With a sweet, mild, rich, honey-like flavour and apricot-like texture, persimmons are fruits with skins slightly tougher than apples. They have anywhere from 0 to 10 seeds according to their variety. When having a persimmon, you might have wondered if those little seeds are indeed edible. Are they safe to consume?
So, let’s find out!
Yes, Persimmon seeds are indeed edible! Unlike plum and apple seeds, these seeds are non-toxic as they do not contain amygdalin. Amygdalin contains a poisonous compound – cyanide.
The seeds will break down into a toxic gas when mixed with enzymes of our digestive tract. But, persimmon seeds do not contain amygdalin; it does not contain cyanide, and hence is safe to ingest.
So, apart from the question of edibility, another question that arises is can we eat these seeds raw or they should be cooked. Just like all other fruit seeds, persimmon seeds contain tissue from their mother fruit and an embryo as a result of fertilization.
This process and combination are why the seeds of fruits are hard. In most cases, boiling or roasting breaks down the plant cell walls and tough fibre. Cooking the fruit seeds helps the nutrients become readily absorbed and available to our bodies for better absorption. In order to have the maximum flavour from the seeds, the process of preparing them from tree to plate is essential.
The most important thing is to select the finest ripe persimmons. Why so? The answer is simple, ripe fruit contains mature seeds. The mature seeds have all the vital nutrients and flavours which make them a perfect snack or addition to the meal.
The ripe persimmons have orange, red, or even dark brown colours depending on the variety. You need to know that persimmons generally take a long time to ripen. While some varieties of persimmons can be eaten while they are firm, it’s best to wait until they get soft, lush, and juicy.
So, here’s how you could prepare your persimmon seeds for eating
- Wash the seeds thoroughly after separating them from the fruit. Carefully remove any pulp or fruit residue that may be stuck on them.
- The seeds need to be exposed to high heat in order for them to break down. So, you can boil, bake or roast them to achieve the breakdown.
- Roasting is apparently the most popular mode of consuming persimmon seeds. To do so, place the seeds on parchment paper and add the oil of your choice. Now, roast them in your oven for about 30 minutes at 300 F. Flip them every 10 minutes. Now, let them cool down and enjoy right away or store them in an airtight glass jar.
- For boiling, place the persimmons in a pot of water and boil it for 5 minutes or so. Now squeeze the seeds out of the now firm boiled persimmon. Boiling both firms the persimmon pulp and allows the seed to slip out easily.
In order to have direct access to these delectable fruits, it is important to know how to grow persimmon seeds. With Diospyros kaki as the botanical name, persimmons only produce autumn fruit. But, don’t be fooled as these trees are busy preparing all year long.
Their leaves have deep red and green tones adding to the classic coral colour of the persimmons. The majority of the persimmon fruits are cultivated for specific traits and must retain their valuable properties. In order to accomplish this, persimmons are usually grafted.
The seeds must be moist and cold to begin the growing process as it imitates the chilling process in nature thereby promoting germination. Wrap these moist seeds in a bag or jar and store them in the refrigerator for up to three months. The key is to ensure the seeds have proper moisture in order for them to germinate. While in the fridge, if they dry out just sprinkle some water to rehydrate them.
Persimmon seeds have a low germination rate. In the best scenario, the rate is between 25-35%. In order to combat this, germinate as many persimmon seeds as you can.
The persimmon seeds will grow long roots known as taproots. These roots as they spread out require a lot of space for proper growth. Hence, it is recommended to begin the growth in a tall container. This will allow the roots to develop completely without hindrance. Plant only one seed per pot along with the potting mixture.
Place the pot in a sunny and warm location. It is best to keep the top temperature above 70 F. The seedlings will sprout in 6-8 days.
As spring arrives, place the seedlings outdoors and continue to water regularly. After the first season of growing has completed, it’s time to plant the persimmon seedling into the ground. They adapt to the soil easily. Make sure enough space is available for their growth, at least 20 square meters in order for them to mature completely.
Persimmon trees are really low maintenance once planted outside and don’t even require any fertilizers. Just as most of the fruits, they require a time period (3-5 years) for growth before the production of fruits
The truth is, persimmon seeds are not only edible but delicious in flavour and easy to produce. Primarily, originating from China, persimmons have paved their way into fall favourite treat all over the world now. Interestingly, these fruits are classified under the berry family.
Generally, people know about Fuyu and Hachiya varieties of persimmons. Whereas today, there are 2000 varieties of persimmons known.
Fuyu persimmons can be eaten when firm as they are non-astringent. On the other hand, Hachiya persimmon must be fully ripe, soft, and lush before attempting to open it as they are highly astringent.
These amazing fruits and seeds can be found from September to December. Persimmon tree has multiple usages with edible seeds, fruits, and even leaves. Used for making easy healthy snacks to herbal tea to bread, jams, juices, and sweets, persimmons are indeed full of flavour, texture, and colour.