Guava Shells & Tembleque

In the Caribbean, Three Kinds Day is all about celebrating family tradition. That includes the grass boxes children prepare for the camels prior to the arrival of the wise men. And of course, those old recipes that we bring to the table for the annual gathering.

Even when we’re far away from home, we still continue to celebrate the holiday and put together some of our grandma’s best treats and dishes for the festivities — starting with dessert! The challenge for us, however, is to enjoy all of those treats in a way that's guilt-free. Meaning no refined sugars or ingredients that could set us back in any way.

And it's not impossible. It's about getting creative with the alternative ingredients. This year, for instance, we updated two of our favorite classics: Sweet Guava Shells and Tembleque, a coconut custard. Both are incredibly easy to make, but if prepared the traditional way, they can be incredibly high in sugar. We found a way to successfully use natural sweeteners instead.

The sweet guava shells are usually cooked in 1or 2 cups of sugar and served with white farmer’s cheese for a sweet and salty contrast. We used stevia and honey instead. This dessert pairs beautifully with a cider or sparkling sweet wine. To give it a little twist and a pop of color, we also added a few cherries into the mix.

The tembleque is a velvety smooth coconut dessert that gets its name from its jiggly consistency, somewhere between gelatin and pannacotta. It's usually cooked with about a cup of white sugar too, but we used stevia and coconut sugar instead, changing its traditional white color to beige. But equally delicious.

Hope you guys enjoy our recipes. Let us know in the comments below if you have any questions about the desserts and also if you have any unique recipes or traditions for Three Kings Day. Thank you for stopping by. 

Guava Shells
  • 15-20 Fresh guavas (More depending on # of guests)
  • ½ Teaspoon of stevia
  • ½ Cup of fresh cherries
  • Water
  • 1 Tablespoon of raw honey
1. Peel the guavas, slice in half and remove all the seeds.
2. Slice the cherries and remove the seeds.
3. Place the fruit in a pot and cover them with water. Add the sweeteners and boil until tender.
4. Serve with white cheese. 

Naturally Sweetened Tembleque
  • 2 Cups of unsweetened full fat coconut milk
  • 2 Cups of low-calorie “drinking” coconut milk, such as Silk Coconut Milk
  • ½ Cup of cornstarch
  • ½ Cup of coconut sugar
  • ½ Teaspoon of stevia
  • 1 Pinch of salt
  • 1Teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 Teaspoon of cinnamon 
1. Mix all the ingredients well and pour them into a small pot.
2. Cook on medium-high heat while whisking constantly to prevent lumps.
3. Once the cream hardens, pour into serving mold. Let it cool for at least a couple of hours. Sprinkle a little extra cinnamon on top.


  1. Do you add the teaspoon cinnamon into the mixture plus extra for sprinkling? I'm SO trying this one out before the end of the week. :-)

    1. Yes, exactly. You can add it to taste, but we wanted to add 1 teaspoon of cinnamon to the mixture and a little extra for sprinkling. :-) It turned out so good! Hope you like it!