Recipes

Christmas tree salt (made with edible conifer needles)

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Find out how to make Christmas tree salt (made with spruce, fir, or other edible conifer needles). This is a simple base recipe that can be used as an ingredient in a wide variety of other foods and beverages to add unique flavor. 


Using and making Christmas tree salt 

Christmas tree salt is one of the base recipes we recommend in our How to eat your Christmas tree guide

You can use this infused salt to add Christmas tree flavor to: 

  • cured meats,
  • cured egg yolks, 
  • lacto-fermented veggies, 
  • sauces, 
  • mild-flavored starchy vegetables like potatoes or corn, 
  • mixed with Christmas tree sugar on the rim of glasses on mixed drinks,
  • and more. 

Basically, any recipe that needs salt and whose flavors will pair well with the unique rosemary-citrusy flavor of Christmas tree needles can benefit from the addition of Christmas tree salt. Do note that this salt will only add a bit of Christmas tree flavor to a dish since you’re never adding or eating large quantities of salt at a time (hopefully). 

Safety warnings

We detail three warnings in our How to Eat Your Christmas Tree Guide that we’ll briefly outline again here (read the guide for more info):

  1. 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. 
  2. 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. 
  3. 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 salt?

The types of edible conifers/Christmas trees that will make the best Christmas tree salt 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 Edible 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.

This Christmas tree salt was made using blue spruce needles.

This Christmas tree salt was made using blue spruce needles.

Blender or spice grinder: what’s the best tool for making Christmas tree salt? 

You can use a good, multi-bladed blender to make Christmas tree salt. We started off with a 4-bladed Ninja. 

However, Christmas tree salt made in a blender will still have visible chunks of needles in it. 

If you want the best results possible, we highly recommend using a spice grinder. A good one only costs about $40. (We use and recommend the Cuisinart SG-10 spice grinder.) 

You won’t see any needle material when you make Christmas tree salt in a good spice grinder. The salt and the needles will be completely blended together into a light green powder. 

Making Christmas tree salt in our  Cuisinart SG-10 spice grinder. Blenders can be used, but there will be larger chunks of needle left in the salt. With a good spice grinder, the needles are completely eviscerated.

Making Christmas tree salt in our  Cuisinart SG-10 spice grinder. Blenders can be used, but there will be larger chunks of needle left in the salt. With a good spice grinder, the needles are completely eviscerated.

Recipe: Christmas tree salt 

We don’t want to repeat ourselves, so if you don’t know how to harvest and process Christmas tree needles, please read that section of our How to Eat Your Christmas Tree Guide LINK. Once you have your Christmas tree needles ready to go, you’re ready to make Christmas tree salt using the recipe below! 

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Christmas tree salt (made with edible conifer needles)

Course: flavoring, spice
Keyword: Christmas tree recipes, conifer needle recipe, edible Christmas tree
Prep Time: 15 minutes

A simple base recipe made from the mature needles of spruce, fir, or other edible conifers that can be used to add unique Christmas tree flavor to a wide variety of foods and beverages.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup Christmas tree needles (36 grams), ideally fresh or no more than a few days removed from branches
  • 1 cup kosher salt or white sea salt (270 grams)

Instructions

  1. Add half of needles (1/4 cup) plus a quarter of the salt (1/4 cup) to spice grinder and pulverize until smooth. You'll want to open the spice grinder and scrape the sides and bottom with a spatula to make sure all needles have been pulverized. Scrape into a bowl/storage container with a spatula. Repeat with the other half of the needles plus another 1/4 cup salt. Transfer to same bowl. Finally, put remaining salt in spice grinder and blend very briefly for a few seconds to help remove any of the remaining goodies from the previous needle-salt batches. Add this salt to the bowl and mix & mush everything together until uniform. Make sure to give your spice grinder one last scrape with the spatula to get any sticky conifer residue out, then wash the grinder with hot soapy water.

  2. Store your Christmas tree salt in a spice jar or canning jar in your spice rack or pantry (no refrigeration required). The flavor will last for at least 6 months, but the color will slowly brown due to oxidation.

Enjoy! 

KIGI,

Want to dig your fork deeper into edible conifers? 

Start here: Tyrant Farms’ Edible Christmas Tree Guide

Base recipes: 

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:  

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