guavas poached in vanilla syrup with star anise

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A bowl of guavas poached in chamomile tea and vanilla

I stumbled across a basket of organic guavas which are in the height of their season at the Wellness Warehouse last week.  I am not the biggest fan of the guava, although I have to say I love their smell which is pungent and tropical and reminds me of a far off Island somewhere that I would love to be on. Guavas poached in syrup is my favourite way to eat them.

Amongst them were tiny ripe ones, which I had never seen before, and as a food stylist, I simply cannot resist baby fruit and vegetables. I quite like tinned guavas so I immediately thought I would poach these.

I wanted to add an extra layer so settled on vanilla and star anise to ratchet the flavour up a notch.

I made a sugar syrup with 2 cups water and 3/4 of a cup of sugar and brought this to the boil adding a split and scraped vanilla pod and 3-star anise pods. I didn’t bother peeling the fruit, just sliced off the ends, and added this to the syrup allowing it to gently simmer for about 10 – 15 minutes. The skin gives the fruit a bit of texture, but you could peel them if you prefer.

When the fruit is poached remove them with a slotted spoon and set aside in a bowl.  Reduce the syrup by boiling for a further 8 – 10 minutes to thicken it.

These poached guavas store well for a few days and make wonderful gifts when packed in pretty glass jars.

The warm aromatics of the star anise and the sweetness of the vanilla worked really well with the guava’s

guavas poached in vanilla syrup with star anise

See my updated recipe:

Guavas poached in a chamomile syrup with vanilla & cinnamon



  1. My one daughter loves guavas and will definitely enjoy this!!

  2. Oh my – I am not even a big fan of guavas… but they are so pretty!! I love the flavour that star amise imparts – it really lifts any fruit dessert. And I love your distresed boards! #propenvy

  3. I stewed some guava’s yesterday but you make everything look and sound so much better. Will try poaching in syrup next time 😉

  4. I also poached guavas last month – aren’t they just gorgeous! Love love love the taste of warm, delicate, freshly poached fruit. Add some vanilla ice cream and I’m in heaven. Yours look fabulous. 🙂

  5. Thanks Ilse – an older post – but love how it takes exactly 20 minutes to make these.

  6. Thank you Tami, I actually used very little sugar and the spices just give it some lovely depth. I love that I paid R5 for my bag from the Hope Street market too – so these were uber wallet friendly

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