Sunshine in a Box

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By Heidi Lewis

“Whoooooo is it?” answers a languorous voice.
“Sir, Brite Skies Incorporated at your service! We’re here to take measurements for the mammoth fake sun you ordered.”
“Sir, as it says on our website, it’s guaranteed to brighten your day.”
“Whoa, dude—I didn’t mean to click on that link.”
“Grey skies are gonna clear up, put on a happy face...” sings the salesman.
“Oh, wow—so sorry you came all this way, dude. But we got this stellar delivery of tropical guava in our FruitGuys TakeHome case, and we’re pretty happy kicking it on the patio.”
“You do sound cheery”
“Vitamin C, dude. Vitamin C hip-checks cortisol, the stress hormone. Plus tropical fruits taste so good, it reminds me of party-time on an exotic beach.”
“Sounds fun, sir.”
“Hey, wanna come up?”
“Yes, sir!”
“OK, but don’t call me ”sir,’ dude.”

Tropical fruits like guava seem to be optimally created to maximize the riches of the sun. Their glossy green leaves absorb the sun’s warmth and keep the plant warm on cool nights. Their blooms look like extraterrestrial insects or a pop diva’s headdress. They hardly need their mild perfume to get pollinators to call. Humans and animals alike adore guava’s tasty fruit. The typical guava variety is the Apple, or Common guava, which needs a tropical climate to thrive. Other guavas, like Feijoa (Pineapple) or Strawberry guavas, can grow in more temperate areas.

The skin of the guava is high in its principle nutrients of vitamins C and A, flavonoids, beta-carotene, lycopene, and lutein. The skin is edible, but may be too strong tasting for some. Of course guava can be juiced or blended. To capture its heavenly “take me away” aroma, guava is well-suited for cooking into jam or curd.

Preparation: Ripe guava should be somewhat firm but give gently under pressure. Wash right before use. May be eaten like an apple or peeled and sliced, but is favored by many in juice form or added to smoothies.

Storage: Ripen guava at room temperature. Use as soon as the flesh gives slightly, or store in the fridge for up to a week.


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