Guavas, grown in tropical and subtropical climes around the world, have yellow, purple or red rinds with yellow, pink or red flesh; green flesh indicates an unripe fruit. The seeds are edible, but can be hard, so it’s preferable to scoop them out. Like all produce, wash guavas to remove dirt, bacteria, pesticides and other contaminants. Peel guavas before you eat them raw, or cook them to temper their potent aroma. The fruit makes tasty desserts, jellies and jams, chutneys and other preparations.

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Peel off any stickers on the guavas. Hold each piece of fruit under cool, running water. Rotate it to rinse its entire surface area. Or, pour distilled water over the guavas using the same technique; distilled water makes a bit more effective cleaner because it’s purified. You also can use vegetable wash to clean guavas if you normally use such a product to clean your produce.

Scrub the guava skin with a medium- or soft-bristled vegetable brush. This removes chemicals, debris and microorganisms more effectively than running or distilled water alone. Scrub the fruit vigorously, but don’t press down hard or squeeze it, or you may damage it.

Dry your clean guavas with paper towels. Keep them at room temperature until they ripen. Guavas are ready to eat when they give to gentle pressure. Once they’re ripe, refrigerate and use them within four days.