Guava Day at Wynwood Farmers' Market: Try Guava Salads, Sweets, and Booze

Say the words "guava pastelito" to most Miamians and watch their eyes pop out of their stomachs. But what about salads, cookies, muffins, and even mojitos infused with the tropical fruit grown right here? Forget 2016 as the year of the doughnut — P&P Tropical Fruits' Paul Ahwee says this year is about guava and the sweet bites it can create.

This weekend, guava is the Wynwood Farmers' Market's star ingredient, which means a bevy of vendors will highlight just how crafty one can get using the small sweet-and-sour backyard pick.

"When I came to Florida, what really intrigued me was farming and agriculture in the guava sector," Ahwee says. "Guava is such a diverse ingredient, and the demand for it is definitely growing."

The origin of the first guava tree is a mystery, but subtropical climates such as Central and South America and South Florida are home to hundreds of 20-to-30-foot-tall trees that grow the fruit. In the 305, farmers usually harvest two kinds. One is white and crunchy, and the other is pink and sweet. There is said to be more than 150 varieties of the fruit around the world.
Ahwee says they might appear small, but they're mighty. "There are just so many health benefits to guava," he says. "For a start, it lowers blood sugar and bad cholesterol. That's just the beginning, though."

Guava is rich with nutrients such as vitamins A, B1, and E, along with calcium, iron, and potassium. It has nearly five times more vitamin C than oranges and is filled with fiber too. Reap its many benefits by eating it whole or sliced, similar to an apple or pear.

"It really is catching on in the mainstream," he says. "I think it will soon be as common as apples or bananas."
This Saturday, expect dBaker's guava cupcakes, Green Seed Life's guava açaí bowls, and Busy Bee Bakery's mint lemonade, lemon bars, and cake, all infused with guava. Ahwee will be on hand selling guavas, educating customers on its benefits, and whipping together his signature guava-inspired salad.

"It's such a durable and long-lasting fruit," he says. "And the flavor is so good. In the salad, I mix guava with roasted peanuts, raisins, rice noodles, and peppers, and it's really tasty. The texture is good too."

At the market, also snag a guava mojito, made with lime, mint, white rum, and guava nectar. Pair it with a slice of bread and one of PG Bakery's guava-inspired jellies. Look for the Redland guava-and-mango variety, which uses handpicked guavas from Homestead.

"It's going to be a guava extravaganza," Ahwee says, "like a true blast of guava. It's only the beginning. It's going to be a really exciting year for guava."

Wynwood Farmers' Market
11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, April 16, at Mana Wynwood. 

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