|A group (panicle) of maple leaf seeds in my yard. |
It is now the end of the season of my Silver Maples sending thousands of samaras to the ground. They spun like mini-helicopters filling my gutters as well as spaces outside my house.
During this period, squirrels, from near and far, were in their glory as they bounded toward my yard. "Yippee," they'd screech as they practically flew from branch to branch munching on every samara they can get their paws on. This food fest was carried out from morning till dusk during the season.
I used to complain about the samaras filling my gutters. That is until I discovered that their food value was not only good for the wildlife but also humans.
I started peeling off their "helicopter tissue" and discovered that each held one seed about the size of a small dried bean. I searched online for more information on these seeds expecting to find what wildlife benefited from them. This is when I found that the seeds are a valuable resource of protein and carbohydrates for humans.
So for the rest of my "helicopter" season I didn't complain about them -- I ate their seeds in my dishes. I now consider them a forager food. They were great in my quinwoa, salads and rice dishes.
A link, How to Eat Maple Seeds, is on WikiHow. The link states that one can eat any kind of maple seeds.