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Publication #FCS8876

Florida Fresh: Persimmons1

Claudia Peñuela2

Nutrition Facts

Florida's persimmons are:

  • High in soluble fiber. Soluble fiber reduces the risk of heart disease.

  • High in vitamin A. Vitamin A aids in normal vision, healthy skin, and protects against infections.

  • High in vitamin C. Vitamin C helps to heal cuts and keeps teeth and gums healthy.

  • High in manganese. Manganese is used as energy.

  • Supplier of vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 is involved in protein metabolism.

  • Supplier of potassium. Potassium helps to control blood pressure.

• Naturally free of fat and cholesterol and low in sodium.

Note: Varieties of persimmons are hachiya and fuyu.

Figure 1. 
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Why buy locally?

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimates that the average farmers' market produce travels about 50 miles to its destination, compared to 2,000 miles for supermarket produce.

Buy locally and get these benefits:

• Freshness and good nutrition. Fruits and vegetables harvested in their peak have better flavor and nutritional characteristics.

• Social/cultural. Helps the community to be aware of the importance of agriculture.

• Environmental. Protects the natural resources such as green space, wildlife, water, air, and soil.

• Economic. Promotes local labor force.

Where are Florida's persimmons harvested?

Most of Florida's persimmons are grown in Central and North Florida. However, hachiya persimmons grow best in South Florida.

When can you buy Florida persimmons?

You can buy Florida persimmons from September through December. This is four months out of the year!

Table 1. 

JAN

FEB

MAR

APR

MAY

JUN

JUL

AUG

SEP

OCT

NOV

DEC

Select

• Dark orange color hachiya persimmons.

• Light orange fuyu persimmons.

Note: Since the persimmon is a very colorful fruit (yellow to red), its color is not a sign of ripeness. So, follow the next tips.

• Fuyu persimmons that are firm, crisp, and tomato-shape. Fuyu persimmons are non-astringent, so they are eaten raw as a snack, or as topping for yogurt or salads.

• Hachiya persimmons that are juicy, soft to the touch, and acorn-shaped. Hachiya persimmons are astringent and taste bitter, so they are used more often in baking.

• Persimmons that are shiny and have a smooth skin without bruises or cracks.

• Persimmons that have the stem cap attached and the leaves at the top.

Note: Buy firmer persimmons and allow them to ripen in a paper bag if you do not plan to eat immediately.

Figure 2. 
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Figure 3. 
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Florida Fresh Persimmons: From Market to Table

Persimmons and Apple Salad

Yield: 6 Servings / Time: 15 minutes

3 firm-ripe Fuyu persimmons, rinsed, stemmed, and thinly sliced lengthwise

3 sweet variety apples, rinsed, cored, and thinly sliced lengthwise

1 Tbsp walnut pieces, toasted

2 Tbsp orange juice

1 Tbsp sherry vinegar

1 Tbsp olive oil

1. In a bowl, combine orange juice, vinegar, and olive oil.

2. Add apples, persimmons, and toasted walnuts and mix to coat.

*Nutrition info per serving (1/6 of recipe): Calories: 120 cal; Total Fat 0 g; Sodium 0 mg; Total Carbohydrates 25 g; Fiber 4 g; Protein 1 g; Vit A 30%; Vit C 20%; Calcium 2%; Iron 2% *Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Calcium and Iron listed as % of daily value based on 2,000 calories.

Adapted from: http://apps.nccd.cdc.gov/dnparecipe/recipesearch.aspx [delinked August 13, 2012].

Persimmons Pudding

Yield: 6 Servings

2 cups pulp of Hachiya persimmons (they have to be soft and mushy)

2 Tbsp butter

⅓ cup sugar

2 eggs

1 cup skim milk

1 cup flour

1 tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

1. Grease a pan and preheat oven to 350°F.

2. Cream the butter and sugar, add the eggs and pulp beat.

3. Add the dry ingredients alternately with milk.

4. Pour into the pan and bake 45 to 50 minutes.

Nutrition info per serving size (148g): Calories: 212 cal; Total Fat 4 g; Sodium 442 mg; Total Carbohydrate 39 g; Fiber 3 g; Protein 6 g; Vit A 23%; Vit C 7%; Calcium 8%; Iron 8%

Footnotes

1.

This document is FCS8876, one of a series of the Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. First published: August 2009. Reviewed, with minor revision: September 2012. Visit the EDIS website at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu.

2.

Claudia Peñuela, nutrition assistant-EFNEP, Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences; Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611.


The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other UF/IFAS Extension publications, contact your county's UF/IFAS Extension office.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.