Persimmon Green Smoothie {Creamy to the Max} | Things to Think About When Buying Bananas (and Everything Else)

persimmon green smoothie (1)

Hi, all! Just a short post today, as the start of the second half of the fall semester has brought with it an increased workload.

Have bananas brainwashed you to believe that only they can yield a richly creamy smoothie? Live under the banana hegemony no longer, folks, for a vastly under-appreciated winter fruit has arrived to dismantle the banana’s power hold: the persimmon. Numerous species of persimmon exist– native to China, southeast Europe, the eastern United States, Mexico, the Philippines, and beyond – but the two most commonly found in U.S. grocery stores include the fuyu (flat, doughnut-shaped) and the hachiya (taller, heart-shaped). For optimal taste and texture, I like to eat my persimmons when they’ve achieved the feel of a ripe avocado; at this stage, persimmons will also produce the silkiest smoothie, one that can easily rival any banana-based concoction. (For more on persimmons, be sure to listen to the upcoming episode of the Our Hen House podcast this Saturday, November 8, on which I’ll give a review of four of my favorite winter produce items for which to keep an eye out!)

Good thing, too, that banana alternatives exist, considering the harsh implications of contemporary industrial banana production on child workers, global trade, women farmers, and the environment (not to mention the racist and colonialist stereotypes long employed to market bananas in the U.S.). For a wealth of information on such implications, I’d like to highlight and direct you all toward the latest addition to the Food Empowerment Project‘s “Food Choices” resource page:Peeling Back the Truth on Bananas.”

Of course, in encouraging folks to purchase responsibly sourced bananas, I in no way mean to shame anyone for their food choices (especially those in difficult financial situations who recognize bananas as a cheap source of ample nutrients and may not be able to find or afford the types of bananas recommended by the FEP), nor to suggest that we can ever hope to eat in a completely ethically sound manner (we are all enmeshed in complicated power relations, after all). I do, however, hope that considering one’s food choices will serve as either a catalyst or complement to first thinking about then acting to transform the multiple structures of oppression that we all help to perpetuate in one way or another, simply by virtue of our socialization in a white supremacist, heteropatriarchal, capitalist society.

If bananas from Equal Exchange, Earth University, or Grow Bananas (those recommended by the FEP) are accessible to you, by all means use them in this smoothie for a double dose of creaminess. If not, substitute additional persimmons and reduce the amount of non-dairy milk to 1/2 cup.

Persimmon Green Smoothie

Serves 1.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup diced ripe persimmon (hachiya and fuyu are both fine)
1/2 cup frozen banana slices
1/2 cup frozen strawberries
2 large leaves kale, chopped
1 cup non-dairy milk
Ground cinnamon to garnish (optional)

Combine all ingredients – in the order specified – in a high-speed blender. Puree until very smooth, stirring the mixture as necessary. Sprinkle with cinnamon, if desired.

Recipe submitted to Virtual Vegan Linky Potluck.

In solidarity, Ali.

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5 thoughts on “Persimmon Green Smoothie {Creamy to the Max} | Things to Think About When Buying Bananas (and Everything Else)

  1. raechel says:

    I almost bought a persimmon yesterday, I’ll make sure to do so next time! Thanks, as always, for illuminating readers about working conditions. My senior year of college, I spent some time in Guatemala learning from the union women at the DelMonte banana plantation. DelMonte is union, yes, but the company does not make many concessions to the union and the workers still struggle to get fair treatment and wages. They told us an interesting and frustrating reality that the company would plant workers in the assembly lines to try to speed up the production time (how fast they got bananas in boxes), so that when the union said “We need expectations for packing time to be X,” the company could say, “Well, we see that these lines have been getting done faster, so no.” Really effed up stuff.

    Good luck on the rest of the semester! Professors feel the crunch time too!

    • Ali Seiter says:

      Mmm, thank you for sharing your experiences, Raechel. Man, bananas are ridiculous (in terms of genetics and workers!). Thank you, too, for your well-wishes, and happy end of the semester! 🙂

  2. Ellie says:

    In addition to bananas, avocados have a very controversial growing practice that I try not to think about when I eat guacamole at local restaurants. I give myself the permission to be human and recognize I cannot be perfect and enjoy life at the same time. The smoothie looks delicious! I have been adding maca powder to my smoothies which give them the texture of a malted milkshake. I’ve never had a persimmon so I’ll have to give them a try.

    • Ali Seiter says:

      According to my friend who has done research on both bananas and avocados, the latter are (can be) much less insidious than bananas (though not always). Thanks for reading, ellie!

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