The Spruce Tips -Recipes and Idea’s.

Its spring time and that means time to make tons of different things with those stunning Vit c packed lime green fresh spruce tips. Remember to remove the brown casing and give them a wash, these are picked off the farm, so I know that they have not been sprayed with anything.

Farmgal’s Rhubarb/Spruce Tip Jam (it was inspired by a Finnish Drink, I had in Finland when I visited in 2004)

  • 5 cups of chopped Rhubarb
  • 1 cup of  very finely chopped cleaned Spruce tips
  • 1/2 cup of fresh apple mint leaves-Finely diced.
  • 3 more cups of sugar
  • 1/4 cup of lemon juice

if you want to hide the tips more, Blend the spruce and apple mint leaves with one cup of sugar for ease of doing so, then add everything into a pot and bring to a slow boiling simmer. Now you have a choice, you can use pecton if you want, or you can slow simmer the rhubarb till it thick enough on its own, like a good rhubarb butter, and then hot pack it into clean hot jars and process for 15 min for storage. Its rhubarb which to me only gets better with cooking, so I like my old fashioned slow simmer into almost a butter but still jam.  Remember to skim your foam off but don’t throw it out, just save it and use fresh on toast. Now don’t let this one fool you folks, it may seem a little odd on the mix but its truly a delightful jam, Give this one a try, you won’t be sorry you did so! This is total favorite to go with rye toast in the morning.

Took some of this jam with me this today to a little get together, and had six folks try it, and got postive feedback from everyone, so its not just me that thinks this one is a good one to make.

Jelly Version, Cook Rhubarb, Spruce tips and mint, strain though cheesecloth, collecting all drippings and make into Jelly instead.

Canadian Mock Capers with fresh young Spruce tips. So very easy, pick your picks, remove any of the coverings, wash and dry them and fill your jars with them

Note: The first time I made Mock Spruce Tip Caper was in Yellowknife in 1999, while I worked at “the office”, we made our own Northern Capers, they were used with the char we made..

In a pan mix your vineger with salt and peppercorns, heat till salt is desolved, then pour over the tips in a glass jar, cover and allow to pickle for at least two months before use in the fridge.

Spruce Tip Vinegar
2 cups red wine vinegar or Any other kind of Vinegar you want to use
1 cup roughly chopped spruce tips

Spruce Tip Salt
1/2 cup coarse salt
1/2 cup roughly chopped spruce tips


Spruce Tip Sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup roughly chopped spruce tips.

Finely grind the tips, mix with the salt, it will be quite damp to start with, just let it dry, break up any lumps and keep in glass jar.

Spruce Tip Mayo

Makes 1 cup mayonnaise
.1 cup mayonnaise (homemade or store-bought)
1/4 cup minced spruce tips
2 tsp. sugar and lemon or lime juice

Spruce Tip Syrup or Make it into Jelly by adding in pectin.
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
2 cups roughly chopped spruce tips.

Simmer for 30 min and then strain and then bring back to a full boil, put the boiling syrup in clean hot jars and then process in hot water bath for 15 min for long term storage.

The tips are just entering the picking stage on the farm, and so as I make each of the above, I will add photos to each item, but for today, I am in Jam mode!

If you are looking for cookbook that shows how to make many of these basics and then provides recipes on how to use them, I would highly recommend this cookbook, my husband picked it up in Whitehorse Yukon.. Its called the Boreal Gourmet.

Going to make this one a Homestead Barn Hop post.

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35 Responses to The Spruce Tips -Recipes and Idea’s.

  1. Daisy says:

    Very cool!! I’ll have to go for a stroll this week and see if I can find enough spruce tips to try this. Do you think using regular ol’ plain mint would make a big difference? That’s all I have, and boy o boy do I have a lot of it. 🙂

  2. Oh my word! I had no idea you could eat these! I couldn’t locate spruce, but I found some fir tips on our walk today. These things are delicious! We had a few on our lunchtime fried potatoes and the rest are making salt. I’ve got to get me some more of these! I was so excited I had to blog about it ( and link you, obviouslly 🙂 ). I can think of about 20 things to use the salt for already.

    • They are good, and can be used in so many ways, wait till I get to some of the cookie recipes 🙂 that uses them, fabulous!

      Please come back and share some of the things you try with the salt and let me know what ones really worked for you.

      Thanks for linking back and love the write up for the blog, I will be doing one on elderflowers but I recommend that you also pick some flowers and dry them for later use this fall to wrap up apples in, I will go in more detail in a coming post but its so worth it.

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  4. Deb W says:

    Okay, so everyone knows that each tip removed is a new branchlet for this year and that you’re actually pruning your evergreens at the same time: AND you’re probably all experienced wild-crafters and already know to please make sure to not take too much from any one plant/colony/tree as to be detrimental to it’s health, BUT in this case you also need to keep an eye on what the tree will look like after you’re done “pruning”. There you go, I’ve gone and done my “Mom” thing…
    Having said that, I’ve gotta say that these sound REALLY interesting and I’m going to go do some “pruning” as soon as it stops raining long enough for the trees to dry out. ; ) Thanks for the great ideas and that salt photo – my favourite colour! Mmm,mm evergreen salt on steak, spruce tip syrup with pancakes and sausage, jelly for winter…

    • Hi Deb,

      You are totally correct, and I should have talked about this, If the branch has four or more tips, I will take two, if the branch has three, I will take one, and correct, don’t pick a area bare, and move up and down the tree to keep its growth patterns even. Thanks so much for the reminder!

      If you can harvest the tips while dry the skins come off quite easy, if wet, much more work making sure they are taken off.

  5. Erin D. says:

    Interesting! I never would have guessed these were edible. 🙂

  6. Meg says:

    Very interesting! I will also have to go take a look to see if we have any coming in! I never knew they could be eaten! Oh, and the end-result looks SO YUMMY!

    • Hi Meg

      Glad you liked the post, and don’t forget to scroll up the blog to see the great cookie recipe that uses both the spruce sugar and the Rhubarb/spruce tip jam.

      If you give it a try, pop back and let me know if you come up with a great creative recipe to use them in..

  7. Sharon D. says:

    Thank you for posting these recipes 🙂 I have been wanting to try and make Spruce Tip Syrup for a long time. Would you happen to know if Blue Spruce tips can be used? Thanks so much for sharing and have a blessed day!

  8. Kodi says:

    Hi testy

  9. Michelle says:

    I forgot to mention they were still bright green and soft.

  10. Pingback: What are you eating out of your garden? | Just another Day on the Farm

  11. jj says:

    Man, I wish I would have stumbled across this blog a couple of months ago. You have some great wildcrafting recipes, here!

  12. Susan says:

    What kind of a taste/flavour do spruce tips have? My front trees are loaded with tips this year (and desperately need pruning) so I’m thinking some of the salt might be nice. Will need to see if they are still tightly closed once this lovely rain let’s up!

    • Like rosemary is the closest I can say for baking/cooking, the pickled tips are very much like capers (are called northern capers) but its got its own undertones of lemon/citrus.. try it and see what your taste buds come up with, I think each person finds it there own..

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  15. kateeleigh says:

    Reblogged this on drink tea, dream loftily, repeat. and commented:
    Some awesome and tasty ideas on how to use Spruce Tips!

  16. Reblogged this on Just another Day on the Farm and commented:

    Its that time of year again, Spruce tips are ready for harvest, as I still had a good amount from last year, I am only doing a small amount for storage this year, mainly spruce salt for gifting, spruce syrup for later use for friends to make a awesome moose stew and for fresh use in the rhubarb jam.. yes, I will also reblog the post so you can find it with ease..

  17. Bet this Spruce Tip Simple Syrup would make an awesome “mixed” beverage, hey FG?

  18. Pingback: Top Ten Posts 2018 | Just another Day on the Farm

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