There used to be a persimmon tree in my backyard growing up. It’s long gone now because of the mess and rotting smell that the persimmons produced every Fall. I never did get around to figuring out if I liked them or not, maybe I was turned off by the sight of them decomposing all over the backyard or having to scrape them off the bottom of my shoes. But Fall is among us and persimmons of all shapes and sizes are making their way to the farmers markets and the produce department at Whole Foods Market.
I met a lady a couple weeks ago who was buying 5lbs. of persimmons and I made a comment about never having tried the golden squash-looking fruit and she could not believe it. She then encouraged me to try them, she used words like rich, sweet, and with “a deep honey flavor” to describe their taste. So I bought four (persimmons, not pounds). Apparently the taller and more round ones have a stronger taste but I bought the Fuyu variety which are flatter and more squashed looking. This variety has a very light flavor, but still has that honey taste and crisp texture. I thought they would make a great main ingredient for an Autumn themed smoothie. Or as I called it after practically inhaling the thing, an Autummmmmm smoothie, because this smoothie was so yummmmmy.
Trying new foods is a tricky game. How will my blood glucose levels react? Can the speed of the insulin compete with the sugar in it? How much sugar is even in this dang thing?! The internet is a great resource of course. But with produce, the nutrition labels are always estimates. I grew up learning the amount of sugar in a small apple, medium apple, etc. but what size qualifies as a small apple?! There’s no way I’m going to start carrying a piece of string and a ruler to measure the diameter of every fruit I eat in addition to my insulin pump and blood glucose monitor.
After some googling, the average amount of carbs in a Fuyu persimmon is about 30 grams with 6 grams of fiber, making the total net carbs 24 grams. This is kind of a lot when two are added to the smoothie. It also lacks any fat and protein, making it so your body will use it faster. This was exactly what I needed after a four hour class and before a workout. Persimmons are also high in potassium (270 mg) and vitamin A and vitamin C. When making the smoothie and trying the persimmon, it really wasn't as rich in sweetness as something like a mango so I underestimated my carbohydrate intake. But hey! That's part of the living and learning, for T1D's of course.
I get funny looks from people when I tell them I add frozen cauliflower to my smoothies, each and every one of them. Frozen vegetables and fruits are excellent for smoothies because when the produce is picked, it's at the peak of it's ripeness and immediately frozen. In this way, the vitamins and minerals are in perfect condition. Cauliflower has been a staple in my smoothies for awhile now because of the creamy texture it adds as well as accounting for a quarter of my daily vegetable recommendation.
2 Fuyu persimmons
¼ cup cashews
¼ cup almond milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
¼ cup frozen cauliflower
Dash of cinnamon
Optional: Pumpkin seeds (high in iron)
Optional: Almond butter (good source of fiber and fats)