Trees provide us with such an abundance of nutritious edibles: nuts, fruits, berries, and Canada’s liquid gold: sweet, sweet maple syrup. But what about the actual trees themselves? Can we eat the bark, the tips, the leaves, the blossoming buds? Turns out the British Columbian company Canadian Pine Pollen launched the perfect new product, freeze dried spruce tips, for those seeking nutrients in an adventurous way.
Wild harvested from Eastern white spruce trees on Vancouver Island and later freeze dried to preserve the natural colour and nutrients, these little morsels are the underdeveloped needled tips of the spruce branches that emerge in early spring. If you think about it, these small buds are full of chlorophyll, essential oils, sugars and vitamins necessary to enable growth into a full branch — so they pack quite the nutritional punch. They boast exquisite vitamin C, flavonoids, and carotenoids for immune support, minerals such as potassium and magnesium, and polyphenols known to provide energy for our body’s powerhouses, the mitochondria. They’re also known to have antimicrobial and antibacterial effects on the body. Spruce tips have long been used in Indigenous tribes for relieving coughs and sore throats — so a warm and soothing spruce tip tea with a little spoonful of wild, unpasteurized honey would do just the trick when you begin to feel that lingering tickle in your throat.
Wondering what to prepare with them aside from the simple tea I mentioned above? Spruce tips are quite citrusy and slightly bitter in flavour — comparable to grapefruit zest — and they have quite a beautiful floral aroma, which makes them the perfect pairing with wild salmon. This simple recipe makes for a quick and easy dinner that is enhanced with spruce tips as a stand in for the usual pairing: dill.
Baked Salmon with Spruce Tips
Makes 2 servings
2 x 250 grams salmon fillets, skin on
1 lemon, 1/2 juiced and 1/2 sliced into thin rounded slices
1 tsp coconut aminos
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp freeze dried spruce tips
pinch of salt and pepper
Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees, with rack in the middle.
While waiting to pre-heat, mix together all ingredients, with the exception of the lemon rounds, in a shallow bowl and place salmon flesh side down in liquid. Marinate until oven is fully pre-heated.
Place salmon fillets skin side down on parchment-lined baking sheet. Pour remaining marinating sauce on top.
Top with lemon rounds and bake for 10-12 minutes, depending on your oven.
***The best way to tell if the salmon is done is by using a thermometer to read the internal temperature. Salmon is done at 145 degrees F. Or you can simply use a fork to break apart the salmon. If it’s flakey, it’s done.
Are you going to impress your next dinner party with this recipe? Make sure to share your creations on Instagram with the hashtag #holisticheels and #canadianpinepollen!