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: Pears

Perk up your salads, appetizers or just a simple cheese-and-cracker plate. You can do a lot more with pears than snacking (but that’s still a good way to eat ‘em).

In Season: Apples

Low in calories and high in fiber, apples are the perfect snack or works wonders for dressing up a cooked dish. Check out our favorite healthy recipes and the apple varieties to try.

In Season: Scallions

They just appeared in my CSA box and I’ve started adding them to just about everything that comes out of my kitchen. Find out all there is to know about the earliest arriving root veggie of the year.

In Season: Peaches

Peach season has finally arrived! My 5-year old daughter has been waiting for me to bring home fresh ones ever since summer began. Read up on the different types and try some of our deliciously peachy recipes.

In Season: Onions

We take onions for granted because you can find them in the supermarket year-round. Freshly picked, however, they're quite a flavorful treat. From shallots to Vidalias, there’s a variety for just about every savory dish you want to cook up. Plus, tips on stopping the tears.

In Season: Ramps

Ramps are a true farmers' market treasure. A member of the garlic and onion family, they're only available for a short time in the spring.

In Season: Watermelon

Full of cancer-battling lycopene and low in calories, watermelon is a classic summer fruit that works well alone, paired with cheese or mixed into a drink.

In Season: Cantaloupe

One cup of diced cantaloupe has 60 calories, 2 grams of fiber and 1 gram of protein. This seasonal, juicy melon is full of beta-carotene too.

In Season: Pineapple

This delightful fruit brightens up savory and sweet dishes—especially during the dreary winter season. Read up on the many benefits of this tropical treasure.

In Season: Plums

Finally…plum season has arrived! This juicy stone fruit is only in season a short period of time. Be sure to enjoy it while it lasts!