Tis the season for persimmons! For many years, persimmons were a bit of a mystery fruit to me. My only memory of them was watching my grandmother make cookies with persimmons. They are a good source of fiber, high in Vitamin A (only 1 persimmon provides half of the recommended intake of Vitamin A), Vitamin C and antioxidants! All those vitamins you need to help fight cold and flu season!!
For YEARS, that’s all I thought you could make with them, but you know what? There are all kinds of things you can make with persimmons!
There are 2 basic types of persimmons: Fuyu (the flat, round kind) and Hachyia (the more tear-drop shape). One sounds like a curse word and one sounds like someone just sneezed! Ha! Here is the difference..
Fuyu persimmons are eaten firm. Surprisingly, even when they are firm on the outside, they are pretty tender on the inside. They can be eaten skin and all (or peeled, if preferred). They have a tender consistency, like a plum or peach. They have a sweet flavor and can be used in cooking almost anywhere you’d use an apple: salad, chopped on yogurt or in a grilled cheese sandwich (yummm!!).
The Hachiya persimmons are the more tear-drop shaped persimmons. They could not be more different than their Fuyu sisters. Hachiya persimmons must be completely ripe- I mean smooshy ripe to be cooked with. Even if they are tender, but not smooshy, they have a very strong chalky taste. I tasted one I thought was ripe and felt like I was having an allergic reaction! Ha! That being said, when they are smooshy ripe, they are sweet and absolutely wonderful to cook with!
They are often used in baking because you are basically dealing with pulp. However, I have found they work wonderfully in savory cooking as well. I think they could be substituted in many recipes calling for pumpkin or squash puree. They also work wonderfully to naturally sweeten up winter time smoothies!
Here’s my tip for cooking with Hachyia persimmons: let them get SUPER ripe and then freeze them on a cookie sheet and bag them up so they are ready to use when you need them! They are super easy to chop or puree frozen, too!
This recipe is a great sweet and savory recipe! It’s vegan, but you could always add shredded chicken or other meat, if preferred. Take chopped persimmons and place them in a blender with a can of the coconut milk and blend until persimmons are well incorporated and blended. Note: as my persimmons ripened (to mush!), I froze them on a sheet pan in the freezer then bagged them up and used them as I was ready. I chopped these persimmons frozen and found they were very easy to chop up, even frozen! These kind of persimmons must be mush ripe or they have a very chalky flavor.
In a medium saucepan on medium heat, whisk together the curry paste and some of the coconut milk (just to wake up the curry flavors and blend it into the milk). Then add the persimmon/coconut milk mixture into the saucepan with the curry/coconut milk mixture and whisk until blended.
Next, add your choice of fillings to the coconut milk mixture. Stir until veggies are well incorporated. Once the mixture starts to bubble, turn it down to medium-low and cook until veggies are tender (approximately 15-20 minutes). It also cooks really well in your slow cooker on low for 4-6 hours.
Serve curry over cooked jasmine rice. Sprinkle with chopped, fresh cilantro and ground cinnamon, if desired.
This vegan gelato is so easy to make you won’t believe it! Take your frozen persimmons and chop them (they are very easy to chop frozen). Place chopped persimmons and vanilla in a blender. Blend with 1 cup of coconut milk, adding more if you need it to reach thick but blendable consistency.
Place mixture in a freezer safe container and re-freeze for several hours to overnight. Scoop out gelato and serve with a sprinkle of ground cinnamon!