There is something so magical about being able to take a leisurely morning hike in the woods to pick your breakfast!! It’s mid June here in the Oregon Coast Range and the blue elderberry plants are in full bloom! And so are the “wild” feral pie cherries growing along the countryside, one of my most favorite fruits, which I also picked for this meal! But the true star of this recipe is the blossoms of the wild blue elderberry plant. So yes, when you eat the blossoms you are eating potential fruit, but where I live elderberries grow in such abundance, it’s hardly noticed that I’ve made breakfast from a few of the blossoms. I use the “blue elderberry” blossoms, which are actually white, as the red elderberries are said to be somewhat toxic to humans (this info varies based on which source you check). And the red elderberries are also said to be less palatable for this reason too. I should also note that it I’ve read there is some cyanide-inducing glycoside in the blue elderberry stems and leaves, but the berries and blossoms are edible, and as you surf the web you will find endless testimonies of people enjoying elderflower fritters with no ill effect. Most seem to also consider the tiny stem fragments that hold the blossoms together harmless, so I just cut off or eat around the larger stems.
I first learned about making wild edible elderflower fritters and pancakes from my most favorite wild food adventure book, “Foraging the Mountain West” I highly recommend this wild food guide whether foraging in your own neighborhood or for taking along on summer camping trips. We take this book on every outdoor adventure we go on! And from this book I have learned tons of neat tricks and tips on how to enjoy the bounty of wild foods that are growing all around us everyday!
Pictured in this post are fresh picked “blue elderberry” blossoms. The elderberry plant grows as a large bush, and often very tall, almost tree-like. The elderberry likes to be near water, but also loves good drainage, so you will often find them are steep embankments above creeks and ditches. When in bloom you can seed them alongside the roads and highways all over western Oregon and the western US. Here is a post on how to identify blue elderberry.
Wild Elderflower Fritters
- 6 to 8 elderflower blossoms
- 1 batch your favorite "fry batter" or "pancake batter" - see mine below
- Paleo Fritter Fry Batter
- 1/2 cup sprouted watermelon seeds see notes!
- 2 pastured eggs
- 2 Tablespoons to 4 "milk" I like full fat coconut milk
- 1 Tablespoons sweetener* see notes
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- pinch of sea salt
- cup - Oil for cooking 1/4 coconut oil or more
IMPORTANT: Be 100% sure that you have picked actual wild elderflower blossoms!! There are poisonous white blossoms that can be found on other plants like (Deadly) Poison Hemlock in bloom at the same time. To me Poison Hemlock and Elderberry Plants are very different, but to someone foraging in haste they may accidentally pick the wrong plant, please do your research to properly ID an elderberry plant!! See this post for info on Poison Hemlcok
Prepare your favorite "fry & fritter batter". I have two fry batters I like. One is in my low starch cookbook that uses another seed that is much easier to find and makes a great fry batter for onion rings & mushrooms. And for sweeter fritters I like the following fry batter a lot!
Paleo Fry Batter Directions
Grinder sprouted watermelon seeds in a coffee grinder until powdery, about 10 to 15 seconds.
Mix all batter ingredients together in a mixing bowl. You can use an immersion blender or whisk for an even smoother batter.
Over medium heat melt 1/4 cup coconut oil (or your favorite cooking oil). When oil is "hot", dip an elderflower blossom head into the fry batter, shake off excess batter and gently place flower head into hot oil. Let each fritter cook a minute or two on each side, until thoroughly cooked through. After each side is lightly fried, I use a fork to push gently push down on the fritters to push out any uncooked batter out of the middle. When thoroughly cooked, remove from heat and fry the next 2 flower heads, and repeat.
I learned a trick from my favorite book, "Foraging the Mountain West" to cut the stems off with scissors when the fritters are frying top side down, before flipping over. I just kinda eat around the stems, and gently pull them out as I eat the fritters (see notes in blog post about cyanide in stems)
Serve garnished with loose elderflower blossoms, powdered maple sugar, jam, maple syrup, or fresh fruit. I also topped them with cherries I found growing wild.
*I use the Go Raw brand of Sprouted Watermelon Seeds in this recipe. The best deals I have found have been around $7.99 at Whole Foods and $9.99 at Vitacost. To save $10 on your first order from Vitacost, use this link: https://goo.gl/HB3zII
*Any sweetener should work. I've used both honey and powdered maple sugar. I liked the lighter color fritters I got when I used maple sugar. You can also use erythritol or lakanto. Or you can totally omit the sweetener or use a tiny bit of stevia if you'd like instead.
For estimated nutrition information for the fry batter refer to my low carb crepes recipe post.
I learned about eating wild elderflower blossom from my favorite wild food book, “Foraging the Mountain West” by Thomas J Elpel and Kris Reed. While this recipe and fry batter are totally original recipes from me, I first learned that wild elderberry blossoms were edible, along with a bounty of other delicious plants from this book. Highly recommended reading if you like wild food adventures!