Why to eat spruce tips and how to use them?
Spruce tips are one of my childhood memories as our grandparents farmhouse was surrounded by tall spruces, so in spring, early summer we were munching away on sour spruce tips. Little did we know, that they had so many health benefits.
So my father asked me this weekend if I wanted to pick some spruce tips as they have a spruce hedge next to their house. They had themselves made some spruce tips syrup and apparently it was very good. So, I thought why not explore and try the different ways how to use them in food.
What are spruce tips and why to eat them?
The spruce buds are the tips of the spruce branches that emerge in Estonia spring, early summer and they have this beautiful fresh green colour.
Spruce tips have several health benefits, they:
are high in Vitamin C (fresh or dried)
are rich in magnesium and potassium
contain carotenoids, which enhance your immune system
contain chlorophyll, which is good for healing and growing tissue, healing wounds
they help to relieve sore throat and cough
transport oxygen to cells, therefore boosting energy
help with weight loss as help to control blood sugar balance
help to control cravings
relieve constipation and gas
bonds poisonous metals in your body
What are the ways to consume spruce tips?
You can eat them raw as they are or freeze them for winter to add into food.
You can add them into smoothies- a little goes a long way. I created a smoothie from avocado, banana, kiwi and added couple of spruce tips.
You can add them into salad
You can make a pesto out of them (I used basil leaves, pine nuts, nutritional yeast, spruce tips (little goes a long way), olive oil, salt, pepper).
You can use them as a flavour for your water
You can use dried spruce tips for the tea
You can make syrup out of the spruce tips and use it as a sweetener in tea, drizzle it on pancakes, in a greek yoghurt, drizzle over soft cheese (like goat cheese), use as a glaze on meats. I tried and made syrup ready to be used immediately.
And I also tried something different- where I mixed the spruce tips and coconut sugar together and letting it now to stand and mature in the sun for a month- let's see whether and what comes out. It's said, that you get a very flavoursome syrup out of spruce tips giving it time to do it's job.
I hope you'll get inspiration from this post and give the spruce tips a try.