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Eating Pine Trees

 
                              
Posts: 47
Location: Ohio zone 4-5
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I ran across this article that proposes drying, powdering your pine trees or Christmas tree to use as flavoring for foods like cookies, rice, roasts.

http://eater.com/archives/2010/12/27/of-course-rene-redzepi-wants-you-to-eat-your-christmas-tree.php

I grow a variety of evergreens including white pine, canadian hemlock, firs, spruce, red pines. I have eaten the hemlock leaves while on winter hikes. I do know the the Greek Retsina is a pine cask flavored wine, so there are authenticated edible uses for pine.
Has anyone put this to practice, or if this has been covered somewhere on the Permies forum, please link.
 
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I like to chew on needles and sap is really good for me, i like to lick it, it gets stuck on teeths but i don't mind really, it's fun. Here is a video, you might like it, sorry about rawism, well it's good video. About sap, inner bark, needles, pollen, seeds... http://www.youtube.com/realrawmatt#p/u/10/6OBRTwweIfw
 
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This video has been removed by the user.

 
Aljaz Plankl
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hm, too bad. Well this is what he was talking about... Collect closed cones and put them somewhere to open and in some way collect the seeds. Great food and medicine. Wrap a bag around flowers for collecting pollen. Wonderful stuff very nutritious and medicinal, you can eat it fresh or add it to smoothies. Inner bark, edible. Sap, medicinal, used in brewing alcohol, it made all the aroma and taste possible. Needles full of vitamin C, maybe to strong as food. You can break them a bit and add them to your water and turn it into holy water after whit great taste. If you hike where there are pines you shouldn't be hungry as to much of it is food.
 
                              
Posts: 47
Location: Ohio zone 4-5
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Thanks for the ideas. The pollen in smoothies was a surprise and I intend to try it!
Did he say how he uses the seeds?
Vitamin C- always can use more of this and with little processing it seems.

My link leads to another link in the NYTimes with recipes, one of which is spruce vinegar. Pretty much 3 1/2 oz pine needles added to 3 1/2 oz Apple cider vinegar in blender. Mix briefly and set in sealed container overnight, then sieve. 
There are also recipes for spruce butter and spruce oil.
 
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Don't forget about pesto!
 
Posts: 115
Location: Eastern Shore VA
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There are a few spruce beers that are produced commercially.  And I've come across several recipes for homebrewing.  I've never made one myself but my cousin has and I tried it.  It was very good.  Most recipes call for the bright green new growth in the spring.
 
                        
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would you please elaborate on pine pesto, Sol?  I'm a cooking amateur... I'd love to learn more!
 
                    
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Pine trees are an excellent source of vitamin C. Edible parts include...

Inner-bark around the base of the tree.

Needles can be chewed on as a trail side nibble.

If you can find some, undeveloped pine cones are excellent (best part of the tree).

The pollen is edible, note however it was eaten by Native Americans before battle. Modern day research showing it is very similar to testosterone naturally produced by humans. It acted as a steroid for the Indians.

Young tender twigs are edible. Identified by there khaki color as compared to the darker brown of the rest of the branch.

On the end of these young twigs you'll commonly find two tan almost almond shaped buds that are very good tasting as well.


Pine trees have long been adorned for there edibility and use throughout history. There was even a time when pines were more valuable then gold. After the discovery of the Americas there was a huge demand for wooden ships. Pine trees were the source of tar used to waterproof these ships.
 
                        
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thank you!  in addition to your fine points on edible-related uses, i especially appreciated the suggestion of pine tar pitch!  i completely overlooked this when searching for methods of waterproofing.
 
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I love pine nuts, any advice on harvesting my own? How to identify, how to harvest, when etc? Thanks for any info. I've been reading the Anastasia series and the most interesting part of it has been the bit about "cedar nut" (pine nut" oil.
 
                    
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To harvest the seeds, just take brown unopened female cones and set them next to a heater or fire. Many species of pine have very small seeds. They wont be as large as store bought seeds in most cases.
 
T. Joy
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Any pine cones? Will the seeds them fall out or do you need to pry them free? I am very curious about this. Pine pollen is being sold for a fortune at the health food store all of a sudden too. Seems a funny thing to purchase if it can be had for free, I mean I have never lived anywhere that didn't have pine trees of some sort or other!
 
                    
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So long as it is a Pinus it can be utilized in this way. They seeds may be very small in some species though. I have never gathered the seeds myself because the pines in my area have very tiny seeds.

If you try it, let us know how it goes. The warmth should simply cause the cone to open and the seeds to fall out.
 
pollinator
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Location: Vancouver Island
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txpc wrote:
Inner-bark around the base of the tree.


What sized tree? Some of the older ones have pretty thick, rough bark. PFAF seems to indicate fir works about the same. Any idea on the differences from pine to fir? Cedar is probably not something to eat.

the needles do taste good though.
 
Posts: 78
Location: zone 6
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T. Joy wrote:
I love pine nuts, any advice on harvesting my own? How to identify, how to harvest, when etc? Thanks for any info. I've been reading the Anastasia series and the most interesting part of it has been the bit about "cedar nut" (pine nut" oil.



Such a good series of books, eh?

I eat pine nuts raw. Green Dean has an excellent video on pines, check it out:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HA39XQ8UAr4
 
                            
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Here's a video by the late Frank Cook on the Pine Family. I highly recommend it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hlw4KGttIF0

I've been eating pine tips this spring and immature cones when a branch falls out of the tree. Both are great. I've made pine needle tea, also good. I like this idea of collecting young pines, I see tons of little pine babies out in the woods. I might do that today... yum.
 
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