Cas (Costa Rican Guava or Psidium Friedrichsthalianum) is native to Costa Rica and a member of the guava family. It is a good source of Vitamins A and C as well as iron and calcium! The leaves of the guava can also be useful in tea for cases of diarrhea caused by amoebas. Cook a handful of leaves in a liter of water for 20-30 mins. and drink 2-3 times per day until results are obtained. You can order seeds by visiting www.thenewdawncenter.org or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org They sell an excellent Costa Rican Organic Gardening guide book with lots of helpful information on how to grow over 100 varieties of plants in this country and from which I learned some of this information I am sharing with you today.
Traditionally cas fruit is used to make “fresco” essentially fresh fruit juice mixed with water and sugar. In many restaurants in Costa Rica you can order “fresco de cas” (cas beverage). The beverage is slightly acidic with a deliciously sweet and unique flavor.
Cas fruit is not a common find in grocery stores however, though you might come across some at the “feria” (outdoor farmer’s markets).
We have a cas tree right outside our back door. We picked so many that I worried how I would be able to use it all up before it went bad. Then it came to me…freeze it!
I washed and cut the fruit small enough to fit into the juicer and then processed them through my juicer. This worked perfectly! I poured the resulting pulpy juice into ice cube trays and stuck it in the freezer.
Once frozen, I popped them out and stored them in plastic freezer bags.
Cas sorbet is also widely available in Costa Rica. It’s one of my favorites! I have hopes of using some of my cas cubes to make sorbet in the future using our ice cream machine.
Cas Fruit Juice
1/2 cup pulpy cas juice*
1 1/2 cup water
3-4 Tablespoons honey
Directions: Whisk all together. I like to heat some of my water to melt my honey in so that it distributes evenly in the mixture.
*If you do not have a juicer you can make juice by sticking the washed and cut fruit in a pot on the stove (around 4 fruits should be plenty). Cook them a bit on a simmer with a bit of sweetener before placing in a blender. Turn your dial control to mix or low. Add enough water to make it a nice drinking consistency. Taste and adjust. Strain out the seeds before drinking.