Maple Syrup is a DIVA and get all the glory and fame! The humble Maple Seed sits quietly in the shadows and gets absolutely no credit for the fruit of its labor. Not only are the helicopter wings an aviation and architectural wonder, but the seeds they strategically transport inside the built-in cockpit are an under-rated and often overlooked Wild Edible.
Different Maple Tree varieties drop their seeds at different times – and it can range from Spring to Fall. They all pretty much look the same, though. Some call them Helicopters, some call them Whirly-Gigs.
A recent wind storm here in Indiana left my yard littered with thousands on these little pods of goodness. I quickly gathered them up before all the critters and had a bowl full in about 30 seconds.
How to harvest the inner morsels, you ask?
Maple seeds remind me of peas. If you are following me, just think of the helicopter as the pea pod and the seed as the pea. Below you can see how I’ve ‘hulled’ the seed from the pod.
30 Minutes Later…
You can eat them raw, but they are slightly bitter. Boiling them for a few minutes in water just as you would peas or carrots improves the flavor.
After 5 minutes or so in boiling water, these will make a perfect side dish to any main entree. A little Sea Salt and they are good to go… They actually taste like peas too but have an after taste that is specific to Maple Seeds.
I wonder how they would taste with a little Maple Syrup drizzled on top? Hmmmm…
So the Maple Tree isn’t just for breakfast. Put it on the dinner menu as well.
Remember, it’s not IF but WHEN,