Sunday, April 3, 2011

Mi vientre es feliz ahora! or: My Belly is Happy Now!

If you're like me you love learning about new food. And that easily translates into a love of the Internet. When I first started my professional career in the food business, I spent countless hours scouring magazines and cookbooks for interesting and innovative ideas. It's great to have all that information right at my fingertips these days. (My fellow pre-Internet generation readers know what I'm talking about!) In my recent research on superfoods, I was happy to discover an interesting recipe using the guava (also referred to as guayaba). It's popularly used in Latin and Caribbean cultures, and it's so healthy and tasty that I would like to personally promote more frequent use of this delicious fruit in American diets.

There are many different types of guava, just like their are many different types of apples. I'm mentioning this because, whist scouring the aisles of your local market, you may find something labeled 'guava' that doesn't quite fit the image in your mind of what a guava 'should' look like. The shapes and sizes of this fruit vary just as the McIntosh apple looks different than a Cortland or even a Golden Delicious. That shouldn't stop you from taking one home and sharing it with your family though, right?

The guava is so rich in nutrients, antioxidants (especially lycopene and polyphenols), and so high in fiber that it has been designated a 'superfruit'. Looking for a vitamin C without the calories? Oranges and bananas can't compete with guava.

Today's food idea (using guayaba, of course) comes via Bonnie, from Sweet Life Bake - I recommend you check out her blog and follow the link to her recipe.

Bonnie's recipe calls for an ingredient called piloncillo, which is an indigenous sugar found in Mexico and the Caribbean. It is more intensely sweet than our brown sugar and has a darker, richer flavor that comes from naturally-formed molasses found in the sugar cane.  The name pilon (or pylon) is a descriptive phrase since this sugar is typically sold in cone shapes.  For most of us here in the States, piloncillo will be difficult to find, but you can substitute 1/2 cup piloncillo by mixing 1/2 cup brown sugar with 2 teaspoons molasses.

One helpful idea that may save some time and calories/fat is to take your favorite vanilla ice cream, frozen yogurt or even gellato and allow it to soften, then mix in the lime zest and lime juice to it and re-freeze.

Some of you might be cringing at how much butter and sugar is contained in the recipe, but hey –TGIF. It's the weekend – splurge a little... it's call dessert! Pon una sonrisa en el abdomen: Put a smile in your belly!

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