Fruits that have pits are an excellent source of antioxidants and fiber. Some fruits that have pits include apples, avocados, peaches, persimmons and oranges – they’re not the only fruits with pits! There are some fruits that have pits you’d never expect. Some people think that anything round and edible should have a pit. The truth is, much can be learned about fruit morphology by understanding why some fruits have pits and others don’t. Let’s take this opportunity to explore the wonderful world of fruits that have pits!
10 Popular Fruits That Are Actually Pits Fruits
Stone fruits, also called drupes, are fruits that have a pit — hence the word ‘stone’ in their name — surrounded by a fleshy outer area. Stone fruits are usually low in calories, with an average of just 67 calories per cup of chopped fruit, and they contain less than one gram of fat. In addition, they are packed with essential vitamins and minerals including vitamin C, A, potassium, and calcium. They are also great for improving digestion and lowering cholesterol, with their high fiber content.
With all these health benefits, stone fruits are definitely a category that should be plentiful in your diet. Here are 15 stone fruits you should be munching on:
Peaches are known for their fuzzy skin and large pit. There are two kinds of peaches: clingstone and freestone. Clingstone peaches have a pit that clings to the flesh, while freestone peaches have a pit that easily falls away from the flesh. In addition, peaches come in yellow and white varieties.
One cup of chopped peaches contains 10 grams of vitamin C and 25 grams of vitamin A. The best way to enjoy peaches is to buy them fresh, so skip the canned peaches that contain loads of added sugar. The perfect peach is free of blemishes and bruises, and it doesn’t contain green hues. It should be firm but should have a little give when squeezed. Unlike other fruit, this one does not get sweeter as it gets softer, this is because sugar production ceases when they are harvested. Peaches are great by themselves, but they’re even better when added to oatmeal, cereal, pancakes or waffles. You can even grill them for grilling peaches brings out their flavor. Most commonly peaches are used in pies and cobblers.
This stone fruit is not only delicious, but it has numerous benefits. According to a study from Texas A&M, peach and plum extract is associated with a reduced rate of breast cancer cells. Talk about miracle fruit! Moreover, you can be pretty as a peach by eating them for peaches have the ability to increase the amount of collagen your body produces due to their high vitamin C content.
It’s perfectly fine to go plum crazy for plums. One plum has 10 grams of vitamin C and 17 gram of vitamin A and only has 46 calories. When choosing a plum, it should be heavy and its flesh should have some give. If bring home hard plums, you can ripen them by placing them in a brown paper bag. Also, like peaches, they don’t sweeten as they soften. You can slice plums up and toss them in a salad, make desserts out of them or even put them on a sandwich. The dishes you can do with plums are endless. A 2017 study published in Advances in Nutrition, the prebiotic properties in plums combined with the probiotics in yogurt demonstrates protective associations against diet-related diseases such as type 2 diabetes.
Nectarines are considered the cousin of peaches — both have white and yellow varieties and can be either clingstone or freestone. The main differences between these stone fruits are their physical appearance, texture, and scent. Nectarines have a smooth skin and are more aromatic than their peach counterparts. When purchasing nectarines, be sure that they are free of bruising or punctures. The fruit should be plump and its color should be vibrant. One nectarine is around 88 calories and is high in essential vitamins and fiber. Nectarines can be added to almost anything, from sweet smoothies to delectable desserts. If you want to take your baking expertise to the next level, try crafting a nectarine upside down cake or nectarine frangipane tart. Furthermore, nectarines are high in beta-carotene, which is an antioxidant that is beneficial to skin, teeth, and bone health.
Apricots can be identified by their soft, golden skin. One apricot is around 87 calories and is packed with vitamin C, A, and potassium. The perfect apricot is a bright orange-yellow color and is plump, firm, and should be slightly soft when squeezed. Be sure to avoid green or bruised apricots, or ones that are mushy. Ripe apricots can be enjoyed on their own as a delicious juicy snack or baked into pastries such as apricot crisps or a raspberry apricot cheesecake. Yum! Apricots also contain catechins, flavonoid phytonutrients that have anti-inflammatory benefits.
You might not have heard of this stone fruit before, but an aprium is a hybrid fruit that is about 3/4 apricot and 1/4 plum. Apriums taste a lot like apricots, but are not as juicy. Like many other stone fruits, they are very high in vitamins and minerals including vitamins C and A. Apriums are also high in fructose and complex sugars, making them sweeter than their apricot cousins. Their flavor is often described as intense and unique, with the apricot-like flavor taking center stage. If you want to get your hands on a sweet aprium, be sure that it is free of a green tint and broken skin. The best apriums will have a bright, plump, and firm look and texture. Once you find a nice ripe aprium, slice it up and toss it in a salad or blend it up into a smoothie.
Like apriums, pluots are a controlled cross-pollination hybrid between apricots and plums. But while apriums are 25 percent plum and 75 percent apricot, plouts are the opposite — 25 percent apricot and 75 percent plum. This makes them look, feel and taste much more like plums than their aprium cousins. There are many varieties of pluots, but each variety of this juicy stone fruit has a relatively short window of peak ripeness — only about three weeks. Like all stone fruit, they are harvested in the hotter summer months, therefore, you can only get your hands on pluots from July to September. If you are able to grab some, pluots taste delicious by themselves or you can bake them into a variety of dishes.
Everyone is familiar with these cute little stone fruits, which are a delicious summer staple. One serving of cherries has around 82 calories and have 64 UI of vitamin A and 7 grams of vitamin C. Cherries are also high in antioxidants and melatonin. Therefore, if you’re having a hard time getting some shuteye, just snack on a couple of cherries before bed. To ensure that you’re getting the best tart cherries, purchase them when they’re in their peak during the months of July and August. Cherries are commonly used in dessert dishes such as a classic cherry pie, but you can also toss them into a fruit salad and incorporate them in an endless variety of dishes.
Although they don’t have a large pit like the other fruits on this list, mangoes are still considered a stone fruit. Mangoes are high in fiber, folic acid, and vitamins A and C. When choosing a sweet and juicy mango, give it a sniff, for ripe mangos will smell sweet. Additionally, you can tell that a mango is ripe by its weight — ripe mangos are heavier than unripe ones. Once you find a nice mango, enjoy it by itself or add to a fruit salad or tropical smoothie.
9. Green Almonds
Many have never heard of this unique fruit. Green almonds are the non-processed version of the almonds you are familiar with. In other words, if this fruit were left on the tree to dry out, it would result in a regular almond. If you live in California, there’s a great chance that you will find them in your local grocery store, for they are grown in California almond orchards. They have a signature sweet and tangy taste and has an almond flavor (of course). Green almonds are high in protein, healthy fat, and fiber just like regular almonds, so they make for a deliciously nutritious snack. To add, they can be eaten on their own on or blended in a green juice.
Lychees have a very distinctive appearance — their exterior is bumpy and a beautiful sunset red color. Its fleshy and translucent flesh also sets lychees apart from other fruit on this list. They have a sweet and tart flavor that is best described as a cross between a watermelon and a pear, with a tropical twist. Given their flavor, they are often used in cocktails like lychee martinis and mojitos, and they are often enjoyed as a snack with cream cheese.
Are Stone Fruit Seeds Poisonous?
Homesteaders don’t like to waste a thing in the kitchen — including cherry pits, which some people cook into tasty glazes or syrups. But for many, there’s concern about safety: Don’t cherry pits contain cyanide? Or is cyanide in fruit pits just a myth?
The seeds (also known as stones, pits, or kernels) of stone fruits like apricots, cherries, plums, and peaches do contain a compound called amygdalin, which breaks down into hydrogen cyanide when ingested. And, yes, hydrogen cyanide is definitely a poison.
That said, if you’ve accidentally swallowed a few seeds, you can relax. “Truth is, poisoning from unintentional ingestion of a few pits or seeds is unlikely,” Poison Control states. “Still, ingestion should be avoided. Seeds and pits should never be crushed or placed in a blender for consumption.”
Not everyone abides by that policy though. According to The Food Safety Hazard Guidebook, hydrogen cyanide is not a heat-stable substance and does not survive cooking, which is why you may see some recipes that call for roasting stone fruit pits.
Even if you purposefully ate them raw, it would take a lot of pits to get you sick. The National Institute of Health’s database on toxic substances says a 150-pound human can safely consume 703 milligrams of hydrogen cyanide per day before beginning to suffer any ill effects. According to scientific analyses, raw apricot seeds contain an average of about 432 milligrams of hydrogen cyanide per ounce (about 48 seeds). Thirty raw peach seeds also comes to an ounce and contain around 204 milligrams of hydrogen cyanide. And 200 raw cherry seeds, also an ounce, contain a relatively low 117 milligrams of the substance.
So even if you forgot to roast cherry pits in a recipe and used a couple tablespoons, you’d still be well below what the National Institute of Health considers safe.
Fruit Seeds: When To Eat Them and When to Avoid Them
Seeds, stones, pips and pits. Whatever you call them, there’s only one question on every fruit fan’s mind. Can I eat this?
Part of what makes a fruit a fruit is that it serves as an important part of the reproductive system of the plant from which it grows. Botanically speaking, it’s kind of like an ovary. The fleshy and delicious part of the fruit is actually nature’s protective barrier for the plant’s seed.
Eat The Seeds!
When an animal like us picks a ripe peach, we make quick work of the juicy and nutritious part and discard the pit so that it can grow into a whole new peach tree. Similarly, when a bird scores a whole raspberry and eventually eliminates the seeds into a field, new raspberry plants have a better chance of flourishing.
Like the peach and the raspberry, each fruit seed is unique. Some fruit seeds are fully edible and add a crunchy texture to the eating experience. Just think of kiwis, pomegranates, blackberries, strawberries and dragon fruit!
Passion fruit seeds are exceptionally delectable. Other seeds are barely perceptible, like our herbaceous fruit friend, the banana. Papaya seeds are even enjoyed for their peppery, horseradish-like heat. Small, thin, pale yellow or white seeds found in fruits like guava, mangosteen and watermelon are typically edible and easily chewed.
Don’t Eat The Seeds!!
Other fruit seeds are not safe for humans or animals to eat because they contain chemicals known to be poisonous, which may lead to severe sickness, gastrointestinal issues or worse. Many stone fruit pits fall into this category, including peaches, cherries, plums and nectarines. Inside the pit of these and other fruits is a smaller seed that contains amygdalin, which converts into hydrogen cyanide (yes, that cyanide), in the digestive process.
Amygdalin and other naturally occurring chemicals are found in many fruit seeds, even apples and pears. The good news is that, in general, you don’t have to be overly concerned about swallowing a bad seed or two. And if a few renegade cherry pits make their way into your smoothie, don’t panic. It may leave a bitter taste and you’ll want to protect any sensitive dental work, but the levels of harmful substances are quite low in individual seeds. It would take a heck of a lot of pits or seeds to get you seriously ill, but it’s best to avoid them altogether.
Eat The Seeds … If You Cook Them!
On the flip side, many of these chemicals are known to disappear when cooked! That’s why some fruit seeds are enjoyed only after boiling or roasting them. Cherry pits, one of the seeds most commonly understood to be poisonous, can be roasted and turned into sweet jams and glazes. Durian seeds become soft and starchy when cooked, but are not edible when raw.
Throw Fruit Pits Away, Here Are Five Ways You Can Repurpose Them
Stone fruits are so-called because they have a pit/stone that acts as a protective shell for their seeds. The norm is to throw these pits away after eating; indeed, they are not meant to be directly ingested. But did you know that there are many clever ways to reuse them? You can make zest out of fruit pits to augment the flavor of your meals and even use them to make syrups! Read on for exciting ideas to try out; there’s even something for the kids!
There is a wide range of stone fruits; this includes peaches, nectarines, plums, lychees, mangoes, almonds, apricots, and cherries.
From what we have noticed, these fruits are some of the most delicious ever. It would indeed be a waste not to take advantage of their pits, which are suitable for seasoning food, making compost, and even adding special decorative touches around a home.
- Fortify your garden’s soil with nutrients using fruit pits
Enrich the soil in your garden or potted plants by adding compost fortified with nutrients. Fruit pits can help you do that. All that is required is that you mix in the pits while making the compost.
- Enhance the flavor of your meals with stone fruit pit vinegar
To prepare, place one cup of pits in a glass jar and pour in four cups of the vinegar. Cover the jar and give its content a vigorous shake.
Leave the jar to sit at room temperature in a darkened room for three weeks. This produces a zesty vinegar that can augment the taste of any dish you add it to – think salads and yummy sauces!
- Make tasty stone fruit syrup using plum pits.
This flavorful syrup can become the secret addition that will spice up any dessert, whether it is fruit-based or not. In a pan, mix 1 cup of your pits, 2 cups of sugar, and 2 cups of water.
Bring the mixture to a boil. Turn off the stove, let the mixture cool then transfer it into a bowl to chill overnight in the refrigerator.
- Use fruit pits to make decorative pieces and unique jewelry pieces with your children
There’s something very authentic about crafts made using fruit pits. You can string different fruit pits to create jewelry pieces, gluing them onto tote bags to beautify them, and even create unique pieces that will add a hobo charm to your home.
- Make a delicious barbecue glaze for your grills using cherry pits!
To prepare, pour 9 pounds of pits, 1 cup of red wine, 1 cup of sugar, and 1 cup of water in a saucepan and let it simmer. Transfer the concoction to a bowl and place it in the refrigerator to cool overnight.
This produces a rich glaze that you can spread over meats and fishes before grilling.
On a final note, we admonish you to try out one of these exciting ideas. Enjoy yourself while doing so too