What to do with the tree when the festivities are over is a question which comes up every year. Usually it is off to the recycling centre. Ever thought of eating it? The thought that it is possible to consume your Christmas tree is, possibly, taking eating up the leftovers as a step too far perhaps?
However, according to the wild food lab, Wood*ing a Milanese, research laboratory looking at the collecting, conservation and use of wild food in the kitchen, it is possible. You may not have time... to be extracting, grinding and milling to extract the food, but it's nice to know if you do you could, in fact, eat your Christmas tree.
01 of 04
Yes, most of them end up on the floor, into your socks and Christmas presents over the festive season making them something of a nuisance but they do deserve respect as in culinary terms they are the best part of the tree.
The needles are hard, quite bitter and have a citrus note. Not only do they look like a sprig of Rosemary they can, in fact, be used in place of it. Otherwise, a more widespread use is extracting the juice from the needles and use as a flavouring in a salad dressing.
Pine... needles also make a lovely mild tea stacked with vitamin C.
The needle extract also has many medicinal qualities and claims, but here we only focus only on the edible.
02 of 04
The seeds of the pine cone (called pine nuts though they are seeds) are the best known edible part of the pine cone but unlikely will be on your tree, as any pine cones you do have most likely will be quite old by the time they make it to your living room. The best cones for eating are the fresh and young cones which make a tasty soup but the older ones, like the needles, make a delicious tea.
03 of 04
The bark is perhaps the hardest part of the pine tree to eat, as first, you will have to remove the older, outer bark to reach the inner, which is the edible part, and for eating must be as fresh as possible. If you have felled the tree yourself and can guarantee the freshness, then you are in luck. Boil the pieces of the inner bark with a tiny pinch of salt and a splash of oil to make a tasty broth.
A tree that has travelled a long distance and been in storage for some time before it evens... reaches your house will not, understandably, be at its freshest. That leaves drying it out and grinding to make a flour to use in baking.
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Consult wood*ing website more information on wild food and eating your tree
At Wood*ing they not only pick, categorise, analyse, and conserve vegetables or those plant parts considered edible for humans, they also cook and teach how to cook their findings.
Wood*ing is not a random foraging organisation tramping through the forest of Europe for fun and adventure, this is serious work with great attention and respect of the forest and its ecosystems.