Persimmons—The Seasonal Superfood
It’s persimmon season—the perfect time to embrace this ancient fruit for its versatility and health benefits.
Originally from China, this beautifully orange-hued fruit is packed with flavor (think apricot and honey) and nutrient dense. Just be sure to find them while you can. Persimmon season is from October through January.
Persimmons can be consumed fresh, dry and cooked. Here in the US two varieties are most common: Fuyu and Hachiya. Fuyu persimmons are light in color and shaped like a tomato. They can be used both while ripe and not fully ripe. Hachiya persimmons are bright orange and acorn-shaped. Best-used when ripe and soft to the touch.
The nutritional breakdown of persimmons reveals a high content fiber, phenolics (antioxidants), vitamins and minerals. Research shows they are beneficial for an anti-atherosclerotic diet. A diet instrumental in reducing heart disease, heart attacks and stroke. Other studies have shown a diet rich in the antioxidant beta carotene, a pigment found in orange colored fruits and vegetables can reduce the risk of lung cancer, colorectal cancer and type-2 diabetes.
Persimmons are a loaded with vitamin A and support healthy skin and vision. One average sized fruit contains 55% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin A. What’s more, it also contains healthy doses of lutein and zeaxanthin, the antioxidants that may reduce the risk macular degeneration, the disease that impacts vision loss.
A simple search online can produce recipes from sweet to savory and everything in between. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
• Include persimmons in your breakfast. Eat them plain, or top your oatmeal, yogurt, and even toast with thin flavorful slices.
• Mix them into any salad—from leafy greens, to bitter endive, to grain-based quinoa or farro.
• Blend them into your baking recipes. Mix fresh or dried persimmons into your favorite muffins, bread and custard recipes.
• Elevate your protein dishes—roast them alongside meats such as pork and veal.
• As a dessert assist. Top your favorite ice cream with warm persimmon compote.
Persimmons are a colorful and versatile fruit enjoyed around the globe. They’re a tasty and healthy way to enjoy the season. Don’t miss out!