Five Things To Do With A Glut Of Feijoas

It's feijoa season and they are everywhere. On the ground, in the shops, at church where people are trying to give away their surplus, rotting on the footpath, in lunch boxes, even in chocolate!

They're yummy and they're good for you. But when you have them growing in your yard - especially if you have the recommended two trees for cross-pollination - there is going to come a time when you are going to have too much of a good thing.

Feijoas fall to the ground when they're ripe. And then, if you're lucky, they might last a week. I've never tested this scientifically (because if not eaten within a few days we usually have buckets overflowing with them and so have to do something fast) but I have a feeling that by the end of a week they would be starting to look and taste bad. No chance of storing these away in the cellar for the long winter like you can do with some fruits. They have to be eaten now or something else has to be done if you can't abide waste

Here are my top five things to do when you have a glut of feijoas:

1. Eat them fresh. Lots of them at once. I have a sneaking suspicion that my granddaughters hold the world record for the number of feijoas eaten in one sitting - I mean, they can eat, and eat, and eat. But few people can stop at one. So eat them fresh!

2. Freeze them. You can scoop out the insides and freeze to use later in baking or you can do what I do and pick out all the really tiny and misshaped ones and "top and tail" them (cut off each end), chop into halves or quarters (depending on the size of the fruit) and freeze. I find that like this a few can be thrown into a smoothie with their skin and all.

3. Use them in baking. Muffins. Cakes. Crumbles. Desserts. Jams. Sauces. Whatever you can dream up. Feijoa Feijoa has some great inspiration for using feijoas in recipes and a lot can be frozen for later (which is probably just as well because if you have a bucket of feijoas to use up you're not going to stop at just one Feijoa Coconut Cake).

4. Stew them. In our house we stew them without water (feijoas are a wet fruit) on low until they are cooked. There is some argument as whether to add sugar. DH likes to add a tablespoon or two of honey and some ginger. I prefer mine "naked" and don't add anything. Since feijoas are naturally sweet, I wouldn't recommend adding too much sugar if you decide to stew them and, certainly, if you add water, it only needs to be enough to cover the bottom of the pan to prevent sticking.

Once stewed, feijoas are yummy with icecream or yoghurt or homemade custard, on cereal, in smoothies (especially with peanut butter but don't tell DH I suggested it as he can't think of anything more gross), and in baking, and for a quick crumble for unexpected guests (throw in an apple and/or blueberries to increase the appeal of the dish and make people think you've slaved over the stove all day). Once stewed, they freeze really well which is good because you're probably going to end up with a large quantity of the stewed fruit.

5. Dry them. We have a dehydrator but it took us a few years to get around to using it for our feijoas. Now I try to do at least some each year. You can peel them and slice them and soak them in lemon juice (which takes time and patience) or you can do what I do:

I choose the largest feijoas and leave the skin on. Not everyone likes them with the skin left on and dried (which is okay - more for me) but they're quicker to prepare when you don't have to peel them, easier to handle (feijoa pulp is well, pulpy), and I like the contrast between the sweet inside and the slightly sour skin when they are dried.

Whatever your preference, I highly recommend trying at least one of two on the above list. I can promise you won't be sorry!