Another update from Aubrey:
Who knew you could eat pine trees? Not me. So I decided to do some research (apparently I can’t ever just take a break from blogging) and found some interesting information.
Pine needles have long been used as a traditional health-promoting medicinal food because they exhibit strong antioxidant, antimutagenic, and antiproliferative effects on cancer cells and also antitumor effects in vivo and point to their potential usefulness in cancer prevention. They are loaded with Vitamin C. Pine bark contains an antioxidant called Pycnogenol that not only helps the body to assimilate Vitamin C but also aids in heart health.
There’s been a bunch of questions about this guest article, so I’m going to take some time to clarify. In America your Christmas tree be a fir tree, not a pine tree. That’s fine, dude. Fir, pine, and spruce trees are all edible.
Now the question that no one is asking, but I want to clarify, is whether or not you want to actually eat your Christmas tree. Probably not, if you bought it from a commercial retailer, because the odds of it being sprayed with pesticides–or worse– are pretty high. The good news is there are untreated trees everywhere, they’re not hard to find. Just do your research before you go poking around in the woods. There are sources at the bottom of the article to get you started, I added even more today.
Now quit worrying about semantics and go drink some Pine Needle tea!
Well, Christmas is definitely over. The Christmas tree has been stripped of its decorations… and many of its branches. It’s the start of a new year, and the start of a new cooking adventure – cooking with my Christmas tree! I’m hoping I can convince some of you to embark on this adventure with me or, at the very least, plant a thought-seed and inspire you to do this next year.
Start with the ends of the branches. The ends of the branches aren’t as thick and sappy as the inner parts of the branches. The very tips (say, the last 5cm of each branch) are going to be the best ones for using as sprigs to flavor roasts and the likes. You don’t want to use the thicker parts and end up with sticky sap in your meals. Put the tips of the pine branches into zip lock bags (you can chuck them all in the same one, you don’t have to bother doing just one in each bag) and freeze them. Use them much as you would a sprig of rosemary – simply to impart a delicate flavor into a roast dish, rather than eating the actual needles.
Then the thicker parts (the next 5cm or so) will be good for the pine needle powder, as you won’t even use the twigs – just the needles.
Cut the next 5cm or so off the Christmas tree branches. Strip each twig of its needles, and place the needles in a strainer. Rinse needles, and spread on dehydrator trays. Dry on 52 degrees Celsius for about 10 hours or until the needles can be snapped in half (i.e. no moisture left, and the needles snap cleanly rather than bending). Once completely dry, place half of the pine needles in the thermomix bowl. Grind on speed 10 for about 1 minute. Add the remaining pine needles and grind on speed 10 for 2 minutes. And there you have it – Christmas tree powder! Pop it in a jar, and start experimenting.
Sarah is the mum who runs Homemade, Healthy, Happy.Here’s how she describes her healthy journey: I started blogging a couple of months ago and sharing some of my recipes, in the hopes of inspiring others to inform themselves about supermarket foods and to start cooking from scratch. The additive free change was motivated by two things: wanting my son to be as healthy as possible, and also a desperate desire to try anything to get rid of the daily headaches and constant exhaustion that I was experiencing (and have experienced for much of my life). Since cutting additives out of our diet completely and cooking everything from scratch, I can happily say that I am headache-free and have more energy than I could have dreamed of. And just generally, we’re looking towards a healthier, brighter future!