Maple Roasted Nuts: A Sweet, Seasonal Treat

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Maple Roasted Nuts: A Sweet, Seasonal Treat

Craving something sweet? These delicious maple roasted nuts are the perfect treat to help you push through those end-of-winter blues.

The following is an excerpt from Full Moon Feast by Jessica Prentice. It has been adapted for the web.

The Magic of Maple: A Rich History

Following the Hunger Moon, just before the first thaw after the cold winter, comes the Sap Moon.

While all northern trees produce sap at this time of year, the sugar maple in particular inspired the naming of the Sap Moon. Maple sap runs from the first sign of thaw until the first buds appear on the trees—a period of four to six weeks, depending on the weather.

During this phase of the year, in times past, the northern dwellers of the eastern part of this continent would begin to check the maple trees for the sweet sap that was an important source of food.

When the sap was running it was time to head for your nearest grove of sugar maples, called a sugar bush, begin tapping the trees, collecting sap, and pouring it into large pots for sugaring.

What a lovely thing to contemplate: people stirring huge cauldrons of boiling maple sap with a wooden spoon over a fire in the midst of a snowy wood. The fragrance of the sap as it evaporated slowly into thick, sweet syrup must have been intoxicating.

Maple Roasted Nuts: A Sap Moon Recipe

Makes 1 cup

Ingredients

  • 1 cup walnuts or pecans
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup

Procedure

    1. Place the nuts in a colander and shake to remove any powdery bits that might burn.
    2. Transfer the nuts to a cast-iron skillet and toast over medium-high heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until they begin to change color and smell fragrant (just a few minutes).
    3. Pour the maple syrup over the nuts in the hot pan.
    4. Stir and shake for a minute until all the nuts are coated and the syrup has evaporated.
    5. Pour the nuts onto a wooden cutting board. Immediately fill the skillet with water and place it in the
      sink. (This prevents the sugar from sticking to the pan and becoming hard to clean!)
    6. Use a spatula or other tool to scrape and stir the nuts on the cutting board and keep them moving for a minute or so while they cool (otherwise they’ll stick to the cutting board).
    7. Transfer the nuts to a bowl and put the cutting board under hot water.
    8. Eat and enjoy as a snack, or serve with fruit, or put on a salad.

Maple Syrup 101: Spouts, Tapping, and Trees

Birch & Walnut Syrups: Beyond the Maple

✿ Read More: Gardening Tips and Advice.

Dr Heidi Parkes

By Dr Heidi Parkes

Senior Information Extension Officer QLD Dept of Agriculture & Fisheries.