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5 Guava Substitute Options

A photo collage of some guava substitute options.

You may not have heard a lot about guava as it is an exotic fruit, or at least, people seem to think it is. At the same time, it does bring with it thoughts about sunshine, the tropics, and an adult beverage with an umbrella. If you love guava as much as I do, you want to enjoy it as much as you can.

There are many dishes and recipes that require guava. If there happens to be a time when you need guava for a recipe, but do not have any, you may need a guava substitute. Continue reading this article to find out the best alternatives when you have run out of guava. 

What is Guava?

Guava is a well-known tropical fruit that is found in many tropical and subtropical regions. They are native to South America, Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean. Guava is a fruit with thin skin that comes in colors from green to dark purple. Guavas can be eaten as fresh fruit or in sauce, jelly, and jam. Guava fruit is high in vitamins. It can come in many forms, like guava jam, guava jelly, guava juice, and guava nectar.

What is Guava Paste? 

A couple of guava paste bars on a white plate.

Guava paste is also called guayabate or goiabada. It is a thick guava puree of sugar and guava fruit, with pectin typically added to the mixture. It has a smooth texture with a floral scent. It has a similar consistency to quince paste. It is best served in a block with cheese, as a filling for puff pastry, or on toast. 

What is a Substitute for Guava or Guava Paste?

When you want to make your favorite dish but find that you do not have any guava paste on hand, and you do not have any guavas to make the paste, there are substitutions you can make. These substitutes will not give you the exact same flavor or texture, but they are pretty darn close. 

1. Quince Paste

A close look at a bar of quince paste sliced on a chopping board.

Quince paste is also called membrillo. It has a similar sweetness that guava paste , as well as the same thick texture that can be sliced. It can be used in just about any recipe that requires guava paste. You can find it in almost every grocery store. 

2. Fresh Guava

This is a close look at fresh guava slices on a wooden table.

If you have access to fresh guava, you can often use them as a replacement for guava paste, depending on the need. Fresh, ripe guava can be used as fresh fruit guava slices on a cheeseboard in place of paste. If you are making a pie or other baked goods, you can use fresh guava.

You may need more sugar because the paste is sweeter than fresh guava. The paste is cooked for a long time with other ingredients, including sugar, giving it a much different taste. Fresh guava has a clean and fruity flavor that you are not likely to get with paste. 

3. Fig Paste

Fig paste is close to guava paste and is an ideal substitution. Fig paste does have seeds which give it a grainier texture. Fig jam is not typically a suitable substitution because it is thin and runny. If you are making a sauce, you can use fig jam, but most likely not for anything else. 

4. Fruit Preserve 

A close look at various fruit jams in jars on a wooden table.

Depending on your recipe, you may be able to use a fruit preserve in place of guava paste. You can try strawberry, apricot, or pineapple to replace the guava. The texture is different depending on the specific brand. You can expect the preserve to have a softer consistency. If you are using it to fill a pastry or on top of toast, these are ideal alternatives. 

5. Apple Paste

A close look at a bowl of apple paste with fresh slices of apple.

Apple paste is similar in texture to quince paste. If you purchase apple paste, it will most likely have citric acid and apples. You can use apple paste on a cheese board, stuffing, or a sauce for chicken, pork, duck, and game meats. It goes well with gorgonzola or Gruyère cheeses.

Apple paste is not as easy to find in the grocery store. If you want it as a substitute for guava paste, look for one that does not have flavors, like lime or lemon juice, or spices, like cinnamon, added. 

Make Your Own Guava Paste

A bowl of fresh guava paste and cheese.

When you have tried all the substitutions, and they simply will not do, you can make your own. This is a guarantee that you do not run out of guava paste again. Then you will be able to make your favorite dessert without losing the guava flavor that you love. It does require you to have access to guavas. 

The ingredients you need are:

  • 2 pounds of guavas, halved and peeled
  • 1 + 1/2 cups of water, divided
  • 2 pounds of granulated sugar

Step One

Scoop out the seeds from the half guavas. Please put them in a bowl with one cup of water. Let the guava seed soak. 

Step Two

Put the flesh of the guava in a pan with the 1/2 cup of water that is left. Heat the pan on high until it boils. Reduce the heat and simmer the fruit while often stirring until it becomes soft. 

Step Three

Take the seeds that are soaking in the bowl and pour them through a strainer. Add the water to the guava flesh and throw away the seeds. 

Step Four

You can use a food mill to press the guavas into pulp. Put the guava pulp into a large pan. Add the sugar and cook the mixture on low heat.

You want to stir the mixture constantly with a wooden spoon. It will thicken as you stir it. It is finished when you can put a small amount of it on an ice cube for a few moments and lift it off in one piece. 

Step Five

Take the pan off the heat and stir it with the wooden spoon until it becomes a heavy and thick paste. This may take about 10 minutes.

Step Six

Scoop all of the paste that you made into a pan, preferably a loaf pan. It would be best if you first lined the pan with wax paper. Allow the paste to sit in the pan lined with wax paper overnight in a cool place. 

Step Seven

Move the paste to a container that is airtight, or you can wrap it in foil. If you wrap it in foil, make sure there are no gaps for air to get in. 

If you prefer your guava paste to be drier and firmer, cover the wax paper-lined pan with cheesecloth and set it in the sun for two days. It would be best if you flipped the paste. 


Will Guava Paste Melt?

You can melt guava paste. It takes about 15 minutes. If you slice the paste into one-inch pieces, you can place them in a pan with a small amount of water. Cook the slices over low to medium heat. You can use a spoon to help break down the paste until it becomes the consistency of jam. 

How Do I Store Guava Paste?

Once you open the guava paste, you must wrap it tightly in plastic or put it in a container that is airtight. You must store it in a cool dry place at room temperature. If you do not use it often, you should store it in the refrigerator. It can last about 12 months in the fridge.