30-Minute Guava Jam

Guava Jam is a tropical fruit spread made using ripe guavas and sugar. For this recipe, I also use vanilla and lemon. The lemon zest and juice balance the guava jam’s sweetness while also serving as a natural pectin and preservative.

I’ve been on a roll making recipes with guavas ever since visiting my mom in California and plucking the beautiful pink ones off of her tree! This guava jam without pectin, well, let’s just say that it’s my jam.

WHAT IS A GUAVA?

Guayaba, also known as guava in English, is a tropical fruit native to Central and South America. It has a sweet and fragrant flavor, often enjoyed fresh, juiced, or in jams and desserts. Guayaba is rich in nutrients including vitamin C, fiber, and antioxidants, which is probably why it’s so popular in Mexico and South America!

2023.11.02 Agua de Guayaba | Guava Nectar | Guava Agua Fresca | Lola's Cocina-2

FUN FACTS ABOUT GUAVAS

  • Guava is incredibly high in vitamin C, containing more of this essential nutrient than many citrus fruits. A single guava can provide over twice the recommended daily intake of vitamin C (five times the vitamin C found in oranges!), contributing to a strong immune system.
  • These tropical fruits are great for your skin! The vitamin C in guavas stimulates collagen production. Collagen is a structural protein that provides support to the skin, helping to reduce the formation of fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Guavas are oftentimes recognized by their characteristic scent that can admittedly be overwhelming for some. 
Agua de Guayaba Guava Nectar Guava Agua Fresca

WHAT DOES A GUAVA TASTE LIKE?

Guava has a tropical and sweet flavor profile. Its flavor is mix between a pear, strawberry, and citrus. The texture is both creamy and slightly grainy, and the small seeds are hard, but edible (they’re packed with dietary fiber!). I strain them out of my jam, but many recipes leave them in.

INGREDIENTS YOU’LL NEED

  • Guavas: I used pink guavas from my mom’s tree, but yellow guavas will also work for this recipe as long as they are ripe and somewhat soft.
  • Sugar: My preference is always pure cane sugar, but any granulated sugar will work.
  • Lemon: I use the zest and lemon juice for this homemade guava jam recipe because they serve as a natural pectin; lime juice and zest will also work.
  • Vanilla: I use one Mexican vanilla bean in this recipe, which can be substituted for 1 tablespoon of good-quality vanilla extract.

RECOMMENDED FOR THIS RECIPE

MEXICAN VANILLA BEANS

TOOLS, SUPPLIES, AND EQUIPMENT

STEP-BY-STEP INSTRUCTIONS

Please note that this recipe is for a small batch of jam made with one pound of guavas. If you plan on making more than this, the cook time will increase significantly as it takes longer to cook down to a jam-like consistency.

1. PREPARE INGREDIENTS AND MAKE GUAVA PUREE

  • Start by removing the ends of the guavas and cutting them in half.
  • Zest and juice the lemon.
  • Remove the “caviar” (seeds) from the vanilla bean.
  • Next, process guavas in a blender with water on medium setting for 60 seconds.
  • Using a mesh sieve, strain guava pulp into a bowl and discard seeds. This should yield about 1.5 cups of guava puree.
Atole de Guayaba

2. MAKE GUAVA JAM

  • Add guava puree to a heavy-bottom pot with sugar, lemon zest and juice, and vanilla seeds or vanilla extract.
  • Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring frequently with a wooden or rubber spatula, to avoid burning. Jam should be boiling and bubbling while you stir.
  • Reduce heat to lowest setting and simmer for an additional 15-20 minutes until the liquid reduces and the jam thickens. You should be able to see the bottom of the saucepan when you stir the jam with a wooden spatula.

3. JAR YOUR JAM

  • Pour hot jam into a sterile jars with lids. Remove air bubbles on the sides of the jar by using a knife or chop stick.
  • Jam should last for at least 4 weeks covered and refrigerated.
30-Minute Guava Jam

HOW TO USE GUAVA JAM

Enjoy this mermelada de guayaba:

  • On toast with butter or biscuits
  • On a bagel with cream cheese, pancakes, or crackers
  • On manchego cheese topped with crushed pistachios and a drizzle of agave syrup
  • In sweet empanadas, cakes, frosting, and smoothie recipes
  • Mixed into cottage cheese, yogurt, or ice cream

TIPS, TRICKS, AND SUBSTITUTIONS

  • Add the spent vanilla bean to a jar of sugar to make vanilla sugar.
  • You can also use vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract instead of a vanilla bean in this recipe.
  • If you are making this delicious jam in large batches to preserve at home, you will need to follow the water canning process. Keep in mind that it will also take longer to cook down and thicken.
Guava Jam

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

CAN I MAKE GUAVA JAM WITHOUT PECTIN?

Yes, guavas naturally contain pectin. You can also use other natural pectin sources like citrus peels or juice, which is why I use the lemon juice and zest for this recipe! Some recipes may include additional pectin for a firmer set, but mine came out just fine without it.

WHAT TYPE OF GUAVA IS BEST FOR JAM?

Common guavas, pink guavas, or white guavas can be used for jam. The choice depends on personal preference, as each variety offers a slightly different flavor profile.

HOW SHOULD I STORE GUAVA JAM AND HOW LONG DOES IT LAST?

If you follow my recipe, guava jam should last refrigerated for at least 4 weeks. If using the water canning method I mentioned under the Tips, Tricks, and Substitutions section of this post, unopened jars can be stored in a cool, dark place for up to a year. Once opened, refrigerate and use within a few weeks.

CAN I USE UNRIPE GUAVAS FOR JAM?

I prefer using ripe guavas because they’re sweeter, although unripe guavas also work for this recipe. You’ll need to adjust the amount of sugar to balance the tartness.

LOOKING FOR MORE INSPIRATION?

30-Minute Guava Jam

30-Minute Guava Jam

by Lola Dweck
Guava Jam is a tropical fruit spread made using ripe guavas and sugar. For this recipe, I also use vanilla and lemon. The lemon zest and juice balance the guava jam's sweetness while also serving as a natural pectin and preservative.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 12
Calories 93 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pound guavas
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 lemon zest and juice
  • 1 vanilla bean or 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Instructions
 

PREPARE INGREDIENTS AND MAKE GUAVA PUREE

  • Start by removing the ends of the guavas and cutting them in half. Zest and juice the lemon. Remove the “caviar” (seeds) from the vanilla bean.
  • Next, process guavas in a blender with water on medium setting for 60 seconds.
  • Using a mesh sieve, strain guava pulp into a bowl and discard seeds. This should yield about 1.5 cups of puree.

MAKE GUAVA JAM

  • Add guava puree to a heavy-bottom pot with sugar, lemon zest and juice, and vanilla seeds or vanilla extract.
  • Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring frequently with a wooden or rubber spatula, to avoid burning. Jam should be boiling and bubbling while you stir.
  • Reduce heat to lowest setting and simmer for an additional 15-20 minutes until the liquid reduces and the jam thickens. You should be able to see the bottom of the saucepan when you stir the jam with a wooden spatula.

JAR YOUR JAM

  • Pour hot jam into a sterile jars with lids. Remove air bubbles on the sides of the jar by using a knife or chop stick. Allow to cool in jar before refrigerating.
  • Jam should last for at least 4 weeks if refrigerated.

A Note from Lola

  • If you are making this delicious jam in large batches to preserve at home, you will need to follow the water canning process. Keep in mind that it will also take longer to cook down and thicken.
  • Add the spent vanilla bean to a jar of sugar to make vanilla sugar.
  • You can also use vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract instead of a vanilla bean in this recipe.

Nutrition

Serving: 1tablespoonCalories: 93kcalCarbohydrates: 23gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0.1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.2gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.03gSodium: 2mgPotassium: 170mgFiber: 2gSugar: 20gVitamin A: 238IUVitamin C: 91mgCalcium: 10mgIron: 0.2mg
93
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Lola’s Cocina is a small business that earns various revenue streams. This includes sponsored posts and affiliate commissions from linked products, which I use and love. This commission is an agreement between Lola’s Cocina and retailers, with no extra cost to readers. This income helps sustains the site.

Lola Wiarco Dweck

Lola is a Mexican-American recipe developer, writer, and cooking instructor who loves sharing her culture with the world. Growing up in California and spending summers in Mexico, Lola celebrates her family’s Mexican recipes and vibrant culture through Lola’s Cocina.

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2 Comments

    1. I just made a new batch with the larger, Thai guavas from my uncle’s tree and it’s delicious! Since the guavas are larger, I simply scooped out the seeds (instead of blending and straining the seeds from the guavas), chopped the guavas, and then cooked them with the vanilla, sugar, and lemon zest and juice as indicated in my recipe. It came out chunkier because of the chopped guavas and is a little more, but I love it! The Thai guavas remind me of a guava mixed with a green apple, so the jam is wonderful!