Before moving to our little farm 5 years ago, I never gave persimmons much thought. They just hadn't made there debut into my life yet! I'm not sure if I had ever even eaten one until I found myself with12 trees in our new yard!
October rolled around and all of a sudden we had branches and more branches dripping with these beautiful bright orange fruits. Our trees are FUYUGAKI, or FUYU persimmon trees (Diospyros kaki), considered the best tasting persimmons by many! Infact, the name Diospyros means divine fruit. These trees are strong, pest and disease resistant, semi-self pollinating, and even do well in drought situations.
Everyone asks if they are the squishy, astringent kind or the apple-like crunchy ones. Fuyu persimmons are hard, crunchy and deliciously sweet. They store exceptionally well, as they are hardy and do not get soft for quite awhile. They can be enjoyed right off the tree or later when softer and juicier. While they are not the ones most people think of when baking cookies (those are the Hachiya varietal, you have to wait until they are soft and squishy), there are plenty of sweet or savory treats to make with these amazing sub-tropical fruits.
Benefits of Fuyu Persimmons
After a bit of research from multiple sources, along with intuition about nature's bounty, I have learned fuyu persimmons are nutrient rich and can improve digestion, lower cholesterol and blood pressure, nourish skin and help energy levels. *(Disclaimer: I am not giving medical advice!!)
Antioxidants - Fuyu persimmons are rich in the anti-oxidants such as
beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein, catechins and gallocatechins,
betulinc acid and others. These anti-oxidants inhibit excessive
oxidative stress. They also have significnat anti-inflammatory
properties (especially in digestive issues) and help protect small
blood vessels from bleeding.
Vitamins and Minerals - rich in vitamin A (vision health), vitamin C
(immune system), vitamin B (metabolism), vitamin E and K, calcium,
magnesium, copper, potassium, phosphorous and iron
Tannins - anticarcinogenic and antimutagenic tannins (anti-oxidants)
that kill off free radicals in the body and lower risk of stroke, blood
clotting, lower blood pressure and fight cancer
Fiber - Persimmons are high in dietary fiber (more than apples). This
helps slow digestion and absorption of sugar. Persimmons are
healthy for your heart.
Creative Ways to Eat Fuyus
Look for my next blog where I will post my favorite persimmon recipes, but until then here are some simple and delicious ways to use persimmons. Enjoy!
*off the tree!
*oatmeal and cereal topping
*with cottage cheese
*baking (persimmon bundt cake, bread, cookies, scones)