Big Leaf Maple Blossom Fritters!

Thanks mama Maple!

Last weekend's winds brought down some tasty delicacies for us terrestrial creatures to enjoy-- Big Leaf Maple blossoms!  YES!

Those towering, grandiose, magical, moss-covered (and often licorice fern-covered) Big Leaf Maple trees (Acer macrophyllum) that we're so blessed to have growing abundantly in our region are bursting with beautiful golden-green racemes right about now!  And thanks to the recent Spring winds, it just got a whole lot easier to harvest some of these delicious blossoms!

I found lots and lots of freshly fallen Big Leaf Maple blossoms on the ground over the weekend.  But in case your neck of the woods wasn't as windy, you can still harvest the flowers straight from the tree.  Just look for some low hanging branches.  Or get yourself a really tall ladder.  Or make friends with an arborist!

Now is the perfect time to harvest these flowers as they are just emerging from their rust-colored buds.  They're a tasty and nutritious addition to salads, soups and stir-fries, but my absolute favorite way to prepare them is by dipping them in batter and frying them into tasty nuggets of goodness, aka fritters!

Here's how I make Big Leaf Maple Blossom fritters:

Step 1-  Harvest the Big Leaf Maple flowers when they are still compact and tightly clustered.  It's best to harvest them before they become too mature as they start to get fuzzy inside and quite fibrous in general.  

Step 2-  Once you are done harvesting, whip up your favorite pancake batter mix.  Or make your own batter from scratch by combining one egg, one cup of milk and one cup of flour.

Step 3-  Warm your skillet to medium heat and drop a good amount of oil in there.  We like to use organic coconut oil. 

A super simple mix of flour, milk and egg is all you need to make a good fritter batter!

Step 4-  Once the oil is bubbling, it’s time to dip the Maple blossoms into the batter.  Make sure each blossom cluster is completely covered with yummy batter.  

Step 5- Gently drop those batter-covered blossoms into the oil (watch for splattering hot oil!  Adult supervision of young chefs is highly recommended!)  Repeat until your skillet is full of frying Maple blossoms.

Make sure you fry the blossoms thoroughly in lots of oil!

Step 6-  Once the battered flowers are cooked through (make sure you flip them over so they are browned on both sides), place them on a paper towel to soak up some of the grease.  

Step 7-  Enjoy these yummy fritters with your favorite sweetener.  These are really delicious with maple syrup, honey, jam, or powdered sugar.  Or experiment with adding different spices to the batter and enjoying them with savory sauces or dips to create a savory snack.  The possibilities are endless.  Yum! 

 

These Big Leaf Maple blossoms are perfect for harvesting!

Basket full of Maple blossoms!

Yummy fritters!  i love these dipped in honey!!