The best part about living in Singapore is the abundance of fresh fruits and veggies, and some exotic ones too, readily available and mostly imported from the rest of the neighboring world . Persimmons are native to Asia specifically Japan and China, and seem to be “in season” here as the local wholesale fruits and veggie market had the non-astringent Fuyu persimmons on sale this past week. So of course I grabbed them, without a clue of what I was going to do with them:)
I’d had persimmons in the US mostly in salads and didn’t think they had a distinct flavor except for a slight tanginess to them. Which is probably what makes these versatile enough to add in salads, juices and smoothies, so they add to the texture but don’t necessarily mask any flavors. A quick look at my Pinterest board collections gave me this interesting smoothie recipe (probably the first time I’m really trying something from Pinterest – I usually just hoard my boards). I added all orange fruits and veggies to this – carrot, orange and persimmon with a dash of the usual smoothie ingredients and the result was this creamy, quite flavorful smoothie with enough Vit C to keep colds at bay this Singapore rainy season:)
I have also been trying extra hard to stay healthy with Nikhil’s snacks – and I cannot say this enough times – but Whole Foods and Sprouts and yeah, maybe Trader Joes (now that you are in Dallas too) – you seriously need to think about opening shop in SE Asia, yes Singapore specifically. With the number of American expats living here, you will give the local Marketplace and Supernature a run for their money. While fresh fruits and veggies are in abundance and relatively easy on the wallet, organic dry goods (grains, cereals) are frightfully expensive at local grocery stores. And so, I’ve been trying to make some things from scratch that previously I would buy from those huge bins of goodness at WF and Sprouts. I suppose that’s all for good reason if you really think about it.
This recipe was one I chanced upon from this interesting blog called Iowa Girl Eats and I adapted the recipe for the most part and changed some ingredients and measures a bit to call it the homemade “Kind” bar recipe. Kind bars have always been my most favorite bars not just for their taste but for what they stand for. (Do the Kind thing for your body, your taste buds and the World). This is a recipe for Almond-Cashew-Cranberry-Apricot bars all held together with a touch of coconut and honey. All I could say is YUM!
Persimmon Orange Creamsicle Smoothie
Ingredients: (for 3 6 oz. cups)
2 Persimmons – peeled and quartered
1 orange, peeled
1 1/2 tbsp non fat dry milk powder or almond milk
1 tsp vanilla essence
1/2 cup water or skim milk (or almond milk)
2 cups ice
1 – 1 1/2 tsp honey or agave syrup
Put all the ingredients in the order listed in a high speed blender ( I use Vitamix) and run the blender from slow to high speed for about 2-3 minutes. Enjoy cold.
Almond-Cashew-Cranberry-Apricot Bars Recipe
3/4 cup Almonds and Cashews mixed
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup chopped dried apricots
1/2 cup of rolled oats
2 tbsp coconut oil
4 tbsp honey or agave syrup or a mix of the two
1. Add the oats, 1/2 cup each of the almonds and cashews to a blender or food processor and pulse till you get a coarse powder.
2. Now take the remaining nuts and very coarsely chop them. Add this to the above mixture
3. Chop the dried cranberries and apricots as well and add to the above .
4. Take a mixture of the coconut oil and honey/agave in a small saucepan and heat it on a low flame. Keep stirring till the mixture starts to foam and get cooked.
5. Now pour the oil/honey over the oat-fruit and nut mixture. Mix well till the dry ingredients get well coated with the wet ingredients.
6. Line a 8×8 inch baking tray or a loaf pan (depending on how thick you want your bars) with a cling wrap or parchment paper sheet. Make sure the sheet hangs over the ends of the pan. Spread the mixture onto the bottom of the pan.
7. Wrap the sheet over the poured mixture and press the mixture with the bottom of a steel or glass container so it gets evenly flat.
8. Place the pan in the fridge for a few hours till the mixture hardens.
9. Cut into bars while its still in the pan, cover with parchment paper and store in airtight containers.
Notes – You can modify the coconut oil and honey quantities as needed for taste and consistency. I initially used a bit more than needed and the bars got quite sticky when I left them out of the fridge. I have modified the amount used in the ingredients above which resulted in just the right consistency for me but if you like your bars chewy, feel free to modify the measures slightly.