How to Eat Your Christmas Tree – Edible & Healthy Pine Needles!Posted: December 5, 2014
Decked out in lights and ornaments, your Christmas tree is capable of doing more than just stand pretty. The same goes for that evergreen proudly stretching its branches in your backyard.
Those needles your tree displays are chock full of vitamins A & C, with a minty, fresh, and pine-like flavor. And you better believe they are edible.
Not sure what pine tastes like? Go ahead and grab a needle from the tree and find out. All pine needles are suitable to eat, though you may find that you enjoy the flavor of some types over others. Just steer clear of any trees you believe may have been sprayed with pesticides.
We suggest chewing on their ends, almost like a stick of gum, or steeping them into a tea, the most common way pines are consumed. Here’s a recipe to get your started. Once you create the simple tea, add a little honey and drink as is, or use the vitamin tonic to flavor soups, breads, and sauces, or any other recipe you in which you might add a liquid.
It’s a great way to try something new, and really put your holiday tree to use – especially when you’re about to send it out the door at the end of the season. However, if you’re feeling a bit dubious about Pine Needle tea, we’ve put together a collection of other wintertime tea tonics for boosting your health and keeping you warm. Check out a few of our favorites below!
Green Tea: Green tea has a secret ingredient called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) that can fight virus particles from the flu and prevent them from replicating, research shows. Consider swapping your coffee for green teabag instead at the first sign of feeling sick, or even before! Our favorite types: Jasmine and Hojicha.
Lemon Ginger Tea: When lemon, high in vitamin C, teams up with ginger, you can create a simple yet effective tea for your health. Ginger is known to be beneficial for your digestive system, and can be soothing for an upset stomach. Add a little honey to balance out the spiced concoction, and this tea becomes soothing for your throat, too. To make, simply peel and slice a 2-inch knob of ginger into circles. Add it to a pan with 3 cups of water, and bring to a simmer. Let simmer over low heat for 5 minutes, and then pour into a cup with a squeezed lemon wedge. Add honey, to taste.
Peppermint Tea: Peppermint contains an active agent, menthol, that acts as decongestant, beneficial for when you’re dealing with a cold. It’s also capable of easing indigestion and nausea. Grab a tea bag or steep your own by piling a bunch of leaves into a pitcher, and filling the rest with boiling water. Let steep for at least 10 minutes before serving.
Chamomile Tea: Whether you’re sick and need a little help to sleep it off, or simply want to unwind, chamomile tea provides relaxing and sedative effects. Research shows the flower has nerve calming properties, which can help put you at ease and even be helpful for insomnia. When brewing, consider combining it with loose leaf lavender, or a lavender tea bag. Lavender also has calming properties, and is an anti-inflammatory, too. Plus, it’ll add a pleasant flowery taste to your cup of tea.
And don’t forget about the Pine Needle Tea, in the event you’re up for something new!