Seasonal ingredients: persimmons and cranberries

It’s fall, which means cranberries and persimmons are coming into season. They are a nice way to change up your smoothies, and you can use them together to make a great combination. The sweetness of persimmons balances the tartness of cranberries. You can put them in a smoothie with the other standbys that I’ve previously mentioned, or they can stand on their own.

There are two main varieties of persimmons available: Fuyu, which are short and squat (the photo shows a Fuyu), and Hachiya, which are more elongated and “heart shaped.” I usually favor Fuyu because they are a little easier to deal with in terms of ripeness. They are ripe when they are still relatively firm, whereas the Hachiya type needs to be *very* soft, or it will have a sharp astringent taste. The Fuyus are often sold essentially ripe, whereas the Hachiya type usually need more ripening. To prepare I wash, cut off the leaves, and then cut into quarters. Rarely they contain seeds, which I remove. I have never actually used a Hachiya in a smoothie, but if you do, you may want to remove the skin.

Cranberries are pretty straightforward. One thing to note is that they freeze very well, so if you can’t find them fresh, look in the freezer section, and if you find them for cheap fresh you can get some extra to store in the freezer.

Most recently I made a persimmon cranberry smoothie with yogurt, which made it into a sort of lassi.

1/2 cup yogurt
1 persimmon
~1/2 cup cranberries
1 small apple
5 ice cubes
handful of soaked walnuts

Makes 1 serving. It was a bit tart, but nice and refreshing.

Update: for more thoughts on persimmons, see: Last chance for this year’s persimmons.

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