I’ve been seeing so many pictures of people on Instagram harvesting the bright green tips of conifer trees. I was beginning to think my spruce tree was defective because I still hadn’t see anything on mine! But today when I walked outside, I noticed that there’s finally some young tips I can harvest. But what to do with them?! Here’s a big list of ways you can use them to help get your imagination going. You can find more recipes and information about spruce collected from around the web on my Spruce Tips board on Pinterest here.
Spruce tips are often harvested to be used as a tea for colds and respiratory issues. They’re also great added to food since they’re high in vitamin c, magnesium, and potassium. Some recipes say that they have a citrusy flavour and can be used in a way similar to rosemary but that flavour varies by tree and age.
For harvesting, just break off the tender, bright green new growth and remove the casing or any hard older parts that came off too. One website mentioned that we shouldn’t harvest the centre tip because it will harm tree growth. If you want to improvise and try adding Spruce Tips to some of your favourite recipes, Forager Chef has some good tips here about what he learned while experimenting. I also just generally enjoyed reading this article packed with ideas from The Globe and Mail.
Beer – Spruce or Fir Tip Beer from Honest Food
Cake – Spruce Drizzle Cakes from The Moose Curry Experience
Cookies – Spruce Tip and Rose Petal Shortbread from Arctic Garden Studio
Dip – Spruce Tip Dip from The Wild Garden
Gnocchi – Beau Schooler’s Spruce Tip Gnocchi from food-a-be
Honey – Raw Oatghurt w Spruce Tip Honey from Earthsprout (centre column)
Ice cream – Spruce Ice Cream from Forager Chef (centre in the right column)
Jelly – Spruce Tip Jelly from Kitchen Vignettes on PBS (top of the left column)
Main Dish – Wild Mushroom Fettuccini with Spruce Tip Pesto from Food Network (top of the right column)
Mayonnaise – Spruce Tip Mayonnaise from Laurie Constantino
Oil – Spruce Tip Oil from Boreal Gourmet
Oxymel – Spruce Tip Oxymel from Terra Sura
Salt – Spruce Tip Salt from cider & rye
Side dish – Buttery Sautéed Mushrooms with Spruce Tips and Chives from Kitchen Frau (bottom of the right column)
Soda – Spruce Tips Soda from Birch and Bike
Syrup – Spruce Tip Syrup from Honest Food
Tart – Spruce Tip, Mango & Lemon Cream Tart from food-a-be
Tea – White Spruce Tip Tea from Urban Nettle (bottom of the left column)
Vinegar – Spruce Tip Vinegar from Bacon is Magic
What’s your favourite way to use Spruce Tips? Let us know in the comments!