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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Maple Seeds an edible treat

FALL
 I have a 150 year old Silver Maple tree in my back yard. While it is a beautiful shade tree , it does have it's drawbacks...first the red buds, then the helicopters, and lastly the leaves in the fall...




SPRING



Maple tree seeds are edible, contain protein, and can be used as survival food in winter months .

If eating maple seeds raw just doesn't trip your taste buds then boil them for about 15 minutes or until soft. Drain and season with whatever you think you will enjoy (butter and spices).
Toss spring maple seeds into a salad.
Roast maple tree seeds and eat them as a snack or toss onto a salad or as a garnish on soup. You can roast them by placing the seeds on a baking sheet and sprinkle with spices you like. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 8 to 10 minutes.
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A maple seed or samara is sometimes called a key and is often referred to as a wingnuthelicopterwhirlibirdwhirligig, polynose, or, in the north of England, a spinning jenny. During the autumn months, they are a popular source of amusement for children who enjoy tossing them in the air and watching them spin to the ground.


But did you know they are edible? ...and nutritious?

Are Maple seeds (the "fruits" inside the "helicopters") edible? 

I have parched some and they are delicious.

The raw ones are tasty as well, and might make a great trail nibble. 

There are so many wonderful healthy edibles in my pesticide free yard. It seems a shame to waste such a effortless garden. I'd bet my neighbors think I'm an odd sort. So be it, I have never been healthier. 


Harvest the seeds. They should be gathered when they're full but still  a little green in the spring, All maple seeds are good to eat, but some are more bitter than others (a good rule of thumb is: small and sweet, big and bitter).When their shells are brown, they are a little more bitter, but still good.
Hull the seeds. Peel off the outer skin (the "whirlygig" part). Cut the end with your thumbnail. Squeeze out the seed; it looks like a pea or bean.
Rinse out the tannins. Taste a few seeds raw. If they are bitter, you'll need to boil them in water, dump out the water, and repeat until the bitterness is gone
  • Cook the seeds. If you boiled them already, just season with butter, salt, and pepper and enjoy. If they weren't boiled, here are a few more options:
  • Roasting - Place the seeds on a cookie sheet and sprinkle with salt. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 8 - 10 minutes.
  • Drying - Put them in a dry, sunny spot or in a food dehydrator until they are crunchy. They can then be pounded or ground into a flour, if you want. They are great for thickening sauces, and add a pleasant surprise flavor to mashed potatoes.

INGREDIENTS:

12 maple seeds
1/4 cup flour
1 tsp Turmeric powder
1 tsp Red Chilli powder

Salt to taste
Water to make a thick batter
Vegetable Oil for frying

  1. Wash maple seeds well.
  2. Combine flour, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, and salt in a bowl. Mix nicely and add water to make a thick batter. Set it aside.
  3. Heat oil in a shallow pan. Dip the seeds into the batter and coat them nicely. Add two three pieces in the hot oil at a time and shallow fry them.
  4. Fry till they  turn golden.Remove from oil by a spoon. Dry the excess oil by using  paper towel.
  5. Serve hot with a side of ranch dressing!