One of the most commonly asked questions when discussing persimmon seeds is their edibility. Are they really edible? Are they safe to consume? The final answer? Read on to find out !
Are persimmon seeds edible?
Yes! Persimmon seeds are indeed edible. Persimmon seeds are non-toxic, unlike plum and apple seeds which contain amygdalin. Amygdalin contains cyanide, a poisonous compound.
When mixed with enzymes in our digestive tract, seeds with amygdalin will break down into the toxic gas. However, persimmon seeds do not contain cyanide and are therefore safe to ingest.
Can persimmon seeds be eaten raw?
Apart from the obvious question of edibility, should these seeds be eaten raw or cooked? Like all other fruit seeds, persimmon seeds contain tissue from their mother fruit and an embryo as a direct result of fertilization. This combination is responsible for the hard seeds we find in fruit.
In most cases, boiling or roasting is needed to break down plant cell walls and tough fiber. The process of cooking fruit seeds help the nutrients become readily absorbed and available to our bodies. The process of preparing these seeds from tree to plate is essential for maximum flavor.
Read also: What Does Persimmon Taste Like?
How to prepare persimmon seeds for eating
First and foremost, selecting the finest persimmons you can find is of utmost importance. Why you may ask? The answer is simple. Ripe fruit contains mature seeds. When seeds are mature, they contain all the vital nutrients and flavors to make them the perfect snack or addition to any meal.
The ripest persimmons are deep orange/ red in color. Some persimmons may even be a dark brown color, depending upon the variety. It is important to bear in mind persimmons generally take a long time to ripen. Some persimmon varieties can be eaten while firm, however it is best to wait until the fruit is soft, lush and juicy.
Once you separate the fruit from the seeds, the next step is to wash and remove any reside. Carefully remove any pulp that may be stuck to the seeds.
Whether you prefer boiling, baking or another cooking method, the seeds need to be exposed to high heat to break down. The most popular method for consuming persimmon seeds is roasting.
For this method, place the seeds on a parchment paper sheet and add your oil of choice. The seeds should be roasted for approximately 30 minutes at a temperature of 300 F.
Be sure to check on them and flip every 10 minutes. Once you remove the persimmon seeds from the oven, let them cool and enjoy right away or store in an airtight glass jar.
Read also: Can Persimmon Be Frozen?
How do you grow persimmon seeds?
Knowing how to grow persimmon seeds is important so you have direct access to these delectable fruits without purchasing at a store. Persimmon trees, also known by their botanical name, Diospyros spp., only produce autumn fruit. However, don’t be fooled as these trees are busy prepping all year long.
Their leaves contain a mixture of deep red and green tones, adding the perfect compliment to the classic coral-colored persimmon. The majority of persimmon trees are cultivated for specific traits and must retain their valuable qualities. To accomplish this, persimmons are usually grafted.
To begin growing, the seeds should be moist and cold. This imitates the natural chilling process that occurs outdoors and prompts germination. Wrap the moist persimmon seeds in a bag/ jar and store in the refrigerator for up to three months. The key to ensuring germination is moisture.
If they dry out while in the fridge, spritz them with water to rehydrate. Persimmon seeds have a low rate of germination. In the best case scenario, the rate is between 25% and 35%. To combat this, germinate as many persimmon seeds as possible.
The persimmon seeds will begin to grow a long root, also known as a taproot. Taproots need a lot of space to spread out and grow properly. It is best to begin growth in a tall container, allowing the root to fully develop. Only one seed per pot should be planted along with potting mixture.
To ensure lively plants, place pots in a sunny and warm location. It is best to keep pot temperature above 70 F. You will begin to see seedlings within 6 to 8 weeks.
As spring rolls around, place the seedlings outdoors and continue to water regularly. After the first season of growing has passed, it is time to plant the persimmon tree in ground soil. They easily adapt to soil. Allowing for enough space is vital as the tree needs at least 20 square feet to mature.
Not only do persimmon trees not require fertilizer, they are also low maintenance once planted outdoors. As with most fruits, they need to develop for a period of time before fruit production. In the case of persimmons, three to five years is needed.
Summarizing the seeds
All in all, persimmon seeds are not only edible but delicious and easy to produce on your own. While most people know of fuyu and hachiya, there are 2,000 varieties of persimmons known today. Fuyu persimmons can be eaten when firm, as they are non-astringent.
On the other hand, hachiya persimmons must be fully soft and lush before attempting to open due to their high astringency. These amazing fruits and seeds can be found from September to December. With edible seeds, fruit and leaves, this plant serves a multitude of purposes. From an easy snack to herbal tea, the persimmon tree is packed with flavor, color and life.
Originating in China, persimmons have become a fall-favored treat all over the world. Interestingly enough, persimmons are classified in the berry family. While they made their mark in California during the 19th century, they have risen in popularity over the past decade, being featured in breads, jams, juices, sweets and other packaged goods.
Now that you understand their origin and uses, the edible and non-toxic persimmon seed is the perfect addition to your autumn spread.