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Maple Blossoms: Cooking With This Wild Spring Edible + Recipes

Big leaf maple trees fill the forests and yards here in the Pacific Northwest. A sure sign of spring is when they drop down their frilly blossoms, coloring the forest canopies a vivid light green. While I’ve long admired maple trees, I’ve never sampled their blossoms until now! And I’ve been missing out!

Identification: 

Maple blossoms only grow in springtime so you’ll have to act quickly if you want to catch them. Here’s a great website that can help you identify big leaf maple trees in your own backyard. 

Maple trees are famous for their five-point leaf that’s featured on the Canadian flag, but in spring, before the leaves show up, they are a bit harder to identify. However, their unique light yellow blossoms are quite noticeable, ranging from 2-9” long. 

If you’re uncertain about any foraged foods, be sure to consult an expert before eating anything! 

Recipes:

Maple Blossom Fritters

These fritters have a similar flavor to vegetable tempura. They’re sweet and salty, and incredibly delicious. They don’t keep well though, so eat them while they’re hot! 

  • 10-15 freshly picked and washed maple blossoms
  • 1 c. All-purpose flour
  • ½ c. Soy milk (or milk of choice)
  • 1 T. White Sugar
  • ½ c. Olive oil (or frying oil of choice)
  • Pinch of salt
  • Maple Syrup
  1. Add oil to frying pan and heat over medium-high. 
  2. Mix together flour, milk, and sugar to roughly the consistency of pancake batter
  3. Dip each maple blossom bunch into the batter, coating evenly. Gently drop into the hot oil.
  4. Allow the bottom of the fritters to turn golden brown then flip and repeat on the other side. 
  5. Remove crispy fritters from oil and place them on paper towels to absorb extra oil and cool. 
  6. Sprinkle salt on top, serve with a side of maple syrup, and enjoy! 

Pickled Maple Blossoms

These taste like pickled broccoli florets. Yummiest when served on a fresh spring salad or eaten plain as a quick snack. 

  • 2 c. Water
  • 1 c. Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 T. Sugar
  • 1 t. Salt
  • 2-4 Cloves of Garlic
  • 1 t. Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 T. Peppercorns
  • Jar full of freshly picked and washed maple blossoms
  1. Combine all ingredients except blossoms into a saucepan and bring to a rolling boil for roughly 5-10 minutes
  2. Pour hot pickle juice into a jar filled with maple blossoms. 
  3. Let cool and enjoy immediately, or store in the fridge for up to two weeks.

Hey! I'm Callie.

I'm a mountain-obsessed skier, hiker, and mountain biker based out of Bellingham, Wa. I am the founder of Wild Grit, teaching online courses and creating videos to guide you towards a more adventurous life.

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