By: Becca Badgett, Co-author of How to Grow an EMERGENCY Garden
If you encounter a situation where foraging for food isneeded, it is helpful to know what you can eat. There may be a few options thatyou don’t know about. You may remember the helicopters you played with as achild, those that fell off the maple tree.They’re more than something to play with, as they contain a pod with edibleseeds inside.
The helicopters, also called whirligigs, but technicallyknown as samaras,are the outer covering that must be removed when eating seeds from maple trees.The seed pods under the covering are edible.
After peeling the outer covering of the samara, you’ll finda pod containing the seeds. When they’re young and green, in spring, they’re saidto be most tasty. Some info calls them a spring delicacy, as they normally fallearly in that season. At this time, you can toss them raw into a salad orstir-fry with other young vegetables and sprouts.
You may also remove them from the pod to roast or boil. Somesuggest mixing them into mashed potatoes.
If you find you like maple tree seeds to eat, you need toharvest them before squirrels and other wildlife get to them, as they love themtoo. Seeds are usually blown by wind when they’re ready to leave the tree. Thetrees release the samaras when they’re ripe.
You need to recognize them, because the helicopters do flyaway from the tree in brisk winds. Info says they can fly as far as 330 feet(100 m.) from the tree.
Various maples produce the samaras at different times in some areas, so the harvest may last for an extended period. Gather the maple seeds to store, if you like. You may continue eating seeds from maple trees through summer and fall, if you find them. The taste becomes a little bitter as they mature, so roasting or boiling is better for the later consumptions.
Disclaimer:The contents of this article is for educational and gardening purposes only.Before using or ingesting ANY herb or plant for medicinal purposes orotherwise, please consult a physician, medical herbalist or other suitableprofessional for advice.
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