Pine Dining: 7 Amazing Edible Evergreen Foods and Drinks

See the tree; EAT the tree! Yule Log Cake is a holiday treat but foods & drinks made from actual pine trees can be just as tasty and much more nutritious.

Pine Beer

(image via: The Sampler)

Alba Scots Pine Ale from Scotland’s own Williams Bros. Brewing Co. is inspired by a traditional Highland recipe said to be popular in Northern Scotland through the end of the 19th Century. Just over a hundred years later, this potent (7.5% ABV) ale is back and you may never look at tartan tipples the same way again! Best served at room temperature, Alba Scots Pine Ale gets its unique taste from sprigs of young spruce and pine harvested in springtime. A small token handful of hops helps round out the flavor profile.

(image via: Peter Anderson)

“This beer is unique and wonderful,” raves one reviewer, “the flavour is rich and deep with a smooth drinkability and slightly delayed pine finish.” Not exactly what you’d expect to hear about a beer (more like a hardwood floor) but admit it, you’re intrigued. Then there’s Lumber Yard Knotty Pine pale ale, an alternative evergreen craft beer from Arizona that should appeal to hardcore lager – or “logger” – drinkers.

Pine Cone Pollen

(image via: Donald Lee Pardue)

Old and busted: Bee Pollen. New hotness: Wild Pine Pollen! This wholly natural and easily available (in springtime, at least) pine product is nothing to sneeze at when it comes to good nutrition. There’s an extra bonus for the guys: pine pollen is reputed to be very high in natural testosterone and it contains 18 amino acids. Collect the pollen from the ends of conifer branches by shaking it into a plastic bag, then simply shake a little of the powder onto cereal, knead into bread dough or toss in the blender next time you’re whipping up a healthy smoothie.

Pine Nuts

(image via: Marco Verch Professional Photographer)

Pine Nuts are actually seeds; left to themselves, they fall from pine cones and germinate in the ground to begin the cycle anew. About 20 different species of pine produce pine nuts large enough to be useful as a human food source. You may have eaten pine nuts without knowing: they’re a prime ingredient (along with basil and olive oil) in Italian pesto sauce.

(image via: Marco Verch Professional Photographer)

Pine Nuts offer a nutritional bounty to those who eat them. Rich in protein and fiber, these seeds carry no hint of their resinous, mentholated origin. Pine Nuts can also be pressed, yielding a light and nutty-tasting oil used to “finish” cooked foods rather than to actually cook them. In the United States, pine nuts are harvested from Pinyon Pines by Native Americans; in the State of Nevada this privilege was negotiated long ago as a treaty right.

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