Friday, February 8, 2013
What's That? Persimmons!
During the winter months you may see these cute and colorful bright orange fruits in the produce area of your market. These are fuyu persimmons, and they are super sweet little buggers, or actually berries! If you never had one, believe me you will enjoy the taste of these pretty little things! I was originally advised to wait until they turned like jelly before eating, but that was not true for this variety of persimmon. That particular warning goes for the larger Hachiya astringent persimmon whose sourness when tasted while not fully ripe will apparently twist your face and tongue into 'spiralizer mode.' When shopping for persimmons be sure to pick the ones with no black spots, and check under the dried calyx on top too for any lurking bruises. Hubby and I decided to give them a try this week.
Be aware that this beautiful little flat Fuyu variety of persimmon will only last only a few days in the kitchen. The larger hard astringent persimmons can be kept in the refrigerator for months. Persimmons originally came from China, then Japan, and now they also grow in places like Italy, California, and other locations in the United States. Since there are many different varieties, I have included a video from John Kohler below about the different shaped persimmons, to help clear up the difference. Not only are persimmons mighty good tasting, they are filled with antioxidant compounds including vitamin C, Vitamin A, a high amount of fiber, are low in fat, enzymes and minerals. There was a scientific study that showed eating a persimmon a day may be better than an apple a day! It is said they can help vision, with aging, your heart, and some cancers.
It is not recommended that you eat too many persimmons at once, or unripe persimmons, as the fiber and tannins called shibuol may cause a blockage in your stomach or intestines. We should eat a rainbow of fruits and veggies anyway, and not just one thing all the time. Adding this colorful red orange fruit occasionally would be a great healthy addition to the other fruits, like kiwi, apple, berries, pears, mangoes, papayas, bananas, etc that we eat in rotation.
I scooped the fruit meat out of the skin with a grapefruit spoon. My husband and I both enjoyed the amazing delicious sweetness. I put the leftover fruit skin in a baggie, placed it in the fridge, and I ate those later. Oh my! That was like eating candy! Listen to John Kohler below talk about the inner layer of skin, as he explains all about persimmons in the video.
Besides eating the fruit just as it is, you can use persimmons in baking breads, pies, cookies, cakes, in cereals, dehydrated, in salads, salsa, stir-fries, as pudding, ice-cream, and sprinkled as a colorful topping. Very versatile! Here is a Spiced Persimmon Salsa recipe I found at Cooking Light. Below is a nice kale, persimmon, and pomegranate salad with fresh citrus dressing.
Since we are trying to remind you to eat salads everyday, persimmons are such a nice way to liven up your everyday salads! Enjoy the persimmons while they are in season!