Continue reading to learn 5 ways you can enjoy eating a pine tree.
❶ Pine Nuts
Pine nuts are more common, so you may have already known about them. You may have even had them before! They are available at many health food stores, raw or roasted, but you can just pick them from your own trees yourself. Pine nuts are actually the seeds, and you can remove them from the husk and eat them raw, or enjoy them roasted. If you want to pick a lot at one time, roasting them wil increase their shelf life.
❷ Pine Needles
Okay, so now you might be out of your comfort zone. Pine needles are spikey, after all. But don’t worry; they are not meant to be eaten. Instead, you can steep pine needles in boiling water to make a delicious and soothing tea. They are a terrific source of Vitamin C too. However, not all species are safe to eat. There are three pine trees to avoid: the Yew (Taxus), Norfolk Island Pine (Araucana heterophylla), and the Ponderosa Pine (Pinus ponderosa).
❸ Pine Cones
As mentioned, you might find baked pine cones on a menu. But there are other ways to enjoy pine cones too. They are commonly boiled, but you can also use the springtime pollen of male pine cones (they are smaller) to create a thickening agent. This is great for broths, stews, and even flour. Just be sure to pick pine cones from the tips of branches.
❹ Pine Resin
Do you like to chew gum? The ancient Native Americans chewed on pine resin to treat joint pain and for its antibacterial qualities. You can also steep pine resin boiling water to make tea. This has been said to settle an upset stomach and alleviate arthritis symptoms.
❺ Inner Bark
The inner bark of a pine tree is also edible, and perhaps one of the most versatile constituents. You can boil it, bake it, roast it, or eat it raw. You can even fry it! Just be sure you don’t just cut into a live pine tree. Look for fallen branches to use instead.