Is It Safe to Eat Cactus Fruit Seeds? (Believe It Or Not!)

Is It Safe to Eat Cactus Fruit Seeds?

Although the fruit is usually consumed, the seeds can also be eaten. The seeds are completely edible, but if you don’t like them, you can just spit them out. 

If you want to eat cactus fruit seeds, remove the pulp from around the seed and clean the outside of it first. You can do this by rubbing it off with a wet paper towel or by washing it off with water.

Once the pulp is off, eat the seed—there’s no reason not to! Cactus fruit seeds are completely edible and safe to eat if you don’t mind their texture and slight bitterness.

In many cultures, if you’ve eaten a cactus fruit and don’t like the taste of the seeds, it is normal to spit out the seeds. If you swallow them without chewing them up much (or at all), they may pass through your body whole and be excreted as waste.

Are Cactus Fruit Seeds Poisonous?

While the popular belief is that all cactus fruits seed are poisonous, this isn’t the case. The fact is that the seeds of a cactus plant are a safe and healthy food.

The reasons why people believe that the fruit seeds of any cactus are poisonous have to do with the actual parts of a cactus plant that most people see: its sharp, spiny needles.

Can You Eat Cactus Seed Pods?

Yes. The fleshy, colored parts of the “cactus fruit” (technically a berry) are edible, which are the fleshy part of the fruit and the seeds. 

Cactus seed pods (a carpel or pistil enclosing the seeds of a plant) are edible, but you need to pick the right kind of cactus before attempting to eat them. The best taste seems to be when they are plump and bright red. Once the fruit begins to shrivel, the seeds are ready to harvest, but the flavor will be off.

This information is important because while cactus seeds can be eaten, that doesn’t mean that you should eat every cactus seed pod you find growing on an Epiphyllum—not all parts of those plants are edible or even healthy for you!

How Do You Extract Cactus Seeds?

So you’ve gotten your hands on some desert cacti, and now you’re dying to know: how do you go about getting those seeds?

The first thing you need to do is let the fruit ripen. This may take a while, so don’t expect the process to be quick; that said, it’s better to let the fruit ripen before you start trying to get at the seeds. When the fruit has a nice orange color and has definitely softened, it’s ready!

Now comes the tricky part. You have to open up the fruit without damaging any of its contents—not just because of aesthetics but also because if you damage a seed. The best way we’ve found to do this is to use a serrated knife (buck knife) and a spoon. Put the spoon upside-down, with its bowl facing outwards, and then gently cut into the cactus fruit. The gloppy stuff inside will come spilling out, but as long as you don’t slice into any seeds or exposed flesh, no harm is done.

Water is the most common solvent for extracting cactus seeds. Here’s a look at how you can use it:

1. Cut the fruit from your cactus plant, avoiding the base of the plant and any green, spiny pieces.

2. Put the fruit in a bowl and add water. The ratio should be 2 parts water to 1 part fruit. You can add more water if you want to speed up the process or less if you want to slow it down, but don’t have less than 1 part of water to every 3 parts of cactus fruit.

3. Stir the mixture and allow it to sit overnight; some seeds will float to the top while others will sink to the bottom and others will stay in-between.

4. Remove all of the fruit from the mixture, whether or not it contains a seed, as you’ll be putting it through a strainer later on in order to get rid of any pulp that might be left behind.

5. Drain out what remains of your now-strained juice into another bowl and wash off any remaining pulp under running water before storing it in an airtight container for later use as fertilizer or compost tea.

6. Take your cactus seed-containing mixture and pour it into a fine- jar.

Where Do Cacti Seeds Come From?

Did you know that cacti seeds come from the same plant as cactus fruit? The cactus plant produces a seed that is coated in a sticky substance. Once the cactus seed has germinated, it begins to grow into a new cactus.

Cactus seeds form in blooms of the cactus. The flowers are pollinated by bees, and the pollinated flowers will turn into fruits. The fruits will contain the cactus’ seeds. The cactus seed is a small, hard object that is embedded in the fruit. To collect the seed, you must first cut open the fruit and remove it from the spines. You can then dry the fruit and the seeds separately.

Do All Cactus Produce Seeds?

Cacti are succulents that originate from the Americas. All cactus species produce flowers and seeds for propagation, but some are more prolific than others. Cactus flowers are typically white, yellow, or red and can be beautiful additions to any garden. In order to propagate a cactus, you will need to collect its flowers and seeds. 

Are Cactus Fruit Seeds Good for You?

Cactus fruit seeds are actually edible and very healthy. You can eat them raw, or even make a cactus fruit seed tea! They’re full of antioxidants like beta-carotene and vitamins A and C. These antioxidants help to reduce triglycerides and bad cholesterol levels in your body. They’re also able to reduce body fat percentages and help lower your risk for metabolic syndrome.

Are You Supposed to Eat the Seeds in a Prickly Pear?

You’ll be left with the prickly pear itself. The flesh is studded with tons of little edible seeds, if you like them, feel free to just chop the prickly pear up and eat, seeds and all.

 The dry fruits are the size and shape of small eggs and may contain grayish-white seeds.

Properties of Prickly Pear Seeds

Seed Length3.0 mm
Seed Volume3.6 mm
Seed RigidityMedium
Prickly Pear Cactus

What Are Prickly Pear Seeds Good For?

According to many sources, prickly pear cactus — or also known as nopal, opuntia, and other names — is promoted for treating diabetes, high cholesterol, obesity, and hangovers. It’s also touted for its antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties.

Prickly pear seeds can be used in several different ways:

-As a supplement.

-As an ingredient in baked goods such as cakes and cookies

What Happens When You Eat Cactus Pear Seeds?

It is possible to eat prickly pear seeds by chewing on the fruit and spitting out the seeds. The seeds are hard and not easily bitten through, but they are safe to swallow if you prefer. Juicing or straining prickly pear is also an option.

Are Prickly Pear Seeds Good for You?

Many people use prickly pear for its antioxidant properties, which may help reduce inflammation and slow the aging process. The fruit, peel, and seeds all contain antioxidants, but the seeds may be the most effective. Prickly pear is rich in vitamin C and betalain pigments, which have anti-inflammatory effects on the body. Prickly pear also has polyunsaturated fatty acids that help keep skin and hair healthy. In addition to eating it fresh, you can add prickly pear to smoothies or juices as a nutritional boost.

Precautions for Eating Cactus Fruit Seeds

After all, people have eaten cactus fruit for thousands of years, and it’s likely that a few people have tried eating the seeds as well. With that in mind, here are some precautions that you should take if you want to eat cactus fruit seeds:

-If you want to eat the seed on its own, make sure it’s soft enough to chew through. If not, then roast it first so that it’s soft and then you can eat it.

-Wear gloves when handling cactus fruit seeds and wash your hands thoroughly.

-You can make a shakeout of the seeds by putting them in a blender with some water and ice cubes.

-It’s probably best to avoid storing cactus fruit seeds for long periods of time because they can be prone to infestation by certain types of insects.


Anwar Hossain

My name is Anwar Hossain. I am a cactus lover, researcher, and cactus blogger.

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