Can You Eat Jalapenos with Brown Seeds?

by Charlie
Jalapenos with Brown Seeds

Have you ever cut into a jalapeno pepper and discovered that the seeds inside are brown? If so, you might be wondering whether it is okay to eat this pepper, or if you should throw it away. Often, discoloration is a sign that there is a problem and the food is going off.

Can you eat jalapenos with brown seeds? Yes, you can eat jalapenos with brown seeds as they aren’t necessarily a reason to throw a jalapeno pepper away, although you should take it as a prompt to check that the rest of the pepper is okay. As long as there is no mold and the pepper is still firm and healthy, it is fine to eat it.

What Causes Dark Seeds in Jalapenos?

Sometimes, dark seeds inside a pepper can be formed because the seeds have died or didn’t grow properly. These seeds may have turned brown. Even if this has not happened, seeds are often the first part of the fruit to lose their proper color (white/cream) and they may be turning bad before there is any issue with eating the pepper.

While it’s a good idea to pay attention to the look of a pepper’s inside and outside, brown seeds alone should not be enough to put you off eating the pepper. Pepper seeds turning brown is often an indication that the pepper is no longer as fresh as it was, but they are not an indication that it is past the point where you can safely eat it.

What Should You Do If You Notice Brown Seeds in Jalapenos?

First, inspect the pepper, especially around the seeds, for signs of mold. If you cannot see any, smell the pepper and gently pinch it to make sure its texture is still firm. Remove the seeds, rinse the pepper, and continue as normal.

Mold will usually form around the seeds before it affects any other parts of the pepper, so if you see brown seeds, make sure you closely inspect them for signs of mold. Little patches of white, black, or brown fluff are an indication that the pepper is no longer good to eat and should be composted.

If you can’t see any indications of mold, smell the pepper. It should smell fresh and slightly spicy. If it has a sour smell or there is a lot of liquid in it, the cells are breaking down and it shouldn’t be eaten. Similarly, if it has gone squishy or mushy, throw it away.

If everything seems okay, it should be safe to remove the seeds with a sharp knife and then simply rinse the pepper. Any mold will be very tiny at this stage, and washing should be enough to remove the traces, making the pepper fine to cook and eat.

Should You Eat Brown Jalapeno Seeds?

The seeds of a jalapeno pepper are edible, but they are often removed from the pepper before it is cooked and eaten. It is better not to eat brown jalapeno seeds, as they may no longer be good and could have some small mold spores growing on them.

Because the discoloration is a sign that the seeds are going off, it’s not a good idea to eat them. Most people remove pepper seeds before they consume the fruit anyway, but if the seeds have turned brown, this is a particularly good idea.

While they are unlikely to hurt you, it’s easy enough to flick them out using a sharp knife, and the rest of the pepper should still be good to eat then.

Should You Cook Jalapenos With Brown Seeds?

It is probably best to use your jalapenos up in cooked dishes if the seeds have started to turn brown. This is because the heat should kill any traces of bacteria, but also because the pepper probably won’t be as crispy and fresh as it was when the seeds were still cream.

The pepper may not taste great raw and it will have lost its texture, so it’s best to chop it up and use it in a cooked dish. Here, it won’t matter if some of the flavor has been lost, and you can ensure that the pepper is sterilized by heat before you eat it.

What Color Are Fresh Jalapeno Seeds?

If your jalapeno is fresh, the seeds should be pale yellow, cream, or white. They will turn light brown if you dry the pepper, so in dried peppers, brown seeds are nothing to be concerned about.

The color of the seeds may vary somewhat if the pepper was picked very young or very old, but on the whole, they will be pale yellow. Any discoloration may mean that the pepper is no longer very good to eat.

How Long Should Jalapeno Peppers Last?

In general, if you buy fresh jalapeno peppers, they should last for about two weeks when kept in the fridge. This assumes that there are no blemishes that could shorten their longevity. Usually, the seeds turning brown will be the first indication that the peppers need using up soon.

For the maximum shelf life, store jalapeno peppers in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator. A paper towel can help to absorb moisture, preventing the pepper from rotting as quickly. Peppers that are kept out of the fridge will quickly turn wrinkly and bad.

If you cut open a jalapeno pepper, you need to use it up much more quickly, because the fruit will start to oxidize as soon as it has been “opened,” and the tissues will break down. Bacteria will enter the flesh and it will soon start to turn moldy.

Cut jalapenos should only be kept for a couple of days, always in the fridge, and then they must be composted if they have not been eaten.

Final Thoughts

It is safe to eat jalapenos with brown seeds, but you may wish to remove the seeds before you wash, chop, and cook the pepper. If you notice a jalapeno has brown seeds, use it up promptly or you will soon find that it has turned moldy and is no longer good to eat.

Don’t eat the brown seeds, even if you usually eat jalapeno seeds. They should be composted instead.

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