respiratory diseases, dried leaves and inflorescences were collected and used to prepare medicinal decoctions and tinctures. They fought against hypertension by adding 2-3 berries to the daily diet. Its puree was used in the form of lotions to combat all kinds of fungal infections of the skin and nails.
The catechins and antioxidants of Feijoa have a positive effect on the body’s cells. The shell and pulp are listed as rejuvenating and are used a lot in homemade cosmetology to improve facial and body skin. The decoction of fruits and leaves is used in the elaboration of masks for broken and weakened hair, as well as to treat the damaged scalp. The cortex, the leaves and the shells of the fruits constitute excellent exfoliants capable of eliminating the dead skin of the body.
Fatty skin mask:
- 1/2 cup of puree of fresh berries (with peel);
- 1 tablespoon of diluted or vodka alcohol;
- 1 tablespoon of honey.
Mix all the ingredients in a glass container and apply on the clean face. After half an hour, remove the mask with warm water. Apply said porridge 2-3 times per week.
Feijoa green fruits must be placed on a piece of paper or a cotton towel so that the berry is not exposed to sunlight. It is not convenient for the ambient temperature to be greater than +23 C. When mature, place them in a hermetic container or in a paper bag. Feijoa mature must be kept in the refrigerator, so that the temperature does not descend belo w-2 C. In this state it can be kept fresh up to 2 weeks.
It can only be combined with agria milk products: yogurt, kefir, sour cream, etc. It is also contraindicated for people suffering from diabetes, since it contains glucose.
Attention! Feijoa never consumes at the same time as milk – such combination will cause digestive disorders.
When it begins to rot, the product loses its useful properties and becomes a poison. Therefore, if the feijoa is covered with dark spots, it must be discarded immediately.