Fejoia’s are an icon in New Zealand, if you don’t have a fejoia tree in your garden you can be certain that your neighbour does and you can just pinch their fejoia’s! The fruit starts ripening in March and all of a sudden it is likely that there will be an abundance of fejoia’s, so many that you don’t know what to do with them.
When I was a kid there used to be many stops on the way home from school to eat fejoia’s. The skin is eatable but very strong-tasting so I think that most people just the flesh. We would use a spoon to scoop out the flesh and eat them like that. My mum used to make fejoia & apple crumble and my dad used to make fejoia wine, and I am pretty sure that he still does!
When I was growing up which was in the 80’s, I am certain that fejoia’s were not commercially available, they were something that you received free from the garden. I did a little research to see when they started to commercially grow Fejoia’s in and it seems that New Zealand started the industry in the 1970’s. When I went to New World this week they were in the supermarket for around $7 per kilo. The lady that I was with said, don’t buy those I have tons of them! I brought a couple because I really wanted one then and then she gave me a huge bag of them. I have seen them once in Australia for sale and they were a crazy $3.50 each! The commercially grown ones are somewhat more lush looking than the home-grown type but they all taste the same plus ‘free’ ones always taste a little better, right.
I am staying with my friend in Auckland at the moment while I am getting around Auckland for my book launch. My friend’s house is a very cute 1925 bungalow and she has a gorgeous bay window in her lounge, with beautiful light streaming in. It was the perfect place for me to take these photos and they turned out beautifully. I am really loving being in my comfort zone of being home in New Zealand this week, it is really nice.
I know that there will be a bunch of you with heaps of fejoia’s and that you won’t even know what to do with them, so I whipped up this recipe to help you out. You could freeze these muffins for later in the week to take to work for a snack. Enjoy.
- 1 cup almond meal or ground almonds
- 1 cup dried dates
- ¼ cup of coconut flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 ripe banana
- 3 eggs
- 2 tablespoons olive or coconut oil
- ⅔ cup chopped fejoia's
- Turn the oven on to 180 degrees to pre-heat and grease a muffin pan or line it with muffin cases, which ever you prefer.
- Place the ground almonds and dates in the food processor and whizz until the dates are finely chopped.
- Add the rest of the dry ingredients, the coconut flour, baking soda and cinnamon, whizz until combined.
- Add the wet ingredients (the eggs, peeled banana and oil) into the dry mixture. Blend together until the mixture is fully combined.
- Peel the fejoia's and chop into cubes.
- Add the chopped fejoia flesh and stir into the mixture.
- Place the mixture into the prepared muffin tin, you should make 8.
- Put in the oven for 12-15 minutes. Take the muffins out of the oven when the skewer comes out clean.
- Eat warm from the oven or they cool.