Author Topic: Bletting astringent fruits  (Read 7891 times)

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Offline PaleoPhil

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Bletting astringent fruits
« on: October 29, 2012, 04:14:48 am »
One of the more puzzling claims that didn't seem to fit well with the raw Paleo approach was claims by cooked Paleos and others that certain astringent fruits with reported health benefits, like quinces, require cooking. This didn't match well with the normal trend I've noticed for foods that are edible raw to be the healthiest, so I was skeptical of it, but I didn't find anything suggesting that these fruits were ever eaten raw ... until now. Check this out that I discovered after looking up info on medlar fruit:
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Bletting is a process that certain fleshy fruits undergo, beyond ripening. There are some fruits that are either sweeter after some bletting, such as sea buckthorn, or for which most varieties can be eaten raw only after bletting, such as medlars, persimmons, quince, Service Tree fruit, and Wild Service Tree fruit ("chequers"). The rowan fruit, aka Mountain Ash must be bletted, then cooked to be edible, to break down the toxic parasorbic acid into sorbic acid.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bletting
Even rowan berries are edible in small quantities after freezing (though consuming too much can reportedly lead to kidney damage):
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Rowan is another name for the European Mountain Ash. Mountain ashes around the world tend to fall into two groups. One group has berries that are usually processed into jelly or jams and are barely edible off the tree after frost if not after freezing a few times or a long stint in your freezer. Raw their quality is not great. The other group has been bred to be eaten raw and can also be made into various sweet products. So the fruit is edible but… You will read in some places that the seeds contain compounds which upon digestion release small amounts of cyanide. This is probably true.  The seeds of some 1,000 plants in the greater group (Rose) do have some cyanidic compounds. Processing (the breaking down of cell structures and letting enzymes go to work) and or cooking usually take care of that issue. Small amounts of raw fruit are considered tolerable and to my knowledge there are no bad cyanide-related reports about Mountain Ash fruit. Man probably discovered these fruit — and their necessary vitamin C — were edible in the winter time because they persist on the tree and taste better the older they get (which additionally might reduce the potential cyanide amount.) The berries also contain malic acid and parasorbic acid. Malic acid is what makes apples tart. Parasorbic acid can upset the tummy raw but cooking changes it to sorbic acid which is not a problem. http://www.eattheweeds.com/mountain-ash-rowan/

Rowan berries are very bitter and you will need to add both sugar and salt to balance this. Much of this bitterness is caused by the compound sorbic acid. You should also note that raw Rowan berries also contain sorbic acid's precursor parasorbic acid. This causes indigestion and in high doses it can lead to kidney damage. However, heat treatment converts parasorbic acid to the benign sorbic acid. Thus if you have cooked the fruit in some manner they are entirely safe to eat. Freezing also helps in this conversion process so if you collect the fruit immediately after the first frost and then freeze them before preparation this will also help reduce the levels of parasorbic acid in the fruit. http://www.celtnet.org.uk/recipes/ancient/wild-food-entry.php?term=Rowan
>"When some one eats an Epi paleo Rx template and follows the rules of circadian biology they get plenty of starches when they are available three out of the four seasons." -Jack Kruse, MD
>"I recommend 20 percent of calories from carbs, depending on the size of the person" -Ron Rosedale, MD (in other words, NOT zero carbs) http://preview.tinyurl.com/6ogtan
>Finding a diet you can tolerate is not the same as fixing what's wrong. -Tim Steele
Beware of problems from chronic Very Low Carb

Offline Iguana

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Re: Bletting astringent fruits
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2012, 05:05:18 am »
One of the more puzzling claims that didn't seem to fit well with the raw Paleo approach was claims by cooked Paleos and others that certain astringent fruits with reported health benefits, like quinces, require cooking. This didn't match well with the normal trend I've noticed for foods that are edible raw to be the healthiest, so I was skeptical of it, but I didn't find anything suggesting that these fruits were ever eaten raw ... until now. Check this out that I discovered after looking up info on medlar fruit:Even rowan berries are edible in small quantities after freezing (though consuming too much can reportedly lead to kidney damage):

They will find health benefits to a lot of cooked stuff, and they may be right in some cases because if you are deficient in some nutrient, any food (even cooked) fulfilling your specific needs will have a health benefit. To explain what I mean, even bread and cheese or chocolate will have a health benefit if you were starving to death.  :)

I never ate a raw quince, but I will now try if I happen to find an overripe one. I don’t know what are  Service Tree fruit and Wild Service Tree fruit… According to the photos I found by Google, it looks like small berries which must be carefully tested and eaten only in the exact proper (normally small) amount. That means only as long as no bitterness appear after being kept several seconds in the mouth without swallowing, because they could become toxic with a slight overdose only. I sometimes ate a few rowan berries, but no more than a few. Yes, medlars can be eaten after bletting, I planted two trees in my orchard. Persimmons are delicious when ripe enough, otherwise they are bitter and give immediately an unmistakable instinctive stop!  ;)
Cause and effect are distant in time and space in complex systems, while at the same time there’s a tendency to look for causes near the events sought to be explained. Time delays in feedback in systems result in the condition where the long-run response of a system to an action is often different from its short-run response. — Ronald J. Ziegler

Offline cherimoya_kid

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Re: Bletting astringent fruits
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2012, 11:33:42 pm »
Certainly fruit is more digestible for most people when it is fermented/overripe. This is how I often eat my bananas.

Offline bookittyrun

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Re: Bletting astringent fruits
« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2012, 04:08:19 pm »
Certainly fruit is more digestible for most people when it is fermented/overripe. This is how I often eat my bananas.

interesting...  years ago, i managed to source a recipe for banana bread that used ripe bananas, instead of "over-ripe", because i couldn't bring myself to accept eating "spoiled" fruits...  (same mental block i have now, with "high meat")  do you feel bananas taste better when brown?  different?  how so?  or do they taste worse, but eaten this way for the digestability benefit only?  just curious...  lots to learn...

a lot of forum members seem to enjoy "over ripe", "old", "spoiled", or "rotten" foods without ill effect.  what is it then, that makes others sick with "food poisoning", that members here are missing?  and proclaiming benefits?  what clues indicate something should not be eaten when past it's prime?   ...since cooking away "bad" bacteria is not practiced...
"it'll be just like a sleepover, only we'll be sweaty and covered with grease!"  spongebob squarepants

Offline eveheart

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Re: Bletting astringent fruits
« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2012, 12:46:12 am »
a lot of forum members seem to enjoy "over ripe", "old", "spoiled", or "rotten" foods without ill effect.  what is it then, that makes others sick with "food poisoning", that members here are missing?

Both animal and plant foods go through stages of maturity when their natural enzymes and bacteria are exposed to air and undisturbed by heating. Packaged food, deprived of air circulation and often prepared with heat, disinfectants, and "spoilage retardants," breeds the wrong kind of bacteria, the sources of food poisoning.

In the olden days, before today's obsession with refrigeration, food was kept as many of us RPD forum members keep it now. IMO, if it was good enough for all the previous centuries of mankind and other forms of life, it can do me no harm.


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Offline cherimoya_kid

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Re: Bletting astringent fruits
« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2012, 01:04:04 pm »
interesting...  years ago, i managed to source a recipe for banana bread that used ripe bananas, instead of "over-ripe", because i couldn't bring myself to accept eating "spoiled" fruits...  (same mental block i have now, with "high meat")  do you feel bananas taste better when brown?  different?  how so?  or do they taste worse, but eaten this way for the digestability benefit only?  just curious...  lots to learn...


 You'll probably get over that mental block with high meat and overripe fruit, if you eat raw for long enough. 

As far as taste goes, yes, I do prefer overripe bananas usually, but sometimes I'm in the mood for slightly underripe ones as well.  I love how bananas will often get to a stage where they turn a darker yellow and start to liquefy.  They're really easy to eat and digest at that point, you can practically drink them.

Offline PaleoPhil

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Re: Bletting astringent fruits
« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2012, 08:43:19 am »
a lot of forum members seem to enjoy "over ripe", "old", "spoiled", or "rotten" foods without ill effect.
Yup, this reveals that the modern fear of "germs"/bacteria from these foods is misguided hysteria.

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what is it then, that makes others sick with "food poisoning", that members here are missing?  and proclaiming benefits?  what clues indicate something should not be eaten when past it's prime?   ...since cooking away "bad" bacteria is not practiced...
Plastic packaging was correctly mentioned, and also the fact that people tend to cook foods and then store them. Cooking kills many of the good bacteria, setting the stage for pathogenic bacteria to take over, with plastic bags and containers providing the sort of low-oxygen, moist environment that pathogenic bacteria thrive in. Bad taste and smell are clues. Meat that's rotten from pathogenic bacteria smells and tastes way worse than high meat, and if it's in a plastic bag, it will cause it to balloon out, though you shouldn't store food in plastic anyway. Fruit that's moldy also tastes bad, whereas fruit that's ripened, bletted, or fermented with good bacteria tastes good.
>"When some one eats an Epi paleo Rx template and follows the rules of circadian biology they get plenty of starches when they are available three out of the four seasons." -Jack Kruse, MD
>"I recommend 20 percent of calories from carbs, depending on the size of the person" -Ron Rosedale, MD (in other words, NOT zero carbs) http://preview.tinyurl.com/6ogtan
>Finding a diet you can tolerate is not the same as fixing what's wrong. -Tim Steele
Beware of problems from chronic Very Low Carb

Offline bookittyrun

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Re: Bletting astringent fruits
« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2012, 09:18:36 am »
paleophil, thanks for the clarification...  i think i'm starting to get some of this.  what would be the recommended correct way to store food items?  i keep about 2 days / meals worth of beef in a plastic ziplock bag in the fridge, and when that's done, i pull another small bag from the freezer (where it's stored for longer durations), and so on...  if i keep larger amounts in the fridge for longer periods, it doesn't keep so well (?)...  it doesn't smell or look too good (and i think you just explained why that happens).  the ziplock bag was an attempt to keep the meats from taking on that "fridge" smell / characteristics...  if one wanted to cure fruits, what would be the correct process to keep it safe?  would the same same process apply with meats?  fruits for me usually sit on the counter, where i hope to use them before they "spoil" (which i'm learning here, may not be so bad...).  it's been recommended to me to store salad stuff in a plastic bag, where i could remove most of the air, and seal it tight...  now i'm wondering about this, too...

so much to learn...
"it'll be just like a sleepover, only we'll be sweaty and covered with grease!"  spongebob squarepants

Offline PaleoPhil

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Re: Bletting astringent fruits
« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2012, 09:58:05 am »
paleophil, thanks for the clarification...  i think i'm starting to get some of this.  what would be the recommended correct way to store food items?  i keep about 2 days / meals worth of beef in a plastic ziplock bag in the fridge, and when that's done, i pull another small bag from the freezer (where it's stored for longer durations), and so on...  if i keep larger amounts in the fridge for longer periods, it doesn't keep so well (?)...  it doesn't smell or look too good (and i think you just explained why that happens).  the ziplock bag was an attempt to keep the meats from taking on that "fridge" smell / characteristics...
I've gradually switched  to glass and mostly-glass containers and I'm trying to use plastic less. I still use plastic bags in the freezer, where it's less of a problem.

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if one wanted to cure fruits, what would be the correct process to keep it safe?
I put fruits that rot or mold easily in the fruit drawer of the fridge with a device from the healthfood store that keeps them fresh until I'm nearly ready to eat them, then I take them out and ripen them either on the counter or in a paper bag (lemons I leave in that drawer, as they don't need to ripen any). Berries I keep in the main part of the fridge and eat within a few days, as fresh as possible.

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would the same same process apply with meats?
I take thawed meats out of the plastic packaging ASAP and put them into glass containers or eat them.

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fruits for me usually sit on the counter, where i hope to use them before they "spoil" (which i'm learning here, may not be so bad...).
Truly spoiled fruit tastes bad, but it isn't likely to be dangerous.

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it's been recommended to me to store salad stuff in a plastic bag, where i could remove most of the air, and seal it tight...  now i'm wondering about this, too...
I do keep salad in plastic, in the fridge with the keep-fresh device. I eat it quickly enough that it's not much of an issue anyway. If I wanted to keep it longer, there are special keep-fresh plastic bags. I don't know how safe/healthy they are.
>"When some one eats an Epi paleo Rx template and follows the rules of circadian biology they get plenty of starches when they are available three out of the four seasons." -Jack Kruse, MD
>"I recommend 20 percent of calories from carbs, depending on the size of the person" -Ron Rosedale, MD (in other words, NOT zero carbs) http://preview.tinyurl.com/6ogtan
>Finding a diet you can tolerate is not the same as fixing what's wrong. -Tim Steele
Beware of problems from chronic Very Low Carb

Offline bookittyrun

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Re: Bletting astringent fruits
« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2012, 12:12:14 pm »
thanks for the follow up...  looks like more "storage supply" shopping is in the near future for me...

"it'll be just like a sleepover, only we'll be sweaty and covered with grease!"  spongebob squarepants

 

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