Introduction: Benefits of Guava Jelly
Guava jelly is a delicious spread that is easy to make at home with simple ingredients. Guava is a highly nutritious fruit that is rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Adding guava jelly to your diet can help boost your immune system, improve digestion, and reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Guava jelly is also a great way to enjoy the sweet and tangy flavor of guava all year round.
Ingredients Required for Making Guava Jelly
To make guava jelly, you will need ripe guava fruit, sugar, lemon juice, and pectin. The amount of sugar and lemon juice required will depend on the quantity of guava juice extracted. Pectin is a natural thickening agent that helps to set the jelly. You can either use commercial pectin or make your own pectin from apple peel or citrus peel. Other optional ingredients include spices such as cinnamon or ginger to add flavor to the jelly.
Preparing the Guava Fruit for Jelly
Wash the guava fruit thoroughly and cut off the stem and blossom ends. Cut the fruit into small pieces and remove the seeds using a spoon or a strainer. You can either discard the seeds or use them to make guava seed tea. Place the guava fruit pieces in a large pot and add enough water to cover them. Bring the water to a boil and let it simmer for 20-30 minutes until the fruit is soft.
Cooking the Guava Fruit to Extract Juice
Remove the pot from the heat and let it cool for a few minutes. Using a potato masher or a blender, mash the guava fruit into a pulp. Transfer the pulp to a cheesecloth or a fine-mesh strainer set over a bowl. Squeeze the pulp to extract as much juice as possible. Discard the pulp and measure the guava juice extracted. For every cup of guava juice, add one cup of sugar and one tablespoon of lemon juice.
Straining the Guava Juice for Making Jelly
Mix the guava juice, sugar, and lemon juice in a large pot and stir well. Heat the mixture over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Skim off any foam that forms on the surface. Pour the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer to remove any impurities.
Adding Pectin to the Guava Juice
If using commercial pectin, add it according to the package instructions. If making your own pectin, add it to the guava juice mixture and stir well. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly.
Boiling the Guava Juice and Pectin Mixture
Reduce the heat to medium and let the mixture simmer for 10-15 minutes until it thickens and reaches the gel point. To test for the gel point, place a small amount of the mixture on a cold plate and let it cool for a few seconds. If it forms a gel and wrinkles when pushed with a finger, it is ready.
Filling and Sealing the Guava Jelly Jars
Remove the pot from the heat and let it cool for a few minutes. Skim off any foam that forms on the surface. Ladle the hot guava jelly into clean, sterilized jars leaving about 1/4 inch of headspace. Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean, damp cloth and seal them with lids and rings. Process the jars in a boiling water bath for 10-15 minutes.
Storage and Serving Suggestions for Guava Jelly
Store the guava jelly jars in a cool, dark place for up to one year. Once opened, store the jars in the refrigerator and use within a few weeks. Guava jelly can be served on toast, biscuits, or crackers. It can also be used as a glaze for meats or as a filling for cakes and pastries. Enjoy the sweet and tangy flavor of guava jelly anytime of the day.