Falling for the fabulous feijoa
Fejioas are a green fruit, originally from Brazil, and were introduced to New Zealand in the 1920’s. They took to the climate like wild fire, and are able to be grown very easily without the use of sprays. In fact take a walk down any suburban New Zealand street right now, and you’ll likely find feijoas rolling out onto the sidewalk from numerous neighbourly front lawns.
Elsewhere fejioas are called the “pineapple guava”, and they are indeed from the guava family. They have a very distinctive flavour that’s aromatic with tropical overtones including both guava and pineapple. But to be honest my description can’t do them justice – you need to try one to fall in love with them, like most of us Kiwis are!
Not only do these lovely little green fruits taste amazing, they’re also a powerhouse of nutrients. Two feijoas (100 grams) contain a whopping 20.3mg of vitamin C, almost half of your daily recommended intake. Vitamin C is often known for its immune boosting properties, but its superstar feature is actually as one of the most powerful antioxidants in the body. That’s right, feijoas = anti-aging. They’re also a fantastic source of folate, at 38mcg per 100g (10% of your RDI), which is needed for DNA synthesis and cell division. This is important for all of us, so that our cells can repair, heal and regenerate, but is also particularly important for pregnant ladies and young children. I tested this cake on Mila tonight and she said, yes please, I approve of your DNA-synthesising cooking ma!
The only concern I think one could ever have about feijoas, is that when they’re in season here in New Zealand (March to June), it doesn’t just rain, it pours. I’m betting most Kiwi homes have a pile of juicy feijoas attracting fruit flies on their kitchen bench right now. SO, for your Mum, for your feijoa pile, and for your taste buds, let’s get making this cake.
I’ve made many regular crumbles (or “crisps” as they’re known in the US) with feijoas before, but I wanted to do something a bit different here on the blog, so thought what about a crumble cake? That’s right, a cross between a cake and a crumble – with lots of fruit and barely any added sugar. And let’s make it gluten free for good measure too, and of course vegan and plant-based as all my recipes are. I am SO SO pleased with the outcome that I feel obliged to use capitalisation in this writeup. So you know it’s THAT good.
This cake is surprisingly easy to make – simply whisk up the crumble ingredients, sift the dry, blend the wet and pour into dry, add feijoa flesh, fold lightly to combine, pour into tin, top with crumble then bake. All up you’ll need 20 minutes max to make it, then let it bake away for 45 minutes and allow your house to begin smelling of buttery crumbly feijoa goodness.
As I’ve used a gluten free blend of flours for this cake, I’ve cooked it at a slightly lower temperature and longer than normal, as gluten free flours have a tendency to brown quicker than regular wheat flour. This is a good thing, as it also means we’re retaining as much of the nutrients as possible by not raising the temperature too high. If you’re using regular flour or wholemeal spelt, you can raise the temperature slightly and reduce the cooking time if you like.
The base of this cake is so moist and tender, while the crumbly topping is deliciously buttery and sweet. This cake is perfect with a big dollop of coconut yoghurt on the side, and a nice cup of tea. Oh, and your mum.
So go on, treat your mama this weekend, and make a dent in that feijoa pile. MAKE THIS CAKE! If you do, I’d love to see your versions on Instagram, so tag your pics @begoodorganics and #begoodorganics so I can see what you come up with. Or leave me a comment below or over on Facebook - I love hearing from you.
Have a wonderful Friday, and yay for another beautiful weekend ahead!
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