While everyone goes nuts for pumpkin lattes this time of year, I’ve been anticipating another fall treat. The Persimmon. I discovered persimmons for the first time last year when I subscribed to a veggie box via Freshfully, a local veggie box service. Unfortunately, Freshfully Veggie Boxes are unavailable now, but persimmons are readily available this time of year. I had never heard of this fruit, let alone tasted it and had no clue what to do with it. So I started googling. The persimmon dates back early of the American Settlers. In fact, I read that, “When Captain John Smith was not busy with Pocahontas, he is quoted as saying, "If it be not ripe it will drawe a mans mouth awrie with much torment; but when it is ripe, it is as delicious as an Apricock." They look like unripe tomatoes and if eaten unripe, they can taste pungent. They are astringent tasting because of the tannins in them. But when fully ripened they are a sweet, sweet fall fruit! There are 2 main types of persimmons:
American Persimmons - these are large marble or golfball size. They are really rare to find commercially, but you can pick them wild.
Japanese Persimmons - there are actually 200-300 varieties of Japanese persimmons. Some are cross pollinated, which means they will have seeds. Some are not cross-pollinated, so they have no seeds.
Between American and Japanese persimmon breeds, you will also find 2 more categories:
Astringent - These are super sour until fully ripe. It should feel like a water balloon when ready to eat. This is the variety my MIL brought me 2 weeks ago.
NonAstringent - As soon as they color, you can eat them. I picked up a cross-pollinated, non astringent variety at The Pepper Place Farmers Market.
It’s true, this fruit is delicious. Decadent even. You can eat them raw, baked or my favorite - blended. I made a persimmon smoothie yesterday; mid-morning my husband texted me to say “this is the best smoothie ever.” He’s probably right, I make good smoothies, but a persimmon smoothie is something else. It is sweet, buttery and seasonal tasting. Yes….a persimmon smoothie is delicious, and lower glycemic than a regular fruit smoothie! Low glycemic sweeteners are my favorite smoothie ingredients. They are the key to drinking greens first thing every morning without the added sugars most people consume. They have the capacity to carry the sweet taste without the added sugars in our body. In fact, a persimmon has about half the sugar of an apple or banana! I have yet to find persimmons in a store, but look for them at your local farmer's market.
Check out this recipe below to try my favorite fall smoothie!
2 small ripe persimmons
1 medjool date (without the seed)
¼ peeled avocado
1 teaspoon cinnamon
splash of vanilla extract (teaspoon or less)
2 handfuls of mild greens, like spinach or chard (if you’re new to green smoothies then start small and work your way up! this is not a race- just add in what is tasty to you, then SLOWLY increase the greens so that is becomes a habit, not a diet. :) )
Liquid - I’m not rigid about liquid - nut milks make it creamier and water makes it more, well, watery. If you need more protein, use a nut milk. If not, use water. I usually do half and half - but it’s definitely to taste!)
If you want to read more about persimmons, check out this great blog post! http://www.vegparadise.com/highestperch210.html
In Happy Health,