Hazel catkin –  (Corylus avellana)

Yellow catkins, the male flowers of the hazel tree are one of the first signs of spring, the banana of the North. Often they are considered not more than survival food. I think it is due to their poor flavour and texture which resembles dry sawdust. However, they are a good source of protein, vitamins, minerals and have anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and detoxifying action. They are definitely not for everyone.  But if you like to experiment with new and wild flavours it can be fun to try and make something out of them. But be aware that they contain pollen, which is a strong allergen for some people. If you have any pollen allergy, stay away from eating them.

hazel catkin in different stages of ripeness

1.Make herbal tea. 2-3 catkins per 1 cup of boiling water, leave covered for 15 minutes.

2.Dip them in melted chocolate. Everything taste good with chocolate

3. Add some catkins to spring herbal soup, texture improves with cooking.

4. Collect pollen.  Leave unopened catkins (smaller and brown) on a plate for a few hours until they release pollen. Use pollen to roll chocolate balls or have in bread or cakes.

5. If you want to test a survival recipe, dry and grind catkins into a powder to use in cooking and baking to add protein into your meal.

hazel flowers’ tea

collecting hazel’s pollen