fuyu persimmons

Persimmons are wonderful, apple or tomato shaped, orange winter fruits that often only appear at farmers markets due to their unique growing conditions and the fact that they’re a rather well kept secret foodie secret.

There are two main types of persimmons; the Fuyu persimmons look more like orange tomatoes and are ripe when hard (like an pear), while the Hachiya persimmon is more pointed in shape, and should be completely soft and slightly translucent when ripe. There are many other types of persimmons in the world, but these are the type you’re most likely to find in the U.S.

Like many winter fruits, persimmons contain high amounts of vitamin C, as well as vitamin A, beta carotene and essential amino acids. The mixture of fresh, sweet and cinnamon flavored qualities of the fruit make it ideal for sweet and savory dishes, so try them in one of the 8 healthy recipes we’ve rounded up for you!

1. Persimmon Bread - This simple but delectable recipe from Putney Farm via James Beard is perfect for breakfast, tea time, or a quick snack. If you’re overloaded with persimmons or they’re all ripening at once, make several loaves and freeze them or offer them to friends and neighbors.

2. Persimmon Jam - This healthy and easy recipe from The Gracious Pantry substitutes honey for sugar and only calls for 4 ingredients! We don’t think its too much to spread this on your persimmon bread, but you can opt for toast or bagels, or drop a dollop on your favorite yogurt or ice cream.

3. Escarole with Persimmons, Pomegranate Seeds and Lemon-Shallot Vinaigrette - Looking for a savory way to enjoy persimmons? This delicious salad from Martha Stewart has winter’s best fruits all in one dish!

4. Black Bean Salad with Fuyu Persimmon, Avocado and Lime-Cumin Vinaigrette - This recipe from Kalyn’s Kitchen takes a Mexican twist on savory persimmon dishes, and is the best black bean salad we’ve discovered.

5. Persimmon Strudel - Moving on to desserts, this delectable recipe from The Kitchn will impress anyone, and can be made as a gluten-free version if you make your own phyllo dough.

6. Chocolate Persimmon Tart - So, this recipe from Green Kitchen Stories is absolutely amazing, and proves that chocolate and persimmons are a match made in heaven. It’s even entirely raw, vegan and gluten-free!

7. Broiled Persimmons with MascarponeIf you’re looking for a lighter, but dairy indulged, dessert, try this recipe from Martha Stewart. It’s quick, easy and artfully brings out the seasonal flavors of this winter fruit.

8. Orange Persimmon Margarita - This recipe from Sweet Life is for the adventurous cocktail artists that love to blend spirits with seasonal ingredients. Try it with the Black Bean Salad recipe above!

Image: bgreenlee

Related on Organic Authority

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Organic Persimmon Salsa

Cider Spiked Persimmon Bread