Autumn is here, there is no denying it. The leaves are turning into a plethora of yellows, reds, oranges and browns. The air is getting cooler and more crisp, there is a certain stillness in the atmosphere, and nature is gearing up for the months ahead. Autumn is about feeling gratitude for the abundance around us. And when you’re a raw food fanatic, there is a lot of goodies this time of year to be grateful for.
One fruit in particular that i look forward to every year is the persimmon. Many people don’t ever get to experience this fruit in its raw, ripe, luscious state. It is one of those fruits that is like a dessert all on it’s own. While there are native persimmons here in the USA, the two most common varieties available here are fuyu and hachiya which originated in Japan. They are both bright orange in color, however the shape is quite different. Fuyu’s are shorter and flatter, and are usually a bit lighter in color. Hichiya persimmons are my personal favorite. Their size is generally larger than the fuyu, and they are heavier and more oblong in shape. Fuyu’s can be eaten when they give to pressure easily but are still a bit firm. Hachiya’s however must be very, very soft before eaten. You’ll know it’s ripe when it looks like it’s full of jelly, and you can easily puncture the sides. When ripe the inside flesh will be nearly liquid, a sweet, nectar-full jelly that no other fruit comes close to replicating. This is a dessert in and of itself. It’s very important to let the fruit ripen fully because if you don’t you’ll bite into the most astringent thing you’ve ever put into your mouth, and it is not a pleasant experience. This is due to their high tannin content. If the fruit is ripe this unpleasant quality completely goes away.
Persimmons come into season mid to late October, and last through the winter. Their rich, orange color is a sure sign that they are full of antioxidants and vitamins. When i look at a persimmon i immediately think beta carotene, Vitamin A, and Vitamin C, and it’s true they are full of these nutrients. Persimmons are like ambrosia from the Gods when properly ripened. I get excited each fall when they start appearing in the markets here. I of course love to devour them all on their own with nothing added, but they are also great in recipes. Persimmons are amazing in raw pie fillings and shakes. They add great texture, helping to thicken things up into a pudding-like consistency. They also blend particularly well with young thai coconut. Here is a great Autumn inspired recipe for a creamy sweet persimmon coconut shake, spiced up with a little pumpkin pie spice to warm the senses and get in the mood for Fall.
Creamy Coco Persimmon Ambrosia Shake
1 Thai Coconut- meat and water - try to use a thai coconut that has soft meat but isn’t too jelly-like, you want this shake to be creamy
2 small very ripe fuyu persimmons or 1 large very ripe hachiya persimmon
1 tsp organic pumpkin pie spice
1 tbs Lucuma powder
1 pinch of Himalayan or Bali sea salt
Blend and enjoy
Embrace this beautiful time of year and all that there is to be grateful for!