Viewing entries in
Fruit Spotlight

Fruit Spotlight...Persimmon!

Fruit Spotlight...Persimmon!

sliced persimmon showing section

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.  

Hachiya is visible on the left, while Fuyu is pictured on the right.  

Hachiya is visible on the left, while Fuyu is pictured on the right.  

persimmon puree

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.

Persimmon bread loaf

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.  

Ingredients

  •         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)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Lightly oil a loaf pan or bundt pan.
  2. 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.
  3. 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

 

Sources:

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

Fruit Spotlight...Apples!

Fruit Spotlight...Apples!

Fall is finally here: the colors are changing, the weather is cooling down, and it is time for some perfect, delicious apples. Apple season lasts until the middle of October, which means the prime time to buy apples, is right now! So, next time you take a stroll through the local farmer’s market, pick up a few and take advantage of their sweet, sweet perfection.

Packed with nutritional benefits, apples are a reliable source of antioxidants, soluble fiber, and Vitamin C.  Incorporating the magical fruits into your diet will help your body build a strong immune system and promote a healthy heart.

Eating an apple on its own is certainly delicious but sometimes its also good to mix things up! Keep apples exciting by eating them in fun, new, and EASY ways! Here are some ideas to every day easy apple eating:

Spread peanut butter, almond butter, or maybe even pumpkin butter (t’is the season, right?) onto your toast and top it with a some thin apple slices. Drizzle a little maple syrup and cinnamon over the top and breakfast is served! Granny Smith’s are a great apple to use for this because it adds a nice tart flavor to the mix

Dip them! All kids love a chance to play with food, so, slice up an apple and let them dip away! Prepare easy, ready-to-go dips like peanut butter, almond butter, and hazelnut butter.

OR make your own! Here is an easy homemade dip to satisfy that sweet tooth while eating your apples:

Raw Caramel Dip

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • ½ cup organic coconut oil
  • ½ cup + 2 tablespoons of raw almond butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla2 dates, pitted¼ tsp salt

Directions:

Combine all of the ingredients together in a high-speed blender until thick and smooth. Enjoy!

Lastly, another classic way for the whole family to enjoy and benefit from this fruit is by making applesauce! Try this recipe, which purees raw apples instead of boiled ones. The benefit of using raw apples is that you consume all of the original nutrients in the apple instead of boiling them away in cooked recipes. Try out this recipe:

Raw Apple Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 4 apples
  • ½ lemon
  • cinnamon (to taste)

Directions:

  1. Peel and core the apples. Cut them into chunks and add them to a food processor. Pulse to puree.
  2. Squeeze the juice from ½ lemon into the food processor and blend
  3. Add the cinnamon to taste and blend until completely pureed.

Note: If you are making these delicious snacks to pack in a lunch remember to sprinkle some lemon juice over your apple slices to keep them from browning throughout the day.

Happy Apple Eating!


Written by: Julia Pollack

Sources:
http://followpics.co/apple-snack-you-will-be-addicted-uses-only-an-apple-orange-and-lemon-seriously-the-best-apple-snack-ever-i-ate-3-apples-today-because-i-couldnt-stop/http://www.fromthelittleyellowkitchen.com/2013/02/06/maple-apple-toast-with-nut-butter-tahini/http://www.nutritionstripped.com/raw-caramel-with-apples/http://www.buddinglotusbody.com/nourish/2011/01/raw-apple-sauce/http://elanaspantry.com/raw-apple-sauce/