Thursday, February 25, 2010

Pine Needles

The snow has brought down quite a few branches on my property this last week. Most of these have been pine and I would not be able to reach them otherwise. So I took the opportunity to grab my clippers and gather up some pine needles.
Pine needles make a great tasting tea, and I love tea. It's not only tasty however, it's also loaded with vitamin C, and White Pine in particular has 5 times more vitamin C in it then a lemon. When making my tea, I cut up some needles and stick them in a tea ball or cheesecloth, and add boiling hot water. I cover this and let it steep for at least 20 minutes, sometimes as long as 30. I find that pine needles have a very light flavor, especially in comparison to something like let's say peppermint, so letting it steep for longer is not as terrible.
Identifying a pine tree can be done fairly simply, pines are the ones with clusters of 2-5 needles. Always make sure you can positively identify a plant before you consume it though, it would suck to be wrong.