Let’s talk guavas! These widely grown fruits loved by locals are packed with flavour and nutrients, making them a popular choice for jams and jellies. Thing is, you’ll need four ingredients to make this refreshing treat in the middle of our summer heat. That’s right, just four! So, here’s how we make this ultimate spreadable goodness.
- Gather your ingredients
You’ll need fresh guavas, sugar, water, and lemon juice. The amount of sugar you’ll need will depend on how sweet you want your jam to be, but a good rule of thumb is to use an equal amount of sugar to guava puree.
- Prepare the guavas
Wash the guavas thoroughly, then peel and remove the seeds. Cut the guava into small pieces and place them in a blender or food processor. Puree the guava until it’s smooth and set it aside.
- Cook the guava puree
In a large saucepan, combine the guava puree, sugar, and water. Stir the mixture well and bring it to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat and let the mixture simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add lemon juice
After 20 minutes, add lemon juice to the mixture and stir it well. The lemon juice will help to balance the sweetness of the jam and give it a tangy flavour.
- Continue to cook the jam
Let the mixture continue to cook for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until the jam thickens to your desired consistency. You can test the consistency by placing a small amount of jam on a plate and letting it cool. If it’s too runny, continue to cook the jam for a few more minutes.
- Can the jam and enjoy!
Once your jam has reached the desired consistency, remove it from the heat and let it cool for a few minutes. While it’s still warm, pour the jam into clean, sterilised jars and seal them tightly. Then, spread it on toast, add it to yoghurt or ice cream, or use it as a glaze for meat dishes. Store the jars in a cool, dry place and enjoy a punch of guava flavour whenever you want!
- Steam vegetables
One of the easiest and healthiest ways to use your microwave is to steam the veggies. Yes, this gadget can be a super efficient steamer that keeps the nutrients intact in the food. With minimal water contact on your microwave-safe dish and a plastic wrap, you can steam a ton of things and won’t dirty any pot in the process.
- Reheat food evenly
Microwaves are notorious for heating food unevenly, but there are a bunch of ways to prevent this. To reheat food evenly, arrange it in a circle on a microwave-safe plate, leaving the centre empty. This will allow the food to heat more evenly, and you won’t have to worry about cold spots anymore.
- Make crispy bacon
While it may seem counterintuitive, you can actually make crispy bacon in the microwave. Simply place a few slices of bacon on a microwave-safe plate and cover it with a paper towel. Microwave on high for a few minutes until the bacon is crispy. This method is not only faster than frying bacon on the stove, but it also eliminates the mess.
- Bake quick and easy desserts
Think about how long it takes to bake a delectable cake. With the microwave, you can cut out all the waiting and get right to eating. Mug cakes, for example, are a popular microwave treat that takes just a few minutes to make. There are many recipes available online, and all you need is a microwave-safe mug and a few basic ingredients. Right, who would say that sweet treats could be prepared without an oven or any fancy baking equipment?
While there is a lot to enjoy about this super-helpful tool that can do much more than just reheat leftovers, you should always keep an eye on it. Indeed, even if you want to use your microwave like a pro, safety should always come first! Now is the time to let you experiment with these ideas, you may be surprised at what your microwave can do.
- Go nuts
Here’s another reason to have peanut butter in our pantries. For some dishes, adding a spoonful of nut butter will inevitably help smother the flames. Even better, it will also add protein, nutrients and healthy fat to whatever you’re making.
- Add some dairy
Who knew that adding a generous dollop of yoghurt or crème fraîche to scorching hot chilli could counteract the spiciness!? Yeah, turns out that capsaicin, the chemical compound in hot chillis, can be neutralised by various dairy products. That’s why people tell you to chug a glass of milk when your mouth is on fire.
- Sweeten it up
Sugar or other sweeteners are another great way to tame spiciness. As it absorbs oils and changes the taste, a sprinkle of sugar will absolutely do wonders to balance out an overly spicy dish. But don’t add too much if you don’t want it to end up tasting like dessert.
- Acid defeats heat
Acidic liquids can also do a great job of tempering spice. The next time your dish tastes too spicy, use a squeeze of lemon or lime juice or even a little vinegar to cut through intense heat. You won’t believe it!
Now, even though all of these tried and tested hacks may help you avoid the predicament of a dish that’s too spicy, you can still help yourself by adding a little spice at a time and tasting as you go. After all, why turn your dish into the hit of the night when you can treat it like salt and add it gradually? Still, you now have a bunch of solutions for this cooking dilemma. Don’t hesitate to share your own secrets for taming the intensity of hot spices with us!
This one was definitely a mind-bender for us. Yes, these morning munchies can actually be stored for at least one month thanks to our trusty freezer, but we must crack them first. After breaking the eggs into a bowl, pour them into a freezer bag or individual ice cube tray, and whenever you’re ready to use them, thaw them overnight in the fridge.
Reminds us a bit of the lockdown hassles, right? If you don’t want to buy loaves of bread every morning, and can’t bear letting the remaining slabs go mouldy again, freeze them! Place them in one or two layers of resealable bags, and voilà! They’ll last up to several months rather than just a few days…
Don’t let your avocado go to waste! Instead, cut it in half, put the two halves into a bag and freeze. Even better, you can mash up the avocado before freezing as well. Perfect for food that can be blended such as guacamole, smoothies or sauces, your frozen avocado won’t let you down for up to six months.
Not sure you’ll use your milk before it expires? You know what to do. However, if you choose to store it in a carton or bottle, make sure to pour a little bit away from the top to allow for expansion. While you can freeze it for up to three months, the thawed milk can be a perfect ingredient for baking.
- Fresh Herbs
If you’re left with an abundance of fresh herbs, freezing is a great solution. Finely chop then add them to ice cube trays, top with water and freeze. You can also choose to blend them with olive oil instead of water, but either or, remind yourself to move the whole thing to a freezer bag. Your future sauces will taste as good as new!
Were you surprised by this list of foods you didn’t know you could freeze? We were! Once you know what food can be frozen, it will literally change your perception of food wastage, and make your future cooking much easier and more practical. Now, carry on your culinary journey by stretching your own list of freezing edibles!