Health benefits of persimmons

Learn the benefits of persimmons along with gaining a new recipe.

According to the USDA MyPlate guidelines, fruits and vegetables should be half your servings in a meal. It is important to vary your fruits and vegetables as they all contain important vitamins and nutrients beneficial to the health of our bodies. Eating a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables every day may lower the risk of disease. The yellow-orange persimmon fruit is an excellent source of fiber, Vitamin A and C, Vitamin B6, potassium and the mineral manganese. Persimmons are fat-free and are a good source of healthy carbohydrates and natural sugar.

The two most common varieties of persimmons are fuyu and hachlya. Fuyu persimmons are yellow-orange, shaped like tomatoes, firmer when ripe. The fuyu is at its best when barely soft. The hachiya persimmon are very tart, unless extremely ripe. Ripe hachlyas are soft, with a silky smooth pulp inside. They are orange-red and shaped like an acorn. Whether you prefer fuyu or hachlyas varieties, look for persimmons that are glossy looking skin without cracks or bruises and feel heavy for their size. To store persimmons that are almost ripe or just ripe, keep them at room temperature. To hasten ripening, store persimmons in a paper bag.

Persimmons can be eaten fresh, dried or cooked. Fresh fruits can be cut into quarters or eaten like an apple. Dried persimmons can be used in cookies, cakes, puddings, salads and a topping for cereals. 

Including more fruits and vegetables in your daily diet will help maintain heart health, vision health and healthy immune systems. Through variety, balance and increase of physical activity we can maintain a healthy weight and immune system. Below is a recipe suggested by Michigan State University Extension.

Persimmon Whip 

Ingredients:

3 ½ Tablespoons honey

7 ripe persimmons, peeled and pureed

1 pint chilled whipping cream

Instructions:

Stir honey into persimmon puree to taste. Use electric mixer and whip cream to stiff peaks. Gently fold persimmon honey mixture into whipped cream. Divide into parfait dishes or baked pie shell. Chill or freeze.

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