Can you eat Christmas tree needles?

In this article, we will answer the question “Can you eat Christmas tree needles?”, and how to make Christmas-cured fish using pine needles?

Can you eat Christmas tree needles?

Yes, you can eat Christmas tree needles. 

Make some pine honey: Stir the pine needles into your organic honey. Tightly seal the honey jar and leave for at least a month to let the pine flavor develop and infuse into the honey. 

Infuse the needles to make pine tea: Stir some pine needles into your piping hot cup of tea. Flavor with honey, ginger, and lemon. This pine-infused tea is a great choice for cold winter evenings and a rich source of Vitamin C.

Use it to make fresh pine jelly: Use the strained pine-infused tea as the base for making pine jelly. Use the gelatin or jelly powder to set your jelly. The flavor profile of pine jelly and mint jelly is somewhat similar. Pine jelly particularly goes well with spiced beef.

Roast your fish on a bed of fresh pine: Rinse and dry some sprigs of fresh pine. Use these dried pine needles as the bed for resting your fish. 

Infuse your roast chicken with the scent of Christmas: Stuff your free-range chicken with onion, apple, and fresh pine sprigs. The pine flavor will penetrate the chicken skin and enrich the flavor of chicken juices.

Add pine to your bread: Before you put your bread in the oven for baking, sprinkle it with some chopped soft-leaved pine needles and crunchy sea salt for a burst of flavors in the final product. 

Barbeque with pine: Throw some pine needles over the coals to make pine-infused barbeque.

Use fresh pine to hot smoke salmon fillet: Throw some fresh pine sprigs into a dry wok or deep saucepan and top with a wire rack. Place your seasoned fish fillets over the wire rack and smoke over low heat, with a tightly closed lid. 

5 Ways to use your Christmas tree other than eating it 

Recycle it 

In comparison to real trees, artificial Christmas trees have a much higher carbon footprint. If you manage to recycle 2 meters of the artificial Christmas tree, you can reduce your carbon footprint by 80%.

These trees are mostly recycled into chippings, that end up in woodland paths and walkways, or used in coastal defense schemes.

Replant it in your back garden 

Save the plant for the next year’s decoration by re-planting it in your back garden. In addition to this, you can also use the Christmas tree needles to fertilize your plants. 

These needles make the soil acidic and support the growth of plants that thrive in acidic soil. If you are into the woodwork, you can grab this opportunity to carve Christmas presents out of the Christmas tree. 

Use it to freshen up your home 

The pine needles pack a lot of fragrance that can be put to good use in your house. For example, you can use pine needles to make resin oil and use it as a natural scent for your soaps, candles, and lotions. 

Alternatively, you can mix the pine needles with some potpourri to impart a fresh smell to your living room. 

Turn it into a bird sanctuary 

Place your Christmas tree in a heavy pot so that it is not easily moved. Then attach the branches with some strings of berries, popcorn, and chopped fruit in bags. Alternatively, you can use the tree in chipping for your garden or make fire logs out of it. 

Give them to your goats 

Goats love chomping on old Christmas tree branches. If you do not own any goats, you can gift the Christmas tree to someone who keeps pet goats. 

How to make Christmas-cured fish using pine needles?

Ingredients 

  • 2 kg (4 lb 8 oz) filleted fish of your choice
  • 350 g (12 oz) fir or spruce needles or 700 g (1 lb 9 oz) pine needles (or a combination)
  • 770 g (1 lb 11 oz/ 31⁄3 cups) demerara sugar
  • 500 g (1 lb 2 oz/ 11⁄2 cups) table salt
  • 2 small beetroots (beets), grated
  • grated zest of 3 lemons

Instructions 

  1. Flash freeze the fish for at least 24 hours and up to a week to kill any pathogenic bacteria that might be present. Defrost the fish in the fridge overnight. 
  1. Snip and wash large Christmas tree branches. Wash them to get rid of mud and dirt. Wash again after snipping them into short needles.
  1. Combine the sugar, salt, grated beetroot, lemon zest, and needles to make the cure.
  1. Coat a piece of cling film (roughly the size of your fish fillet) on one side, with the curing mixture. Top with the fish fillet. Add the rest of the cure mixture and pack the fillet with cling film.
  1. Top the fillet with something heavy and refrigerate the fillet for 24-36 hours. Flip the fish halfway through the curing time and top with something heavy again. 
  1. Wash off the cure and remove the needles before serving. 

Conclusion 

In this article, we answered the question “Can you eat Christmas tree needles?”, and how to make Christmas-cured fish using pine needles?

References 

https://www.bbc.com/news/newsbeat-46769080
https://www.smithsonianmag.com/innovation/you-can-eat-your-christmas-tree-heres-how-to-do-it-180976652/

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.