Persimmons are a fall and winter fruit that have been around since the early 13th century. This deep orange to red colored fruit is popular in many Asian countries where most of the fruit is cultivated, but has been grown in North America, parts of Europe, Mexico and the Philippines as well.
There are six types of edible persimmon fruits, but the two most commonly known in North America are Hachiya and Fuyu. Hachiya persimmons are though of as baking persimmons as they are very tart unless extremely ripe. When the Hachiya are ripe, they will be very soft on the outside, in an oval shape, and the inside will be almost like a liquid pulp.
The Fuyu persimmon has a more flat shape, much like a round tomato. The Fuyu has a flavor closer to a mild pumpkin taste, and can be eaten raw. Fuyus will ripen by sitting on the counter, so it is best to buy them before they are soft and allow them to ripen until ready to eat.
Persimmon fruits are high in Vitamin C and moderately high in Iron, which makes it a great choice to integrate into your little ones diet. As early as 8-10 months, persimmons can be introduced to your little ones when they are ripened. You can create a simple puree, or if the persimmon is very soft, just lightly mash it. To create a puree, either use an all-in-one steam and puree machine or steam the persimmon and blend it until it is as smooth as your little one needs. Based on your test preferences, you can leave the peel on the persimmon or you can remove it.
Another option for incorporating persimmons into meals for the family is persimmon bread. This is a great option as the holidays are coming up as it is a sweet treat and is tasty for even most of the youngest members.
- 1 1/4 cups persimmon, mashed pulp
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
- 1/2 cup agave nectar or other liquid sweetener
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (freshly grated)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup raisins (may use up to 1/2 cup)
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional–may use up to 1/2 cup)
- Preheat oven to 350. Lightly oil a loaf pan or bundt pan.
- In a small bowl, mix the persimmon, lemon juice, apple sauce, and agave nectar. In a large bowl, combine the remaining ingredients, except for raisins and walnuts. Pour the wet into the dry and mix just until all flour is moistened (do not over-mix). Fold in the raisins and walnuts, if desired.
- Pour into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 40-50 minutes. (My bundt pan took closer to 40 minutes.) Allow to cool for 10 minutes and then remove from the pan. Cool completely before serving.
Note: Low-fat quickbreads like this really benefit from being allowed to cool completely, which is why they often taste better the next day. The crust, which is chewier than breads with oil, will gather moisture and softness over time.
Preparation time: 20 minute(s) | Cooking time: 40 minute(s)
What are some ways you have used persimmons in your family meals? Let us know in the comments below!
Written by Katie Tessier
Title Image: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/49/Hachiya_persimmons_on_tree_close-up.jpg
Hachiya vs Fuyu Image: http://www.vegetablegardener.com/assets/uploads/posts/4506/kg24-persimmons-01.jpg
Persimmon Puree: http://www.giverecipe.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/persimmon1.jpg
Persimmon Bread image: http://www.eattheweeds.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/persimmon-loaf-2.jpg
Persimmon bread recipe: http://blog.fatfreevegan.com/2007/11/persimmon-bread.html