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Ground cherry pits


bleudauvergne
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What are the ramifications of juicing cherries, pits and all, and then straining, to serve as a drink?  I ask this question, as I contemplate what to do with the motherlode of cherry picking bounty.

I'd be interested to know the answer as well. I have a quart of fresh cherries from the farmer's market sitting accusingly in the fridge. They have a great flavor - but I find that if I eat too many raw (and God knows I can eat a ton), it tends to upset my stomach. So I was eyeing them today and thinking about how to break them down for a sauce - but also feeling really lazy about pitting them (I don't have a pitting tool on hand).

Marsha Lynch aka "zilla369"

Has anyone ever actually seen a bandit making out?

Uh-huh: just as I thought. Stereotyping.

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Best not to do this, if it's going to result in the pits being broken up. Pits of stone fruit contain low levels of cyanide (as do apple seeds). A seed now and again isn't going to kill you (it's unlikely that it would even make you sick), but the pits from a pint or two of cherries might pose a problem.

Dave Scantland
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Eat more chicken skin.

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I'm not a scientist (and don't even play one on tv...), but I'd always heard that the pits from summer fruits contain a small amount of arsenic/cyanide (cherries, apricots, peaches). I did a google search and came up with this:

"A Natural Poison

Cyanide is commonly thought of as a gas, but you also can be poisoned by it if you ingest wild cherry syrup, prussic acid, bitter almond oil, or large amounts of apricot pits. Cherry seeds, peach and plum pits, corn, chickpeas, cashews, and some other fruits and vegetables contain cyanogenic (i.e., cyanide-forming) glycosides (such as amygdalin) that release hydrogen cyanide when chewed or digested. As a result, some cyanide can also be found in fruit jams that contain these pit and pip extracts, such as quince. However, since the concentration of cyanide in these compounds is small, accidental cyanide poisoning from a food source is rare. But, if the correct materials are deliberately concentrated it can make an effective poison, as the Romans and Egyptians knew. They used to grind up peach kernels to make poisons"

Article on poisons in fruit pits

I'd assume it'd take a lot of pits, but other articles I found said that these pits were poisonous to small animals (dogs, cats, etc.)...

Edited by lala (log)

“"When you wake up in the morning, Pooh," said Piglet at last, "what's the first thing you say to yourself?"

"What's for breakfast?" said Pooh. "What do you say, Piglet?"

"I say, I wonder what's going to happen exciting today?" said Piglet.

Pooh nodded thoughtfully.

"It's the same thing," he said.”

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*sigh*

That's what I figured. Ah well...better get to pittin'.

Side note: This is so basic as to be ridiculous, but....whenever I buy olives and the label says "pitted", I always hesitate, hand outstretched. Does pitted mean "pits included" or "the pits have been removed"?

Heh. You'd think I'd remember. But it seems to me I've bought "pitted" olives both with and without pits.

Marsha Lynch aka "zilla369"

Has anyone ever actually seen a bandit making out?

Uh-huh: just as I thought. Stereotyping.

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*sigh*

That's what I figured.  Ah well...better get to pittin'.

Side note:  This is so basic as to be ridiculous, but....whenever I buy olives and the label says "pitted", I always hesitate, hand outstretched.  Does pitted mean "pits included" or "the pits have been removed"?

Heh.  You'd think I'd remember.  But it seems to me I've bought "pitted" olives both with and without pits.

Pits removed.

"All humans are out of their f*cking minds -- every single one of them."

-- Albert Ellis

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Does pitted mean "pits included" or "the pits have been removed"?

How about "pits added"?

Sorry, couldn't resist. I always consider the same question when I see the "pitted" description.

Can you pee in the ocean?

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I guess it's like "boned" and "de-boned" (if that's really a word...I'm not sure). Interchangeable, yes?

Marsha Lynch aka "zilla369"

Has anyone ever actually seen a bandit making out?

Uh-huh: just as I thought. Stereotyping.

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The answer was given quite well, so I'll just add that the seeds, and pits of certain fruits are set aside for uses in very specific Native American medicines, in combination with other ingredients. As a kid, I had the idea peach pits were 'just like almonds', so I'd crack them and eat the heart. Till my gram caught me. This was the lady who would not let anyone eat fresh cherries with sweet milk.

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I'm not a scientist (and don't even play one on tv...), but I'd always heard that the pits from summer fruits contain a small amount of arsenic/cyanide (cherries, apricots, peaches). I did a google search and came up with this:

"A Natural Poison

Cyanide is commonly thought of as a gas, but you also can be poisoned by it if you ingest wild cherry syrup, prussic acid, bitter almond oil, or large amounts of apricot pits. Cherry seeds, peach and plum pits, corn, chickpeas, cashews, and some other fruits and vegetables contain cyanogenic (i.e., cyanide-forming) glycosides (such as amygdalin) that release hydrogen cyanide when chewed or digested. As a result, some cyanide can also be found in fruit jams that contain these pit and pip extracts, such as quince. However, since the concentration of cyanide in these compounds is small, accidental cyanide poisoning from a food source is rare. But, if the correct materials are deliberately concentrated it can make an effective poison, as the Romans and Egyptians knew. They used to grind up peach kernels to make poisons"

Article on poisons in fruit pits

I'd assume it'd take a lot of pits, but other articles I found said that these pits were poisonous to small animals (dogs, cats, etc.)...

being a lover of cashews...i have to wonder just how on earth they could contain the poison u mention....and if they do contain it why on earth do they even bother to harvest and sel these things?...wouldnt that be a bit dangerous?

a recipe is merely a suggestion

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I can back this up having 2 parrots I have to avoid all of the mentioned cyanide, as Birds are easily poisioned, for some reason even the the wood, though not apple for some reason!

Isn't there a story about a man that ate a cup of roasted apple seeds and quickly died?

Though arent bitter almonds full of this I was under the impression this was true and this is made into various products,also isn't immitation marzipan made from peach/apricot kernels!

As for cashews did you ever wonder why you never saw them raw, the steam when there cooking is so poisonous it will blind you if it gets in you eyes! Look it up in any survival book cashews need to be treated with extreme respect!

Perfection cant be reached, but it can be strived for!
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The answer was given quite well, so I'll just add that the seeds, and pits of certain fruits are set aside for uses in very specific Native American medicines, in combination with other ingredients. As a kid, I had the idea peach pits were 'just like almonds', so I'd crack them and eat the heart. Till my gram caught me. This was the lady who would not let anyone eat fresh cherries with sweet milk.

I'd heard about the cherries and milk thing... rumor was that President Taylor died after eating this combo:

"Longstanding theories that Taylor had been poisoned were finally dispelled in the early 1990s when Taylor's remains were exhumed and examined [1] (http://www.ornl.gov/info/ornlreview/rev27-12/text/ansside6.html) for signs of arsenic poisoning. This forensic pathology demonstrated that Taylor was not poisoned and had probably succumbed to food contaminated with typhoid or cholera. Taylor had in fact eaten a large quantity of iced milk and cherries on the hot day prior to falling ill, one of which may have been contaminated, and which likely led to a still-extant old wives' tale stating that milk and cherries become toxic when consumed together."

link to encyclopedia entry on Zachary Taylor

“"When you wake up in the morning, Pooh," said Piglet at last, "what's the first thing you say to yourself?"

"What's for breakfast?" said Pooh. "What do you say, Piglet?"

"I say, I wonder what's going to happen exciting today?" said Piglet.

Pooh nodded thoughtfully.

"It's the same thing," he said.”

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I knew cashews had to be processed...these sort of foods always make me wonder how many !!!ding!!! wrong moments there were before it was gotten correct :biggrin: Ancient food tester; maybe not a good career choice. Kind of like how many fugu tasters did it take to stop killing the relatives?

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lala, you got it perfectly! Gram was an old wife :laugh: Until I saw that deal on tv, I'd always just thought it was her eccentricity--I had not realized it was a legitimate folk belief. But she also always covered the bedroom windows with newspaper on a full moon so you did not sleep under the moonshine. And you could also not have dill pickles with milk. There's another one of hot tea with something, but I can't remember offhand.

By the way. Gram passed quietly in her sleep at 106 years.

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[...]Though arent bitter almonds full of this I was under the impression this was true and this is made into various products,also isn't immitation marzipan made from peach/apricot kernels![...]

Yes, but they're cooked, so the cyanide is gone.

Mabelline, I used to eat raw peach pits, too, when I was a kid. Nothing bad happened to me, but I stopped eating them when I was told they contained cyanide.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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In the Middle East, they use mahleb, which is ground sour cherry pits, as an ingredient. It's dried, don't know if it's cooked first. I suppose the amounts used are too small to poison you anyway.

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I did not know of the cyanide/cashew relationship, and had wondered why our macaw will not touch them. Actually he does; he throws them out of his dish onto the floor. He's a Brazil nut fiend, can crack and shell one in a few seconds, loves all other nuts (a little iffy on filberts, but so am I---the backyard squirrels benefit from that one), but cashews---I learned to toss them out of his serving.

Smart boy. :smile:

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I'm not a scientist (and don't even play one on tv...), but I'd always heard that the pits from summer fruits contain a small amount of arsenic/cyanide (cherries, apricots, peaches). I did a google search and came up with this:

"A Natural Poison

Cyanide is commonly thought of as a gas, but you also can be poisoned by it if you ingest wild cherry syrup, prussic acid, bitter almond oil, or large amounts of apricot pits. Cherry seeds, peach and plum pits, corn, chickpeas, cashews, and some other fruits and vegetables contain cyanogenic (i.e., cyanide-forming) glycosides (such as amygdalin) that release hydrogen cyanide when chewed or digested. As a result, some cyanide can also be found in fruit jams that contain these pit and pip extracts, such as quince. However, since the concentration of cyanide in these compounds is small, accidental cyanide poisoning from a food source is rare. But, if the correct materials are deliberately concentrated it can make an effective poison, as the Romans and Egyptians knew. They used to grind up peach kernels to make poisons"

Article on poisons in fruit pits

I'd assume it'd take a lot of pits, but other articles I found said that these pits were poisonous to small animals (dogs, cats, etc.)...

being a lover of cashews...i have to wonder just how on earth they could contain the poison u mention....and if they do contain it why on earth do they even bother to harvest and sel these things?...wouldnt that be a bit dangerous?

I thought this was the case so I looked it up.....

"The kidney-shaped cashew nut is encased in a hard shell with two layers. In between these layers is a black substance called cardol, which is extremely caustic and can cause blistering of the skin upon contact. This substance is removed during the shelling process and is used in the making of such products as varnish, insecticide, paint, and even rocket lubricant. For this primary reason, cashews are never sold in the shell."

.....here

http://homecooking.about.com/cs/atozfoodindex/a/cashew.htm

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Almonds and the kernels from the fruit contain amygdalin which is harmless, but on contact with various water soluble enzymes you get benzaldehyde (C6H5-CHO) and hydrocyanic acid (HCN). Both smell similar, but the latter will kill you. Almond essence has the latter removed and hence it still contains the bitter almond flavour, but will not kill you.

Sweet almonds and bitter almonds are the same species, but the former (through chance or human selection) contains less amygdalin, so you can chop away on them and not die.

Mahaleb Cherry (Prunus mahaleb) used in the middle east and Greece as a flavour, don't seem to contain large amounts of amygdalin, but to contain coumarin derivatives which have a similar bitter almond flavour (hence the smell of tonka beans).

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I did not know of the cyanide/cashew relationship, and had wondered why our macaw will not touch them.    Actually he does; he throws them out of his dish onto the floor.  He's a Brazil nut fiend, can crack and shell one in a few seconds, loves all other nuts (a little iffy on filberts, but so am I---the backyard squirrels benefit from that one), but cashews---I learned to toss them out of his serving.

Smart boy. :smile:

Just like to add slightly off subject! As mentioned so do Almonds and I have to maintain the calcium in my African Greys. I use ground Almonds for this purpose, I'm a bit confused about all this now, I know there fine with Almonds. Have to say they've got no hope of getting a cashew they always come in salted! :rolleyes:

Perfection cant be reached, but it can be strived for!
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  • 2 years later...
What are the ramifications of juicing cherries, pits and all, and then straining, to serve as a drink?  I ask this question, as I contemplate what to do with the motherlode of cherry picking bounty.

Raw cherry pits (as well as other fruits) contain amygdalin which when broken down by the body produces cyanide (the active ingredient in zyklon B). It can and HAS caused deaths but appears to be destroyed by proper heating-altho, it can occur in different amounts so the heating should be thorough. The Italians make a dark cherry gelato using cherry pits so heating must be effective/

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