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Monday, January 3, 2011

Persimmons and Pomegranates

I love fruit - it is both sweet and healthy. I've written before about frozen bananas, frozen cherries, apples, kiwis, goldenberries, and other delectable fruits. There are other fruits that I like, sometimes thought to be more exotic, that some people are less familiar with, like persimmons and pomegranates. I am always amazed to hear someone say that they’ve never tried persimmons, the acorn-shaped fruit that was first introduced into the U.S. in the late nineteenth century, since it is so delicious and shouldn't be missed out on. The persimmon is native to Japan, and has a tart yet sweet flavor that is absolutely amazing.

Persimmons in the U.S. come into season in September, peak in November, and are available all the way through Winter in the produce department. Persimmons are rich in vitamins A and C and provide around 1/5th of the dietary fiber that you need in one serving.

Persimmons are thought to help prevent cancer and also to fight the aging process.  I like to eat a ripe persimmon freshly sliced on its own - but I have also been known to throw a few slices of persimmon into a smoothie along with some coconut water and ice cubes for a different taste.  Word of caution – if you bite into a persimmon before it is ripe – you’ll know right away. Unripe persimmons are very, very bitter and not edible.  A ripe persimmon is not hard and will be deep red in color.

Pomegranates are also yummy.  Fans of British history will tell you that King Henry VIII would often eat pomegranates when married to Catherine of Aragon, his first wife.  Seems old Harry thought that the pomegranate would increase his chances of fathering a son, as the pomegranate was part of Queen Catherine’s coat-of-arms and a symbol of fertility.  Research suggests that pomegranates are actually rich in antioxidants that work to keep LDL cholesterol (the bad kind) from oxidizing, which staves off blood vessel diseases that can lead to heart attack and stroke.  And for the guys out there, HRM may have been a bit right about fertility and the pomegranate – at least partially – as it is thought that long-term consumption of pomegranates or pomegranate juice can stave off erectile dysfunction.  Remember, however, that you only eat the seeds of the pomegranate, not the flesh.


1 comment:

CaSaundraLeigh said...

I have never eaten a persimmon before--but I am always up for trying new foods, especially fruits!

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