A fruit seed is a plant embryo surrounded by a tough exterior coating. It develops after an ovule is fertilized with pollen. Learning how to eat fruit seeds can enable you to benefit from desirable nutrients, such as the polyphenol antioxidant. It can also protect you from swallowing seeds that have the potential of harming you because of the chemical compounds, which digestion can create.
Selecting Fruit Seeds
Learn about harmful fruit seeds. Seeds from apples, peaches, plums and apricots may be toxic when digested. They contain a mix of ingredients that can form poisonous compounds within the human digestive tract. Others contain outright poisons. For example, the seeds of apples contain cyanide but it is in such small amounts that ingestion of a few seeds will not harm you.
Distinguish harmless seeds. Grape seeds from dark varieties are healthy and beneficial for cancer patients. Other edible seeds include those from passion fruits, the prickly pear cactus and papayas.
Purchase fruits that are in season. In Hawaii, passion fruits ripen between June and January, with the best months being July, August, October and November. You find the fruits from the prickly pear cactus most likely year-round in your grocery store, although they are most plentiful between early spring all the way through the latter part of fall. Papayas from Florida ripen during spring.
Choose a passion fruit that features a creased exterior. Cut it open with a sharp knife and scoop out the pulp and seeds with a spoon. Place the seed and pulp mix into a fine strainer and add just a bit of water to liquefy the matter. Gently press down on the pulp and extract the leftover seeds. Enjoy the seeds by mixing them into a low-fat yogurt, adding them to a salad, or incorporating them into a sauce.
Select ripe prickly pears and remove the spines. If you get your fruits from the store---as opposed to harvesting them yourself---you might find that food workers already removed the majority of spines. In the past, Native Americans would dry and grind the seeds to make flour. You can choose to simply eat them alongside the fruit flesh or incorporate them into the dishes you make with the flesh. In this manner, you can even incorporate the seeds into homemade ice cream.
Cut the papaya lengthwise with a sharp knife. Scrape the black seeds into a bowl with your spoon. Pick out any fruit flesh from the seeds. The seeds have a slightly sharp flavor, which makes them excellent additions to savory sauces and dishes.
About this Author
Based in the Los Angeles area, Sylvia Cochran is a seasoned freelance writer focusing on home and garden, travel and parenting articles. Her work has appeared in "Families Online Magazine" and assorted print and Internet publications.