Spruce & Fir tips are rich in Vitamin C. A tea made with the tips is said to soothe coughs and sore throats as well as help with lung congestion. They can be used as a food source or medicinally in many recipes. This time of year our bodies tend to be low in many vitamins as we're coming out of winter, so fresh spring greens and things like Spruce or Fir tips are an excellent way to get much needed vitamins into the body.
Spring conifer tips are the trees natural new growth. You can forage for them in the wild or if you happen to have a tree on your property already it's a great use of it. I actually have never foraged for them, I've always had a spruce or fir tree to pick from.
If you are foraging, just use good practices like picking small amounts from several trees versus a large amount from one tree. You can use many different tree's tips but I have personally only ever used Spruce & Fir, mainly because I know how to easily identify them and I've always had them on my property. Please do your own research on identifying trees and which ones have edible parts and which ones (like Ponderosa Pine or Yew) do not. With anything foraged make sure you are absolutely certain you have identified it right.
Confifer tips are the bright green new growth and are easy to spot. They're soft still and easy to pluck from the tree. They are very sharp in taste but an amazing source of vitamin C. If you cook with them, the flavor is dramatically mellowed. In fact they're great sauteed with onions and such as a topping for chicken. However to retain as many of the vitamins I like to use them in a fresh or dried state. I like to eat them a few at at time raw but no one else in my family will, they're too sharp of a taste for them.While there are many recipes, medicinal and just to eat, I've listed 3 super simple recipes that I use.
You can add them to water in a mason jar and simply set in the sun. Prepare as if you were making a sun tea. Once they've been steeping in a warm and sunny place for a few hours, strain and pour water over ice. It's quite refreshing.
Just make sure to wash tips prior to steeping with tea. Honey is a great addition to this if you want a sweeter taste, or feel free to mix it up by adding your favorite tea blend when steeping.
This one is again a very easy one. Salt pulls moisture out of substances, so mixing it with the tips is going to dry them into a preserved state. Simply layer Tips and Salt, making sure to use a generous amount of salt between layers. You can do this in an uncovered jar. I like to stir it around every few days to make sure the salt is covering everything. Once tips have been dried out by salt simply cover and store in a jar.
You can also lay the tips out to air dry or pop in the dehydrator. Once dried, grind and then mix with salt, whatever method you prefer. These make great little gifts. You can mix with your favorite dried herbs. I make a big batch of Rosemary & Fir Tip Finishing salts every year and always have a few quick gifts ready to go. Below is that easy recipe.
-1 Tablespoon coarse ground dried spruce tips. Make sure to remove any hard stem pieces.
-1 teaspoon ground Rosemary
-3 Tablespoons salt of choice. I like to mix a coarse sea salt and Himalayan salt. Any good quality salt will work for this and feel free to mix different sized salts together. Like I said I like to mix a course salt with a finer salt.
Recipe makes 1, 2 ounce jar.
This is a vinegar tincture. I use good Raw Apple Cider vinegar, which is quite good for you to drink daily. Simply fill a glass jar 1/2 full with washed tips and top with Vinegar, making sure tips are completely covered. Close the jar tightly with a lid (ideally not metal) Let sit for 4+ weeks, try to shake daily if you remember and then strain and bottle up. You can add a couple tablespoons to a glass of water for daily drinking. You just want to have it be diluted with water versus drinking straight vinegar, which can be harmful to your teeth enamel and esophagus.
You can always add these to a fire cider recipe. If you're not familiar with that, it's basically the same thing with many herbs, garlic, ginger, peppers, honey and more. Maybe I'll post a recipe of that soon, for now just google it if it peaks your interest:)
Those are my very simple recipes for trying something a bit new. There are a lot of recipes out there for syrups and such but sometimes keeping it simple allows us to try new things without over complicating things so much that we never try it. So, next time you walk past a Spruce tree in the spring with bright green tips, you'll have to try it!
Important: I am not a doctor or medical professional and the advice in this post is for informational purposes only. If you are pregnant, nursing or have a health condition, consult a doctor before adding anything to your health routine. As always consult a professional before foraging so you can learn more about identifying plants and best practices.
If you liked this post make sure to check out my other DIY's like this favorite Detox Bath Soak RECIPE.
Thanks again for stopping by and happy DIYing!
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