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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

What to do with Persimmons

Yes, more persimmons.

Green salad with with persimmons, mandarins, apples, and pomegranate 

I know.  We just had a post about persimmons.  Some people love them, some people hate them.  I used to fall into that last category.  Now that I am older (slightly), wiser (hopefully), and have developed a much broader range of taste (really, I think my taste buds reproduced or something), I've come to accept them.  There's no way I would say I love persimmons, but I've definitely developed an appreciation for them, especially now that I've discovered how versatile they can be.

Our fuyu persimmon tree

We only have a fuyu persimmon tree, so this post avoids the hachiyas, used in most baking recipes such as in the persimmon cookies of our previous post.  It's a good thing our dogs love persimmons, because the tree bears more fruit than we could ever use.  Still, I have been trying to find as many recipes as I can that involve fuyus.  Here are five of my discoveries:

Sammy chowing on a fuyu

Beamer would like 10 more

1)  If you want to do something really simple, but still delicious, peel a fuyu, slice it up and saute it for a few minutes with maybe half a tablespoon of butter and and some cinnamon.  Oh my gosh, it's so easy and so good and it makes the kitchen smell amazing.  My dad claims that this recipe was his invention.

Persimmons sauteed with cinnamon
2)  Put them in your oatmeal!  I have an unusual obsession with oats and have tried many various combinations.  Sauteed persimmons cooked into some old fashioned oatmeal with cinnamon and brown sugar is pretty tasty.

Persimmons cooked into oatmeal!

3)  Bake them!  Hollow out a fuyu, chop up the insides and mix in some brown sugar and cinnamon before throwing it all back into the persimmon body.  If you have some walnuts on hand, they would also make a great addition.  Bake the persimmon for about 30-40 minutes in a 350 degree oven.  Then eat it with a spoon.  

Baked persimmon with brown sugar and cinnamon



4) Make a salad.  I didn't actually do this myself but Dylan did and it looked delicious.  Throw in some pomegranate seeds and mandarins if you want some more seasonal additions.  Plus, it'll be even prettier.

5) Okay, finally, the recipe I've used the most.  Persimmon bread!  I've baked this too many times to count over break because not only is it a great way to get rid of some fuyus, but it's also healthy and delicious.  
I adapted the recipe from the blog, Cooking Books, and change it up a little each time I make it.

Persimmon bread
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon 
optional: 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
other additions: walnuts, raisins, dried cranberries, you name it
3 mashed persimmons (2 if they're enormous)
1 cup plain, nonfat yogurt
1 egg
2 tablespoons oil (or butter)
1 teaspoon vanilla
Combine the wet ingredients in a bowl (everything after and including the persimmons on the above list).  Combine the dry ingredients (but not the additions, like walnuts).  Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix, but don't over mix.  Then add walnuts, raisins, etc.. in amounts to your preference.  I probably typically use about a half cup of chopped walnuts and a quarter cup each of raisins or cranberries, but I don't actually ever measure.  You can really add whatever you want though. Experiment! It's more fun.
Pour the mixture into a greased bread pan (9x5 should work) and bake at 350 for about 45-50 minutes.  It's going to be a pretty moist bread so don't be surprised if it doesn't seem done.  You can cover the bread with some tin foil near the end and bake it a few more minutes if you really don't think it's done.
Let it cool a little, slice, and eat!  It's great for breakfast or just a snack.

Fuyu persimmon bread!

I used to think persimmons were boring, bland, and just stupid. But after discovering all of these things to do with them, they've actually become pretty fun.  Try out some of these recipes or find some other cool ways to use persimmons and let me know!
If you run out of ideas, are completely sick of persimmons, and still have a bunch that are beginning to go bad, don't throw them away.  Throw them at things and convert old fruit into new fun.  See, you won't be wasting anything!

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