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Maple Seeds  RSS feed

 
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My daughter asked a good question as the whirly birds began to fall this spring: are maple seeds edible?

So I did some research because passing up free, healthy, organic, local food isn't my style.

Here's what I found: (short answer is yes)

http://www.americanforests.org/magazine/article/edible-trees-foraging-food-forests/

https://www.ediblewildfood.com/blog/2013/01/maple-tree-seeds-survival-food/

So it seems you can toast, boil, pulverize to a flour,  or prepare them in any other way you might treat peas.

Please feel free to share your hints and favorite recipes below.  Thank you!
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Yes they are quite tasty!
 
Amit Enventres
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Some nutritional value info.
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I don't know where the mother tree but I have box elder seedlings coming out the wazoo.
This is another reason to transplant them to my tree hedge.
I cant see eating them myself, due to the tedium of shucking them individually. but I think they could make good chicken food.
 
Amit Enventres
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I do want to see what I can do about shucking faster. It's rather pleasant sitting under a tree shucking seeds while watching the world or YouTube or talking with others, but I have a million other less pleasant but more pressing things to do.  However,  they stay just fine in shells, so no need to rush,  persay.

To make a ground nut mix you can probably smash up and use water to float the chaff, but I kind of like them as a whole nut, which my husband says tastes like pistachio.
 
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William Bronson wrote: .... I have box elder seedlings coming out the wazoo.
This is another reason to transplant them to my tree hedge.
I cant see eating them myself, due to the tedium of shucking them individually. but I think they could make good chicken food.



Just remember, William, you could always tap them in the spring for syrup!  We've found that if you select more upright trees and then prune them to have
a good, erect conformation, you can tap them quite easily and get a nice flavored syrup, even if a bit low on sugar.
 
William Bronson
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 How big do they have to be to tap?
I'm trying to build a food forest based beverage business, lots of tart berries, mints ,sugarbeets,  nutsedge, etc.
Raw saps could be a great draw at the farmers market.
 
John Weiland
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William Bronson wrote:  How big do they have to be to tap?
I'm trying to build a food forest based beverage business, lots of tart berries, mints ,sugarbeets,  nutsedge, etc.
Raw saps could be a great draw at the farmers market.



I'm not sure how small you could go....I've done only as small as ~8" diameter.  But also to add that tree sap soda is a rage beverage!:  

https://fivestarsoda.com/2015/05/24/squamscot-maple-cream-soda/

https://fivestarsoda.com/category/birch-beer/
 
Amit Enventres
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Maple seeds tasted great in this salad.
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Yes, of course they are edible. They are also very healthy! The most common way to prepare them is simply to roast. You can use them in many ways. Adding to salads is one of them but they are also tasty without additions.
 
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I never thought to eat the seeds, how wonderful! Thanks for sharing the nutritional info and how you harvested them. We've been making crepes with the blossoms the last few years (as well as black locust blossoms) since a friend told me they are edible and it is a perfect spring treat since crepes are a must when there are so many eggs too.
 
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Anyone have any experience with bigleaf maple seeds? They are the largest native maple here in the Pacific Northwest. The seeds don't fall until late summer into the fall. I have noticed that some years the trees don't produce a lot of seeds but most years one tree produces tons. Just my neighbors big leaf maple which is at least 100 feet away from my house can produce enough seeds to still block my rain gutters.

One issue I see with the bigleaf maple is that the seed coating has a bunch of fine hairs on it that will stick in your skin if you handle them. I was collecting a bunch to broadcast over an area I was wanting volunteers and I kept getting the hairs stuck in my fingers. Same thing happened when I walked barefoot over them. Anyone have any experience removing the seed coating? Could be fairly slow going... I wonder if putting them in an oven or solar dehydrator first would cause the seed coating to open up. If it did then it could be fairly easy to remove the coating. Once that was done you could roast the seeds.

I'm assuming the bigleaf maple seeds are edible - I know the flowers are. Anyone able to confirm?

I did a quick google search and on the site "Plants for a Future" they list the seeds as being bitter but apparently one option is to sprout the seeds and then eat the young sprouts which apparently have a nice flavor. Here is the site: https://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Acer+Macrophyllum

Reading this report from the USDA: https://www.plants.usda.gov/plantguide/pdf/pg_acma3.pdf - it seems like getting the seeds to sprout could be challenging since you need to stratify the seeds for a few months first. Though it does sound like you can collect the seeds when they are fully developed but have not dried yet and they will sprout without the stratification. That might be an option - there are normally a ton of seeds on a single tree but I wonder if it would be worth while as a food crop...
 
Sally Munoz
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Daron Williams wrote:Anyone have any experience with bigleaf maple seeds?
One issue I see with the bigleaf maple is that the seed coating has a bunch of fine hairs on it that will stick in your skin if you handle them. I was collecting a bunch to broadcast over an area I was wanting volunteers and I kept getting the hairs stuck in my fingers.

I'm assuming the bigleaf maple seeds are edible - I know the flowers are. Anyone able to confirm?



Ooo,  good point and question, mine are Big Leaf maple too.
 
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