Bay laurel seeds are a local cuisine processed into flour to give baked dishes a deep coffee-chocolate taste. They may also be made and used as a caffeine boost in place of coffee. Bay laurel seeds are healthful, with nutritional content.
They can be roasted and crushed in a coffee grinder, and soak the powder in hot water to produce a hybrid between coffee and hot chocolate or use the powder to make chocolate-like treats.
Nonetheless, the seeds contain stimulating components comparable to caffeine and may cause stomach problems in certain people if consumed in bulk.
As with any new meal, it’s best to proceed with care at first.
How Are Bay Laurel Seeds Edible?
A bay laurel seed is a black and strange nut that looks similar to a tiny avocado.
When fresh, it looks like an avocado pit with a thin covering of green flesh surrounding it.
When ripe, the flesh turns from a brilliant green to a purple color, and the entire nut is floral and spicy, although it rots very quickly.
These seeds may be roasted, skinned, and crushed into a fine powder to make an oily powder.
They are roasted to remove the powerful volatile oils that might irritate your throat and digestive tract.
The flavor is something between dark chocolate and a roasted coffee bean.
It provides a dessert-like delicacy not often seen in foraged plants. It’s simply and constantly a crowd-pleasing wild-edible.
Bay laurel seeds have a severely astringent and bitter flavor before roasting, similar to uncured olives or acorns, and should not be swallowed.
Once roasted, remove the interior seeds from their hard shells using a nutcracker or gently with a hammer; you can eat them as is or utilize them imaginatively in a variety of baking dishes.
What to Expect: They have a somewhat bitter flavor, but it’s excellent for people who enjoy really dark chocolate.
How to Process Bay Laurel Seeds
Foraging and Preparation
It would be best to gather the seeds in the fall when they naturally fall off the trees.
Choose seeds that haven’t been sitting on the ground for too long based on the state of the fleshy outer husk.
The exterior flesh is likely to be brown and tender, but you can sometimes locate the seeds without the outer flesh, which is even nicer.
Picking Up Rotting Seeds Is Not a Good Idea
Remove any rotting seeds and the outer flesh to expose a lustrous brown seed roughly the size of hazelnut as soon as possible before the variably colored fleshy coats wither and decay.
Rinse them to remove any extra goop from the nuts and place them on a cotton towel or baking sheet to enable any leftover moisture to evaporate for two weeks.
They’re then ready for the next critical step, which is roasting.
Bay laurel seeds should be kept in a paper bag or an open container in the dark.
Also Good Idea: You may store them in this particular manner for up to two years before roasting.
Roasting and Eating
Roast the nuts in a single layer on a baking sheet at 350°.
Roasting should be for a few hours; they should be done when the insides are brown and black. Some nuts will shatter open in the process.
Remove the nuts from the oven and use a nutcracker to split the shells open when they’re done.
Return the inner seed meat to the baking sheets and roast for 30-45 minutes; you may increase the temperature to 450 degrees, stir after every ten minutes and check for scorching.
The bay nuts will darken in color, from tan to milk chocolate brown to dark chocolate brown, finally to a black-brown when it’s overdone; a good roasted bay seed is a dark chocolate brown like a roasted coffee bean.
Avoid Roasting Too Long
If the nuts are roasted too long, they turn bitter and suggestive of charcoal.
Bay laurel seeds may rapidly go from underdone to overdone, so you should examine them often until they achieve a medium brown color.
Remove from the oven when the average seed seems to be the correct color.
You may keep the roasted bay seeds for months in an airtight container.
Try This: They taste like a cross between a coffee bean and a cacao bean on their own, but they’re also delicious when combined with a bit of sugar like honey or agave nectar.
The bay tree does not always produce laurel seeds; they can appear as early as September or even earlier in a scorching year.
Also, some years are better than others, and some produce a limited number of seeds; just because you don’t discover seeds on a tree one year doesn’t indicate you won’t find them the following year.
Dry the bay laurel seeds in their shells on a baking sheet at 350o for about 10-15 minutes, or until they begin to split open.
If you can’t roast the nuts right away, remove the fruit leftovers and keep them dry and uncovered.
The essential oils that remain in bay laurel seed that has not been roasted long enough make them highly pungent and inedible, yet if roasted until too dark, they also become pretty intense and inedible.
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