Updated: May 8, 2020
Spruce tips have arrived! Foraging can provide so many health benefits. From getting you outside and searching off the beaten path, to grounding you in the present moment through noticing the world around you and providing for your basic needs. You come away feeling nourished before you even consume your foraged food!
Spruce tips can be used in many ways but my favourite is to make a simple tea. The tea is a wonderful spring tonic that helps boost your immune system as it is packed with vitamin C and minerals. Traditionally, this tea has been used to combat scurvy, colds, coughs and fatigue.
Foraging for Tips
Identify the tree correctly! The easiest way to identify a Spruce is to touch the needles. If they are very stiff and sharp, it is a spruce.
Young tips are harvested when they are limey green and tender. Pinch off the new growth here and there – making sure to not to gather too much in one place. Remember that you are pruning.
If you don't have many Spruce trees in your area you can also make this tea with other conifer tips. Almost all are edible with the exception of the Yew tree. Try out different kinds of tips and see how each has their own unique flavour.
Spruce Tip Tea
Handful of Spruce Tips
Add: mint, cinnamon stick, lemon, lime ...
This tea is SO easy to make. Steep a handful of tips and chosen additives for 10 minutes in hot water. Strain and add a sweetener if you desire. The flavour is wonderfully mild and welcoming.
Another fun way to steep tea is to use the power of the SUN! The tea has less tannins when brewed slowly over a long period.
Sun Brewed Tea
Place 2 handful of tips and any additions (mint, cinnamon, etc) in a clear container and top up with tap water. A large mason jar is perfect.
Cover and place in the sun for 3-8 hours.
Strain and drink straight, or mix with lemon, lime and sweetener.
You can drink this as iced tea or heat it up for a hot tea.
We drank ours iced with lime and a touch of simple syrup (we had leftover from hummingbird feeder). It was DIVINE and took so little of our time. Experiment and see which brewed version you like best.