Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Another use for fruit seeds and pits

I just signed up for a Facebook page called The Raw Alchemic Kitchen.

This posting was there and I thought I would share it with you as it is another frugal use of something most of us usually throw away.

Most of us discard the seeds, stones, and pits of our fruits and veggies. Some of us grew up terrified that one might sprout in our bellies if accidentally swallowed. We've heard that eating some of them could kill us. Others have been touted as nutritious. With all the old wive's tales, myths, anecdotes, and homeopathic remedies floating around out there, it's hard to know what we should believe. 

Below you'll find the research that we've conducted. Please keep in mind that we are not doctors, and we make no claim that any of the remedies below will prevent, treat, or cure any disease. Much of this research is condensed from ethnic lore from the areas in which the fruits originate. Please consume pits with due caution and use sound judgement.
Date Pits
According to the USDA, date pits contain at least 5 percent protein and at least nine percent fat. Date fruit and seeds have been shown to help prevent liver toxicity in laboratory rats. They are also able to absorb heavy metals. Date pits have also demonstrated anti-viral effects and powdered date seed may help cure the common cold.
Date-Stone Honey
To treat a cold, grind up date seeds and mix with honey.
Date-Stone Coffee
Roast your cleaned, dried date seeds between 140-200 degrees Fahrenheit for about an hour and bring to room temperature. Grind them as you would regular coffee and brew them as usual.
Avocado Pits
Ground avocado pits are an excellent source of soluble fiber (even better than oatmeal!). They should only be ground in a high-powered blender with plenty of liquid. Mix them with fresh fruit to mask the somewhat bitter taste, or add them to smoothies. Here's one to try:
Chococado Smoothie
Whole Avocado (with pit), skin removed
2 Bananas
1/2 cup raw Almonds, Cashews, or Macadamia Nuts
1/4 cup Cacao Powder
1/4 cup Agave Nectar or Honey
Almond milk
(For an extra kick add some Maca, Hemp Seeds, Bee Pollen and/or Coconut Oil)
Plum, Peach, Apricot, and Nectarine Stones
Edible in moderation
With a distinct almond flavor (they are, in fact, related to almonds), stone fruit seeds are considered a treat by many. Amaretto liqueur is actually flavored by these stones fruit kernels, rather than by almonds, as is widely believed. Some widely-disputed claims of the cancer-curing properties of stone fruit kernels have been made.

Dry the stone thoroughly. Split the stone open to remove the almond-shaped kernel.
Melon and Squash Seeds
Generally edible
Pumpkin, watermelon, cantaloupe and honey dew are among the most frequently enjoyed gourd seeds, but virtually all of the seeds from this family can be consumed either with or without their hulls. You may find some varieties too difficult to consume due to hull thickness. They are protein and nutrient-rich. You can blend and strain them to make milks, or season and dehydrate them for a savory snack.
Mango Seeds
The mango seed kernel contains edible fat, which is a white solid similar to cacao butter. Mango seed fat can be extracted and used in chocolates in lieu of cacao butter. The kernels ca be consumed by soaking them in water to remove the tannins, then drying them.
Papaya Seeds
Papaya seeds impart a slightly bitter peppery flavor to dishes. They're known for their ability to rid a person of parasites, but they can also be used topically to neutralize the venom from a wasp or bee sting. For an easy, versatile papaya seed dressing recipe, look at some of our earlier notes!

Don't feel like throwing that avocado pit into your next blender drink? Use it on your face instead! Simply leave an avocado pit out to dry for a few days, then place it in a plastic bag (what a great way to re=use one that your bulk flax seed came in!) and smash it to bits with a hammer. Your goal is to make it a fine powder. Then mix it with 1/2 of a ripe banana and a tablespoon of olive oil.

To use your exfoliating avocado scrub, gently smooth it over your skin, then rinse with warm water. Use a cold water rinse to close your pores before patting your face dry with a clean towel.

"To forget how to dig the earth and to tend the soil is to forget ourselves." Gandhi


Tony said...

Great ideas, I must try some of those. Definitely original.

Kathryn said...

Do you mean celsius for that date stone coffee? I am trying to do that, but the date stones are so hard still, there is no way they would grind.

Alex said...

I blended my roasted date pits. The coffee grinder almost broke! Maybe a higher temp next time, still fun and tasty.

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frosti8 said...

I found out that you need to bake the date seeds longer time and around 160 Celsius

Sasho said...

In Bulgaria, we sometimes took all the stones out of cornelian cherry dogwood fruit when making compote or rakia (brandy) (cornus mas - "drenki" "dryan" in Bulgaria.) We would then put them in a skillet with a little almond or grape oil and stir with a wooden spoon continualy for about 30- 45
minutes to get a medium roast. We would then cover them with a cloth
overnight to "rest" and grind them very fine for Turkish coffee or less fine for regular coffee. VERY GOOD !

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Anonymous said...

A way of getting rid of the bitter taste......take the pit, wrap it in a clean cloth, and put it in a woodwork vice, (the type with large flat faces)and crush. You will then be able to easily pick out the brown skin and use the fleshy middle bit. We use a Kenwood blender, the type that sits on top of a mixer, but the crushing means it blends easily for anything you happen to have around.

Anonymous said...

Further reseasrch is req'd concerning possible toxic components of seeds,pits,nuts.Many of these are coated with a protective chemical to ward off predators in order for the seed to germinate,etc.Presoaking is important.Laetrile from apricot seeds is only one component while cyanide is another also contained in cassava roots,etc.Cyanide is toxic,therefore amount consumed is important.Please research the chemical analysis of items prior to ingestion.This is a general precaution when consuming items not 'normally' found in the daily diet.

Anonymous said...

I did a web search because I purchased some date sugar from a farm that they ground themselves and I could tell that they left date pits in it because one was still whole, and I began to examine the "sugar crystals" and noticed the obvious date seed color ground into a fine powder along with the dates. I was a bit worried about possible toxicity so I found this page and was relieved to see that the date pit powder can be highly beneficial!! Thank you for posting this info.

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