Find out how to make Christmas tree oil (made with spruce, fir, or other edible conifer needles). This is a simple base recipe that can be used as a dipping oil for breads or as an ingredient in a wide variety of other foods to add delicious Christmas tree flavor.
Using and making Christmas tree oil
Christmas tree oil is one of the base recipes we recommend in our Edible Christmas Tree Guide. The flavor is subtle and nuanced, with notes of rosemary and citrus.
How do you use Christmas tree oil? Here are a few ways:
- serve it as a dipping oil with lightly flavored breads (e.g. you shouldn’t dip an everything bagel into it);
- use it as a base in aioli or mayonnaise;
- coat a pan when making flatbreads to add subtle Christmas tree flavors; or
- use it as foundation for a salad dressing.
Before we jump into how to make Christmas tree oil, a couple of important considerations:
We detail three warnings in our Edible Christmas Tree Guide that we’ll briefly outline again here (read the guide for more info):
- You should know what type of tree you’re planning to eat (especially when foraging) because there are poisonous evergreen species. For instance, yews are deadly poisonous, although yews are not used for Christmas trees or ornamentation in the US.
- Commercial Christmas trees may have synthetic pesticide residues on them. In some locations, organic Christmas trees are available. Synthetic pesticides are not permitted on organic farms.
- Like any food, some people may have sensitivities/allergies to edible conifer needles. Especially if you’re prone to food allergies, try a small amount to make sure you have no averse reactions before eating larger quantities.
What are the best conifer needles for Christmas tree oil?
The types of edible conifers/Christmas trees that will make the best Christmas tree oil are:
- spruces (Picea spp.)
- firs (Abies spp.)
- Douglass-fir, which is not a true fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii)
- hemlocks (Tsuga spp.)
Some species of pines (Pinus spp.) would also work in a pinch, but the trees listed above will work better. Keep in mind that each genus/species of edible conifer tree listed above has different, unique flavor characteristics.
To find out more about the various species of edible conifers plus how to ID, harvest, and process the needles, please give our How to Eat Your Christmas Tree Guide a read!
Regardless of which edible conifer species you use for this recipe, we’d recommend using fresh, green mature needles for best results.
Recipe: Christmas tree oil
Christmas tree oil
Find out how to make Christmas tree oil from edible conifer needles. Use as a dipping oil for breads or as an ingredient in other recipes where the unique citrus-rosemary flavor of Christmas trees is ideal.
- 1/4 cup fresh or dried (but green) Christmas tree needles (spruce, fir, or Douglas fir are best)
- 1 cup high quality extra virgin olive oil
Put extra virgin olive oil and Christmas tree needles in a blender for 1-2 minutes.
Transfer to saucepan and heat on the lowest setting on your stovetop for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Strain out needles through fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth. Store in sealed glass jar at room temperature until ready to use. Ideally use within one month of making.
Want to dig your fork deeper into edible conifers?
Start here: Tyrant Farms’ Edible Christmas Tree Guide
Additional Christmas tree/edible conifer recipes:
We’d also like to recommend two books for other Christmas tree eaters and food explorers; each contains delicious recipes you can make with your Christmas tree: