In Season: Persimmons

Finding uses for this ancient Chinese delicacy may seem intimidating, but persimmons are versatile. Just be sure to catch them while you can! They are in season from October through January.

Finding uses for this ancient Chinese delicacy may seem intimidating, but persimmons are versatile. Just be sure to catch them while you can! They are in season from October through January.

What to look for: Two common varieties are Hachiya and Fuyu; they differ slightly in appearance but have unique textures and flavors. Hachiya persimmons are round with one pointy end (think: super-sized acorn). With bright orange skin and dark green leaves, they taste best when very ripe and soft. Beware: unripe Hachiya can be extremely bitter because of their high tannin content. (Tannins are what make your mouth feel dry when you drink some red wines.) With a tomato-like texture, ripe Hachiya persimmons are soft and sweet and taste similar to an apricot.

Fuyu persimmons may be lighter in color and are shorter and rounder than Hachiya. Best when firm and crisp, they taste more like sweet apples or pears and can be eaten the same way -- just grab and crunch!

Their benefits: Tastiness aside, we love persimmons because they’re an excellent source of vitamin A, which keeps skin and eyes healthy. They’re also high in fiber, which aids in digestion and may help lower cholesterol. Chinese medicine credits them with curing everything from hiccups to bee stings to constipation. And, yes, because they’re so high in fiber, enjoy in moderation -- just to be safe (you know what we mean).

To serve: Add Hachiya persimmons to hot or cold cereals and smoothies, puree in sauces for poultry or fish or slice one in half and spoon out the tender, orange pulp for a sweet snack. Chopped Fuyu works well in salads and salsas or baked in muffins and breads.

    Recipe to try:

Shopping tip: Choose persimmons that have smooth and glossy skin. Pick Hachiya that are soft and Fuyu that are firm. Store in the refrigerator and dig in as soon as possible -- they're highly perishable.

Next Up

In Season: Garlic

Though you may always be able to find it at the grocery store, garlic has a season, and this is it! Discover all the ways to savor this ancient bulb.

In Season: Pomegranates

Pomegranates have become the poster fruit for healthy eating and not without reason -- they're beautiful, delicious and full of vitamins. Here are some fun pomegranate facts and creative ways to prep this luscious fruit.

In Season: Cucumbers

Ever wonder where “cool as a cucumber” came from? Perhaps from the fact that the inside temperature of a cucumber is always a few degrees cooler than its surroundings. Read up on more cool cucumber facts and ways to prepare them.

In Season: Kumquats

You've probably heard the name but have may have only tried this fruit a couple of times. Get to know these lesser-known members of the citrus family.

In Season: Corn

We could give you an earful of ideas for healthy ways to prepare fresh corn. Here are some classic dishes -- some fresh on the cob and others creamed.

In Season: Okra

Though a southern favorite, okra may be a bit more foreign to northerners like me. This little green veggie tastes great raw, stewed or even baked up nice and crispy.

In Season: Kale

Everyone is talking about kale chips! What makes this of-the-moment leafy green so healthy?

In Season: Mango

I’m excited to start cooking up my favorite dish—mango chicken! These bright and tangy fruit are popping up at a market near you. Read up on how to use them and the best way to slice them.

In Season: Grapefruit

With National Grapefruit Month upon us (yes, even fruit get a month of celebration), we thought what better time to introduce this refreshing tropical citrus, which is in season now.