Fall is all settled in, and markets are packed with fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables that you can enjoy. November brings amazing colors to the table. Red beets, Brussels sprouts and orange pumpkins; sweet grapes, plum pears, and juicy apples. Everything is at its peak, so healthy and full of flavor. Pomegranate, persimmons, and fresh cranberries are also in season, but they are only available for a short period of time.
Pomegranate is high in dietary fiber, folic acid, vitamin C, and vitamin K. The juicy arils of the fruit are eaten fresh, and the juice is the source of grenadine syrup, used in flavoring and liqueurs. You can use the arils in baked goods or toss them into salad.
There are two kinds of persimmon, fuyu and hachiya. Fuyu persimmons are short and squat, and are shaped much like tomatoes. You should use them when they’re still quite firm. Just cut out the crown, peel them or not, and cut into wedges to eat. Fuyu persimmons can be used in salads, added to breakfast cereal, or frozen to use in smoothies. You can bake with them too, as you would apples.
Hachiya persimmons are rounded, slightly elongated and acorn-shaped. They start out hard and firm, but will soften up and turn almost jelly-like in texture when fully ripe. Be sure to wait until they’re totally ripe and soft before consuming. Just cut it in half and eat it with a spoon. Frozen hachiya persimmons are exactly like sorbet but healthier, it has that creamy soft serve texture without all the calories.
Fresh cranberries season is very short, only from October through December. You can freeze fresh cranberries and keep them for one year, and they are as good as fresh ones. Fresh and dried cranberries are excellent in sauces, cakes, muffins, desserts, and stuffings. Cranberries are often included on holiday menus typically in the form of cranberry sauce. Cranberries are one of the top antioxidant foods, with more antioxidants than blueberries! So, eating them regularly can help you look and feel great as you age.