One nice thing Mother Nature provided with moving here is a thicket of wild persimmon trees. These little golden gifts have been a tasty blessing to food preserves ever since. Though I will admit, the older I’m getting the more difficult the climb to gather the fruits is becoming, I need to rig up a new method.
I’ve made persimmon jelly and preserves, persimmon pudding, dried them and put them in muffins and cakes, yet there is one element of persimmons wild or not which is often forgotten. The large seeds of these little fruits can be roasted, ground and used as a caffeine free coffee substitute. Just one more reason for me to look forward to the fall of the year and the ripening of the persimmons in the thicket, I savor the bold, robust taste of persimmon “coffee”.
After cooking down the pulp to make you jams or puddings, remove the seeds from the scrap and wash well. Place them on a cookie sheet in oven at 350 degrees for 15-25 minutes to roast. Stir a few times during this process and test them occasionally. You want them still “tender in center”. Remove and grind as you would coffee beans. I find a food processor works well for this process.
Use as you would any traditional coffee grounds.
Just one more piece of lore about the persimmon seed. According to the old-timers. Persimmon seeds can predict the severity of winter. By cutting the persimmon into two pieces, the seeds inside display one of three symbols. A knife indicates cold, wind cutting like knife, icy winter. A fork shape shows a mild winter and a spoon shape is said to show the shovel needed to dig out of the abundant snow.
If all those I cut were right, those down here in the south better bundle up.