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Raw Coconut and Persimmon Parfait (and giving gluten a rest) – swell

Raw Coconut and Persimmon Parfait (and giving gluten a rest)

Persimmons
Raw Coconut and Persimmon Parfait

Well, after VeganMoFo, it feels like I dropped off the planet a bit.  For a week, anyway :)   This past week has been really stressful, and I’ve been having a hard time making food in general, much less blogging about it.  But things are on the upswing (I hope).

Early for me on a day off, I got up to meet my friend Courtney for a late-season trip to the farmer’s market.  It’s incredibly small now, mostly empty stalls with a few tables here and there.  Things are shifting into holiday mode already with pine bundles and fanciful branches and autumn bouquets.  Minnesota’s growing season, while bountiful, is certainly short.  However, I still managed to come away with a delicious haul of locally grown brussels sprouts, organic dinosaur kale, and a whole peck of Honeycrisp apples, the latter being only $10 for seconds (I still love the unloved, not-perfect-looking produce).  You better believe there’s gonna be some good eats happening with all of that!

While the majority of my produce from the farmer’s market is locally grown, there are times I can’t pass up a good deal at one of the produce reseller’s tables.  The Minneapolis Farmer’s Market is a little odd in that it allows non-local produce to be sold, although I’ve been told that they aren’t allowed to sell specific produce that would compete with the local growing season (during corn or tomato season, for example).  It’s also pretty obvious that pineapples or bananas just don’t grow up here naturally, nor do cardboard produce boxes bearing various corporate labels “fool” anyone with a bit of common sense, so it’s always obvious where the resellers are located.  Today there seemed to be an abundance of persimmons, and though I haven’t used this gorgeous fruit much, it seemed like a good time to try something out.

Hence was born this Raw Coconut and Persimmon Parfait (using a young coconut I got for free from work), which is both fresh and a little tropical enough for the sunny fall days we’ve had this weekend, and just rich enough to be comforting in that autumnal kind of way.  After a fairly exhaustive search of my cookbook collection, I found only two recipes that called for persimmons, and both were raw.  Neither one fit exactly with what I had on hand in the moment I wanted to create something, so I fused them together a bit, though it’s primarily based on the Star Lotus Persimmon Parfait from Vegan Fusion World Cuisine.  If you’re not interested in giving young coconuts a try, you can use non-dairy yogurt or a nut-based cream in place of the coconut cream.  If you are, and haven’t ever opened a young coconut before, check out this link which has some step-by-step instructions.

The persimmon layer is sweetened with some dates and flavored with cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg and lemon zest, while the coconut cream is as simple as you can get, although you might add some agave nectar if the natural sweetness isn’t enough for you.  I made everything in a food processor, but if you have a high-speed blender feel free to use it to make it perfectly smooth and creamy… though while eating it I was feeling way too into the flavors to notice my “cream” had a few smalls bits of coconut meat in it.

Because I don’t (yet?) own everything I could possibly desire for serving food, like parfait glasses, I used a martini glass.  There was plenty for one serving plus some leftover, but you might want to increase the persimmon layer amounts slightly if you’re hoping to serve two more amply.  Top it with anything you like!  The goji berries, cacao nibs, and shredded coconut I pulled out of my cupboards and freezer for a bit of color and crunch.

Raw Coconut and Persimmon Parfaits (serves 1-2)

1/2 lb. persimmons, quartered and peeled

1 tsp lemon zest

5 chopped dates, soaked in water if too dry

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp cardamom

pinch nutmeg

1-2 tablespoons raw almond butter

meat from one young coconut

1/4-1/2 c coconut water, to reach desired consistency

agave nectar, to taste (optional)

shredded coconut, fresh fruit, goji berries, chopped nuts and/or cacao nibs to garnish

Add persimmons, dates, lemon zest, and spices to food processor and process until broken down and fairly smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides as necessary.  Add the almond butter and process again until fully incorporated.  Place in a small bowl and set aside.

Rinse out food processor bowl and add coconut meat and coconut water, starting with 1/4 cup.  Process until smooth, adding additional coconut water to achieve desired consistency (you don’t want it too runny, or you won’t be able to layer your parfait).  Taste and add agave nectar if desired.

Layer into parfait, martini, or wine glasses, alternating the persimmon mixture with the coconut cream.  Chill in the fridge if desired, or sprinkle straight away with toppings and serve with a spoon.

One thing that’s going to be different around here is that I’m giving up gluten for a month.  I’m not going to get into all the details, but it is for health reasons, and I’ll be exploring different ways to satisfy both my sweet and savory tooths without wheat, spelt, kamut, barley, or rye.  I feel pretty excited about it actually!  I’m particularly excited to test out this recipe for a GF, tofu-free vegan pumpkin pie as part of my Friendsgiving spread.  And finding a good recipe for GF bread so I don’t have to spend $6 at the co-op on a frozen loaf that while delicious and wonderfully bread-like is pretty darn expensive.  Hooray gluten-free!

22 Responses to “Raw Coconut and Persimmon Parfait (and giving gluten a rest)”

  1. eliza says:

    must make this! looks so good, and i am in love with persimmons, and anything coconut! :) just started to eat persimmons once i tried one i was addicted they are so delicious!

    xx

    Eliza

  2. Tara says:

    What a pretty parfait! I just had a persimmon for the first time today, and now I’m eager to see what I can make with them. That pumpkin pie recipe looks great!!

  3. blessedmama says:

    Hi, Just found your site and love it. Your food looks delicious. Never had haggis (one of your posts below) and glad for that! Keep posting!

  4. Ricki says:

    The parfait looks great! And I love it in the martini glass :)

    Congrats on going GF! (I want to make that pie, too). Can’t wait to see what you whip up.

  5. Mo says:

    That parfait is so purty!!!

  6. Gena says:

    Read about this on Twitter yesterday and was intrigued; now I’m inspired! Looks incredible.

  7. Jes says:

    The parfait looks lovely! On the g-f front, I noticed you weren’t super happy with your pumpkin pie run. I’ll have my g-f, vegan recipe posted in the next couple of days if you want to try it out. My friends gave it rave reviews.

  8. Lauren says:

    That parfait looks amazing!! YUM! I try to be g-free, I feel so much better without it!! Thanks for the link to the pumpkin pie, like I said (on twitter) I am looking for a g-free one for Thanksgiving!

  9. Mihl says:

    What a wonderful way to use persimmons! Thank you for the awesome recipe.

  10. amanda says:

    Persimmon pudding is a big Indiana tradition around the holidays, and my aunt used to make the best. She gave me her recipe awhile back, which apparently had been in the fam for a long time. I’m going to attempt to veganize it and let you know how it goes. There may be a way to make it gf too. Experiments to come…

  11. T. says:

    Good luck with the gluten free thing! I’m really looking forward to your posts as I’ve been testing the vegan-gf combination myself recently…

  12. Mandee says:

    That looks gorgeous and hooray for gf cooking and baking, I look fwd to seeing what you make :)

  13. I’ve never had persimmon, but I’m really curious to sample what it tastes like. I have that Vegan Fusion book. I should give it a try. The coconut cream sounds especially delicious. Good luck with the gluten-free month!

  14. Courtney says:

    I love that you used a martini glass for your parfait–it look very fancy :-)

    Good luck with the gluten free! I am excited to hear about what you make :-)

    Courtney

  15. jessy says:

    we took a nice break after mofo as well. it will wear ya out! i’m sorry the past week has been so stressful, but i’m glad things are looking up! i haven’t been able to find fresh brussels at my farmer’s market & it’s making me a bit sad – they’re my favorite! dinosaur kale rocks socks – and so do honey crisps. mmmmmmm! our farmer’s market lets vendors sell non-local goodies – that’s pretty sweet that you grabbed some persimmons. your raw coconut & persimmon parfait looks awesome – i’ve gotta give it a go sometime & top mine with some nibs, too. nice! very cool on giving up gluten for a month. i did that when i was doing the cleanse from the crazy sexy life site & that’s how i found out gluten wasn’t for me (the IBS that i had been living with since i was little completely vanished). hooooooray for gluten-free, indeed!

  16. Melisser says:

    What a gorgeous parfait!

  17. JennShaggy says:

    Thank you so much :)

    Such beautiful photos. That parfait looks so drool worthy.

    I should give props to the midwest. I’m Ohio born and raised, and I know how hellish that lake effect snow can be :)

  18. Heather says:

    I really want to give persimmons a try, but they’re so expensive at the grocery store so I’ll have to check some of the Asian markets.

    I’m looking forward to read about your gluten-free adventures! I’m finding lately that my body just likes simple things, and while I still eat sprouted grain toast occasionally, I’ve lessened my gluten intake and think that it’s helped a lot of problems I may have been having. Good luck to you!

  19. Nicole says:

    Wow, your pictures are so beautiful!!

  20. liz says:

    I missed this parfait in the world fusion book! must… make…

    that’s weird about the nonlocal produce…although come to think of it the Jean Talon market does bananas and pineapples too… hmm I guess I’ll have to make vocally sure next time I go shopping there that the runner beans are from nearby :P

    ooooh and martini glasses are endlessly chic anyway.

  21. [...] bring my own twist by marrying persimmons with one of my true loves: coconut.  In fact, I made a highly tasty parfait around this time last year with this combination, but here I went with for mini tarts.  This [...]

  22. Gauri Radha गौरी राधा says:

    Looks fantastic.

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