The Food Forest


feijoaAlso known as Pineapple Guava, Guavasteen.
Botanical name - Feijoa sellowiana. In more recent times it has been renamed Acca sellowiana.

It is native to extreme southern Brazil, northern Argentina, western Paraguay and Uruguay where it is common in the mountains.

Feijoas prefer cool winters and moderate summers and are generally adapted to areas where temperatures stay above minus5 degrees C. Flower production is poor in areas with fewer than 50 hours of chill. The flavor of the fruit is much better in cool than in warm regions. Even thought the plants are relatively hardy, sudden fall frosts can damage ripening fruit and late spring frosts can destroy blossoms.

The feijoa is a slow-growing evergreen shrub that can reach 5 m high and 5m wide. The bark is pale gray and the spreading branches are swollen at the nodes and white-hairy when young. In addition to the fruit it provides, the shrub also doubles as a landscape specimen. When planted close together, the shrubs make a nice hedge, screen, or windbreak. Feijoas can also be espaliered or trained as a small tree with one or more trunks. It is a prolific fruiter with yields possibly exceeding 50kg on established trees.

The fruits range from 3 to 7cm  long and vary in shape from round to elongated pear shape, with the persistent calyx segments adhering to the apex. The waxy skin is dull blue-green to blue or grayish green, sometimes with a red or orange blush. Skin texture varies from smooth to rough and pebbly. The fruit emits an attractive, strong, long-lasting perfume. The thick, white, granular, watery flesh and the translucent central pulp enclosing the seeds are sweet or subacid, suggesting a combination of pineapple and guava or pineapple and strawberry, often with overtones of winter green or spearmint. There are usually 20 - 40, occasionally more, very small, oblong seeds hardly noticeable when the fruit is eaten. Fruit ripens in April-May in Southern Australia.

Useful link is California Rare Fruits Association


Feijoa Jelly

  • 1.5 kg feijoas
  • water to cover – about 4 cups
  • sugar


  1. Wash the feijoas and chop roughly. Place the fruit into a large preserving pan and cover with water.
  2. Bring slowly to the boil and then simmer for 45-50 minutes or until the fruit is soft and pulpy.
  3. Carefully transfer the hot fruit mixture to a jelly bag and allow the mixture to drain for 1-2 hours. Do not squeeze the fruit pulp.
  4. Measure the juice and return to a clean saucepan and add 3/4 cup sugar for every one cup of juice. Stir slowly over a moderate heat until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil and boil rapidly until a setting test is given. Skim off any scum as it rises.
  5. Allow the bubbles to subside, skim off any remaining scum and bottle in hot sterilised jars. Seal and label.

Feijoa Chutney

This recipe has been taken from a book called "A New Zealand Country Harvest Cookbook" by Gilian Painter.

  • 1.5 kg feijoas
  • 1 kg onions
  • 1/2 cup crystallised ginger
  • 2 cups sultanans
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3 teaspoons curry powder
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 litre malt vinegar


  1. Peel and chop the feijoas and onions and slice the ginger finely. Combine all ingredients in a large pan and bring to the boil, stirring. Simmer until thick, then pour into jars. Seal when cold.

Feijoa Cake

  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup mashed feijoas
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 75 grams butter, softened
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon


  1. Place the first six ingredients into the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth.
  2. Place the mixture into a separate bowl and fold in the remaining five ingredients.
  3. Place the mixture into a greased and baking paper-lined 20cm cake tin and bake at 180°C for 40 minutes. Ice with cream cheese icing if wished.

Feijoa Ginger Sponge Pudding

  • 8-10 feijoas
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 100 grams butter
  • 1/2 cup castor sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk


  1. Peel the feijoas and trim the ends. Cut into thick slices and place in a saucepan with the water, sugar and cloves. Simmer for 5-7 minutes until soft.
  2. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the fruit to an oven-proof dish.
  3. Boil the remaining poaching liquid down until only 2-3 tablespoons remain. Strain this over the fruit.
  4. Sift the flour, ginger and baking powder together.
  5. Beat the butter and sugar until light and creamy. Lightly beat the egg into the creamed mixture. Fold and sift the dry ingredients alternatively with the milk into the creamed mixture.
  6. Spoon over the fruit. Level the top.
  7. Bake at 180 C for 30-35 minutes or until the sponge is well cooked and golden.

Feijoa And Lime Muffins

  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 tblsp baking powder
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup peeled, finely chopped feijoa's
  • 125 grams butter, melted and cooled


  1. Sift the flour, baking powder and sugar into a large bowl and make a well in the centre.
  2. In a jug blend together the eggs and milk and add the feijoa's. Blend into the dry ingredients folding in the butter as you go.
  3. Divide the mixture evenly between 12 well greased muffin tins .
  4. Bake at 220 degrees Celsius for 15-20 minutes until cooked.
  5. Stand 2 minutes before brushing with the glaze.Stand a further 5 minutes before serving.


  • 2 tblsp caster sugar
  • 2 tblsp orange juice
  • grated rind and juice two limes


  1.  Simmer the sugar, orange juice and lime juice together until the sugar has dissolved.