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I usually throw away seeds in melons (and other fruits) and I paradoxically buy different seeds from the store. Are seeds in such things good to eat and where can I use them? Because they are not dry, how can I store for future dishes? Do they have the same nutritional profile as other seeds for sale?

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

There are a few seeds which are good to eat. These generally get sold in the supermarket (pumpkin seeds, apricot kernels). If you buy the fruit containing them, you can keep the seeds.

If you want to store them, you should dry them first. Spread the cleaned seeds in a single layer on paper and put it in a warm dry place (not in direct sunlight), and wait a few days. You should deshell them right before consuming, that way they keep longer. If you want to eat them right away, don't dry them. They taste better when fresh. Some should be roasted in the shell before eaten (pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds).

There is little sense in eating seeds not commonly sold in supermarkets, like melon seeds or apple pips. They don't have any nutritional value for humans, or taste bad (e.g. very bitter), or both. It is even dangerous to experiment too much. For example, peach kernels contain poisonous cyanide compounds. So stick to what is commonly eaten, there is a reason the other seeds aren't used.

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+1 I have never thought of such difference between apricot and peach! I doubt whether I could even differentiate them, I just buy them if they are cheap enough. It is very hard for me to say difference between peach here and apricot here. Apricot sometimes is a bit more yellow and smaller (but this is poor difference as the pictures reveal). Why pumpkin and apricot seeds are eatable? Is it possible to notice it by tasting? Can you say eatable seed from colour or some other char.? –  user2954 Jul 27 '11 at 8:18
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There's not such a great difference between apricot and peach kernels, both contain cyanide. But then so do all of these: cherries, plums, almonds, peaches, apricots, crabapples, apples, mangos, and bitter almonds. If eaten raw, and the seeds chewed, and eaten in large quantities, then there may be some risk from these seeds. However, most people roast the seeds before eating. This cooking process effectively removes and danger of poisoning. –  Rincewind42 Jul 27 '11 at 13:30
    
@Rincewind42, I have read somewhere that the concentration in peach kernels is much higher than in apricot kernels and other seeds. It doesn't mean that somebody will keel over just because they ate 2-3 kernels (or 20-30), but still, I was advised against eating them. But I don't remember where I read that, or what the actual concentration of cyanide in different kernels is. –  rumtscho Jul 27 '11 at 18:39
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@hhh There is a huge difference in taste between apricots and peaches, and as you say, the color and size is different. But I guess there is no reason to make the difference if you don't need it for anything. As for which seeds are OK to eat, take a look at what seeds are being sold. If nobody sells a seed, there is nobody willing to eat it. If nobody wants to eat it, there must be a reason for it. But if a seed is available to be bought (like apricot kernels), then it is OK to save it from the fruit you buy. –  rumtscho Jul 27 '11 at 18:43
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In Northern India, we eat Musk Melon and Water Melon seeds. In fact they are used like nuts. We make sweet dish too.
The de-kernelling process is done by hand at home, which is quite lengthy.

We deseed melon. Put the seeds to dry for approximatively 2 days; with fingers or tweezers, break the kernel and get the yummy seed. Of course, it can be stored for months, if dried properly, and for years, if kept in freezer.

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There's no harm in eating the fruits of a melon, or fruit. It just passes through your system completely.

You probably can't store them for future usage, as only ripe seeds are eaten, and most seeds from a melon don't ripen until the melon rots.

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I think the question is about intentionally eating seeds and chewing them up so they don't just pass through. –  Sobachatina Mar 29 '12 at 14:51
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My wife's family is from Peru and they tend to eat the seeds of things that I would typically avoid. Look at fruits like grenadillas or tunas (more commonly known here as the prickly pear) and the granada (pomegranate). I had a friend who used to eat the entire apple and, while the seeds are considered poisonous it would take a large amount to affect you. All of this said, I don't like the texture of the seeds so use your judgement and do a bit of research. You may find that the seeds add an interesting element to your foods.

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pomegranate is normally eaten in Europe too –  nico Mar 29 '12 at 13:17
    
I live in the Southwestern US and prickly pear is eaten here. Usually the seeds are strained out though. –  sourd'oh Sep 5 '13 at 17:01
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The accepted answer says that seeds not commonly sold in stores have no nutrition, are bitter, or are poisonous. This is incorrect.

Watermelon, cantaloupe, apple, peach, apricot, and so forth seeds are packed full of nutrients; even more than most commercially sold seeds.

Watermelon seeds are one of my top favorites, and are loaded with vital compounds, one being zinc. They are crunchy, and taste nutty. They are delicious!

Cantaloupe seeds have been eaten by other cultures for years, and studies show they are full of good stuff too.

Also, apricot seeds which are bitter, are said to be poisonous because they contain hydrogen cyanide. Although this is true, it is such a small dose that it takes 70 apricot kernels to be lethal [editors note: probably mean lethal dose in full sized adults].

Many cultures, like turkey adore apricot seeds; they simply don't eat too many. Studies also show that the small amount of cyanide is beneficial to our immune systems.

Do you know that apple, cherry, peach, apricot, almond or anything else in this family produces cyanide? Guess what cyanide tastes like? Almonds! That's right, our beloved almonds contain cyanide too!

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According to this site about 0.68mg per lb body weight constitutes a lethal dose of cyanide. If each (raw) bitter almond contains 4-9mg of hydrogen cyanide, then it only takes 13-30 kernels to kill an adult of my size (~180lb). It would only take 3-7 kernels to kill your average 5 year old (~40lb). –  Chris Steinbach Sep 6 '13 at 20:20
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