Persimmons Overnight Oats

Despite the fact that I grew up in the city, nature has always had a profound influence on me. My aunt and uncle often took me to beautiful forests and nature parks when I was a little girl. I feel at home in the woods, I enjoy the sound of the leaves, the songs of the birds, the scents of the greenery and the connection with the Earth.

Now that I am older and have a better understanding of "rewilding" and how our connection with the earth can affect us, my love for nature only becomes stronger. I love knowing and being able to identify what grows around me. Cooking with and eating wild foods that I foraged on my own gives me such a proud and powerful feeling!

Last week on our evening walk I discovered a tree full with orange coloured fruits. They looked like persimmons, but smaller. Because they looked so different in size to the ones I normally buy in the store I took a couple pictures and researched them at home before biting into them.

I found out that the most common and widely cultivated species is the Asian persimmon, Diospyros kaki. These are the big persimmons you find in the super markets. The persimmons fruit that I found is the American persimmon, Diospyros virginians, native to the eastern United States and grows wild from Florida to the Northeast U.S. The tree grows a small fruit with an excellent, nutty sweet flavour, is higher in nutrients like vitamin C, calcium, iron and potassium than the Japanese Persimmon.

The name Diospyros means "Fruit of the Gods" and I think that name fits the fruit perfectly !

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So when we knew these fruits were edible we went back and Rolf picked the ripe ones. Be sure to only pick the ripe ones as the unripe fruit is extremely astringent (I tried!). Folklore states that persimmons don’t ripen till after a hard frost but this is not necessarily so, fully ripened fruits lightly shaken from the tree or found on the ground below the tree (if the animals didn't beat you to it) are sweet, juicy and delicious. You can eat the persimmons raw, cooked or dried. You can also use the persimmon seeds. Wash the remaining pulp off and roast them in a medium oven until they are very dark brown. Grind them in a blender and you have persimmon seed coffee. Prepare it as you would prepare your regular coffee. It has a rich coffee-like flavour but no caffeine!

I decided to make persimmon pulp and used that in my overnight oats.

Wild Persimmon Overnight Oats

Remove the seeds from the pulp by running the fruits through a colander. The pulp can be stored under refrigeration for a week or two.

Ingredients: 
1 cup of oats (steel cut or rolled)
1 cup of nut milk
1/2 cup of persimmon puree
1/2 cup of pumpkin puree
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 tbsp hemp seeds
1 hand full of your favourite nuts & seeds
a few drops of stevia, honey or maple syrup and of course some delicious autumn spices like cinnamon, cloves, or nutmeg!

Add all of the ingredients to a bowl or a masonjar. Stir well to combine. Cover and place in the fridge overnight. In the morning, give it a god stir (add a bit more milk if the consistency is to thick for you) and enjoy it cold, or heat it up quickly if you prefer it warm on these colder days of the year! I like to add a extra pinch of ground cinnamon to it.  This will keep in the fridge for 2-3 days.