For hundreds of years, the common persimmon, or Diospyros virginiana L., has been used as a food source. Native Americans ate the ripe fruit right off the tree, or dried it, or made breads, jams, and jellies with it. They also made a beer-like drink from it, and roasted the seeds for flour. During the Civil War, persimmon seeds were dried, roasted, and ground into a coffee substitute, and the leaves were used for tea. During hard times, the persimmon has been used as a survival food.
Choose persimmons that are orange-red to dark brown in color. Run the fruit through a food mill to remove seeds.
Wash the persimmon seeds, and remove any pulp that may remain. Place them on paper towels to dry completely.
Roasting persimmon seeds is similar to roasting pumpkin seeds. Place the seeds on a cookie sheet, and mix with oil or butter and your choice of seasonings. Roast the seeds for 30 minutes at 300 degrees Fahrenheit, stirring them every 10 minutes.
Remove the seeds from the oven, and let them cool. You can eat them right away, or place them in a glass jar for storage.
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