As Pretty as a Persimmon

And as sweet as honey.

It is a pity that these pretty tomato - shaped fruits are only in season for a very short time i.e. only available during the Autumn so act fast!

If you haven’t tried a persimmon (aka Sharon Fruit) before, think of a mix between a tomato, date and carrot all in one. Strange I know, but it is deliciously sweet. A ripe persimmon will have sweet honey - like flavours. Its texture is similar to that of a tomato and date, and its skin is a bit tougher than an apple. But watch them carefully, they can ripen very quickly.

I ended up making jam because the persimmons I had were very ripe and became way too soft and mushy to eat. I didn't want to waste ... so say hello to a new jam recipe. Also, making them into a jam allows me to enjoy their sweetness for a little bit longer. Thankfully, persimmons naturally contain pectin, so by adding a small amount of acidity (lemon juice) and sugar (honey or syrup) it allows the fruit to develop a jam - like consistency. Try it out!

Serves: Makes approximately 500ml (2 cups)

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 15 - 20 minutes

Ingredients and Directions:

  1. Slice and chop 600g (roughly 5 large) very ripe persimmons into small pieces.

  2. Add the persimmons and 2 Tbsp (30 ml) lemon or lime juice into a small saucepan and cook on a low heat until the persimmons start to release their juices. Use a fork or a masher to break the fruit down further.

  3. Add 1/4 cup (60 ml) of water and 1 Tbsp (15 ml) honey or syrup and cook over a medium heat until a thick consistency (around 5 minutes).

  4. Remove from the heat and hand blend the jam to get a smoother consistency. Alternatively, leave it chunky.

  5. Optional: Add 1/2 tsp gelatine granules to allow it to thicken and to get more of a gel - like consistency.

  6. Once well combined, allow to fully cool and transfer to a glass jar for storage!

Storage: If stored in an airtight container, it keeps well in the fridge for up to 1 - 2 weeks.

Serving suggestion: Enjoy it with plain yoghurt, add a spoonful to your morning oats, breakfast pancakes or on a slice of wholewheat bread or crackers with sugar-free peanut butter for a delicious snack.

Dietitian’s Notes:

  • Persimmons, also known as Sharon Fruit, are nutrient powerhouses as they contain a variety of vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin A, Vitamin C and other nutrients such as Potassium, Manganese and Iron (non- heme).

  • They provide almost double the amount of fiber compared to that of an apple (yes please!) and also give us beneficial plant compounds such as tannins and flavonoids.

  • Tannins are what gives them their bitter taste when unripe. So let them ripen on your counter tops and store in the fridge once they become pulpy and turn a deep orange - red colour.

  • Enjoy them whole (eat the skin and all - hello fiber), slice them lengthwise and enjoy with any breakfast option (yoghurt, oats, granola) or add them to salads. You can also blend them into smoothies or puree them into soups or sauces for extra sweetness.

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