Maple seeds

One of my kids came in today & said, taste this!

So, I tasted my first maple seed (Manitoba Maple). It was nutty and...I am not sure what. Certainly different, but not green and not bad. No bitterness.

Does anyone have any thought on how to more easily extract the seed? That was one complaint that I heard.

@torey Can you add any medicinal information or recipes?

We got a bit colder weather again, so that should extend the season for anyone collecting syrup.


  • judsoncarroll4
    judsoncarroll4 Posts: 5,283 admin

    This is a favorite of mine! When I was a kid in the NC mountains, we had a huge old maple in the front yard. Its seeds were about lentil sized. Whenever I went out on a hike and they were in season, I'd take a pocket full and eat them like sunflower seeds. I asked a bunch of permaculture/silvo pasture folks a couple of years ago, and it seems that most maples have much smaller seeds, and they have never ben bred for seed quality. SO, you have to find a good one and frequent it!

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,402 admin

    @LaurieLovesLearning I have never been able to figure out how to peel (?) them properly. I have tried our local Douglas Maple but they are quite small and hard, no matter what stage I get them at. I have tried with the larger Big Leaf Maple from our south coast but also had a very difficult time getting at the seed/nut. Very tough skin with prickly hairs. I have heard that they taste like raw green peas. Not so much in my experience. But I think, as @judsoncarroll4 has suggested, that depends on the tree. I found an article that says if you soak them for an hour they are much easier to peel. Haven't tried that yet.

    I have read that they can be dried and ground into a flour. The long flowers on the Big Leaf Maple can be battered and fried as fritters. Haven't tried that either as I am not usually in the area when they are flowering.

    I found an article on the nutritional comparison of some seeds. Maples do not have the same levels of amino acids as pumpkin seeds so are not as good of a source of protein. Quite a bit lower in fats but much higher in carbs. Again, I think this would depend on the species. Not much research on the nutritional value.

    No luck finding anything on medicinal properties.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,215 admin
    edited March 2021
  • nicksamanda11
    nicksamanda11 Posts: 713 ✭✭✭✭

    We just peel and eat them but it is difficult and it would really take alot of time to get a substantial quantity. I like the grinding into flour idea- i may set aside a few hours to peel a bowl full and maybe get a cup of flour to play with.

  • marjstratton
    marjstratton Posts: 1,131 ✭✭✭✭

    Haven't tried eating maple seeds. It seems to me they are a bit too spiky to try to eat them like sunflower seeds. I may have to try soaking them to peel them. I have had maple flowers fried as fritters. Good but not what I was expecting (not sweet). I will try to get out this spring and collect some flowers which are more available up in the mountains than down here at sea-level.

  • JennyT Upstate South Carolina
    JennyT Upstate South Carolina Posts: 1,273 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I never thought about eating maple seeds. May have to give it a try sometime.😊

  • blevinandwomba
    blevinandwomba Posts: 813 ✭✭✭✭

    We have a ton of Norway Maples in my town- three in my yard. I'll have to give this a try, though I'm dubious as to the flavor- the seeds are pretty big.

  • frogvalley
    frogvalley Posts: 675 ✭✭✭✭

    Maple seeds are edible? Wow! And here I've been spending years learning about other edibles/medicinals not in my back yard. How do you say "I'm sorry" to your yard?

  • SuperC
    SuperC Posts: 900 ✭✭✭✭

    @nicksamanda11 you can eat maple tree seeds? We had no idea. Is that true for all maple trees?

    COWLOVINGIRL Posts: 954 ✭✭✭✭

    Wow! I never knew maple seeds were edible!

  • jowitt.europe
    jowitt.europe Posts: 1,349 admin

    so far I used maple seeds with the wing to decorate my nose. It has some king of glue, when you open the seed part and which sticks well. That was, of course, in my childhood. But I never, ever tried to eat one. Thank you for this idea.