Lately, my local Trader Joe’s has been running specials on persimmons. I LOVE persimmons. While they’re typically not cheap even in season, their sweet taste and unique jelly consistency gets me every time. Plus, I don’t get to enjoy them often, so the luxuriousness makes them even more cherished.
While persimmons aren’t grown locally where I live, they are in season (which generally runs through December). Persimmons are grown mainly in China, followed by Brazil, Japan, and Korea. The United States cultivates few in comparison, but they can be found growing in California, which is where my Trader’s Joe ones were shipped from. The distance they travel to get here is well worth the occasional indulgence.
There are two types, fuyus and hachiyas. You’ll want to stick with the fuyus because they are the ones that you can just pick up and eat. Fuyus have a deep orange, crisp skin, and a lighter orange, sweet, jelly inside. The only thing I could possibly compare the taste to is guava, but persimmons truly do have a unique taste all to themselves. Look for ones that are a dark hue of orange and slightly soft to the touch. These are signs of a ripe, sweet, ready-to-eat persimmon!
Typical persimmon are roughly 100 calories and are high in fiber, vitamin A, and vitamin C. Try them out for a healthy, better-than-candy snack.
Another fall fav.: Bartlett pears
Bartlett pears are sweet and juicy. Due to their soft consistency when ripe, they bruise relatively easily so handle them with care. While these can usually be found in supermarkets almost all year around, they are best from the months of August through February. Pears naturally continue to ripen after picked, but they ripen the most evenly and quickest when in season.
Look for pears that have a slight give to the touch and are bright yellow in color, as opposed to rock hard and green which means they aren’t yet ripe. Bartlett pears contain 6 grams of fiber per medium sized pear (that’s 24% of your daily needs!). Similar to persimmons, at just 100 calories as well as a great source of vitamin C, they too make a great snack. I also enjoy adding sliced pears along with feta cheese and pecans/walnuts to top off salads. They are great for baking as well and make delicious, naturally sweet desserts!
Another fruit and variety of pear that is guaranteed to be best in fall is the Asian pear. Similar to Bartlett pears, these are loaded with fiber and vitamin C and have a nice, sweet taste. The problem with Asian pears is that even when in season, it’s tough to find a ripe one. However once you do get a ripe one, you’ll know it. When ripe, Asian pears are crisp, yet juicy as a watermelon. You’ll be sure to have sweet juice dribbling down your face. If you take a bite of an Asian pear and it resembles a crab apple that’s extra crunch and a tad bitter, you’ll know its not ripe (but don’t give up, because the good ones are truly worth multiple attemps!). To help determine whether an Asian pear is ripe or not, choose ones that lean on the side of orangish-brown rather than greenish-brown. They should also have a bit of a give when you apply pressure to the outer surface.
Just 50 calories per pear, as with all fruit these make nice, light compliments to breakfast, lunch, or dinner, or as a nice afternoon snack. Asian pears are nearing the end of their season, so get them fast!
I highly encourage snacking on fruit. Whenever I’m feeling a bit hungry, I’ll grab a piece of fruit. The fiber fills me up and the natural sweetness satisfies my cravings. If you’re craving a snack but only want to eat chocolate or chips, rather than fruit, then this is probably a sign that you body is not actually hungry enough to really need a snack. Try differentiating between when your body is hungry and when your mind is hungry. Fruit can be extremely satisfying, especially when you switch up your daily banana or apple for a piece of fruit you wouldn’t normally eat. Look for what’s in season and make your fruit snacking exciting!