Homemade Tree Tip Syrup


 

* This article contains affiliate links. For more information, please read my Affiliate Disclosure.

 

Homemade tree tip syrupHarvest spruce, fir or pine tree tips to make delicious tree tip syrup at home with just two simple ingredients! Make your own homemade syrup out of tree tips and brown sugar and enjoy over breakfasts, desserts or in cocktails.

* * *

Back when I was still living in the city with limited space and a north-facing balcony, I wasn’t able to grow food like I do today. But I still wanted to play a role in my own food production. 

I began learning how to make things from scratch, preserve at a very basic level, and forage for simple-to-identify wild foods

Then one day, I picked up a copy of the Urban Homesteading Cookbook at my local library and decided to bring it along on a camping trip my husband and I were taking. I flipped through the pages as we sat around the fire.

The book was full of recipes and bits of insight from the author: a conservation biologist who was homesteading out of her high-rise condo in the heart of downtown Vancouver: proof that even people in the tiniest of urban spaces can be homesteaders too.

She kept meat rabbits in her tiny, 400-square-foot apartment, quail on her balcony, an aquaculture tank to grow plants and even grew mushrooms in her closet! I was fascinated and inspired to dive into homesteading despite the fact that I still lived in the city too. 

Amongst the pages of this book was a recipe for tree tip syrup. It seemed like such a novel idea to

a) make your own syrup, and

b) make it from tree tips, that I knew this is something I had to try. 

The syrup is made with two simple ingredients: brown sugar and new green tips from spruce, fir or pine trees. These tips are the new growth on the tips of the branches in the spring. They’re bright green in colour, soft in texture and citrusy in flavour. They’re also edible and high in Vitamin C, and can be used to flavour all sorts of dishes either as an herb or a preserve.

And lo and behold… we were camping in May, right at the exact time all the new tree trips were growing. I looked up and literally almost every tree was bursting with bright green new growth. 

I packed a freezer bag full of them and stuck them in our cooler until we got home. This part was important because I couldn’t let them dry out since the recipe requires that the tree tips be moist.

Homemade Tree tip Syrup

 

How to make tree tip syrup

Back in my kitchen, I pulled out my bag of tree tips and began stuffing them in a Mason jar. As per the recipe in the book, I packed a layer of tree tips onto the bottom of the jar, then followed that with a thick, packed layer of brown sugar. Then I layered more tree tips and more brown sugar, and repeated this until my jar was full. And then, I waited.

Homemade Tree Tip Syrup

Over the course of a couple weeks, the sugar drew out the moisture from the fresh tree tips and began to liquefy. When the sugar had completely liquefied, I strained out the tree tips, and bottled my freshly-made syrup.

I was pleasantly surprised at how citrusy it tasted, and I convinced myself that even though it was really just pure sugar (like all syrups), at least it had the added benefit of containing lots of vitamin C, right?

In either case, it was damn delicious too, especially over pancakes or vanilla ice cream.

Homemade Tree Tip Syrup Recipe

But also in cocktails, like this tree tip mojito, made with mint, lime, fresh tree tips and tree tip syrup.

Yum.

 

How to forage for tree tips

Tree tips tend to be ripe for the picking throughout the month of May here in the Pacific Northwest. You’ll know as soon as you see the bright green tips shoot out from the ends of the branches. Just remember to harvest responsibly and only take what you need.

You can store your tree tip syrup in the pantry or the refrigerator. While I’m not sure of the shelf life, I had a bottle in my pantry for two years that was just fine. I’ve only ever had one batch go moldy, in which case I tossed that bottle. Otherwise this has always proven to be pretty shelf stable, as well as being a crowd pleaser at family breakfasts and holiday brunches.

You can also make tea, jelly, infused oils, vinegar and alcohol from tree tips. If you’ve never tried them, I highly recommend making this the year that you do!

I would also highly recommend a copy of The Urban Homesteading Cookbook to anyone interested in learning more about foraging (especially in the Pacific Northwest) and/or homesteading in tiny, urban areas. Looking back, that book made a huge impact on me at that time in my life and pushed me to move deeper into the homesteading, made-from-scratch lifestyle even while I was still living in my own condo in the city.

And now that I live on 1/4-acre homestead on the edge of the forest, far from the big city where I used to live, I’m still making tree tip syrup every spring. The only difference is, now the trees are literally in my backyard:)

 

Harvest spruce, fir or pine tree tips to make delicious tree tip syrup at home with just two simple ingredients! Make your own homemade syrup out of tree tips and brown sugar and enjoy over breakfasts, desserts or in cocktails. #treetips #trretipsyrup #homemadesyrup

Homemade Tree Tip Syrup

Ingredients

  • 1 to 2 cups of fresh spruce, fir or pine tree tips (the bright green new-growth tips in season in late spring)
  • Brown sugar

Instructions

  1. Harvest the tree tips by pulling them gently off the end of the branches by their base. Discard any papery covering still left on them. Harvest responsibly!
  2. Rinse the tree tips off and let any excess water dry off.
  3. Pack a layer of tree tips tightly at the bottom of a Mason Jar. Then pack a tight layer of brown sugar over top of the layer of tree tips.
  4. Continue alternating layers of tree tips with brown sugar until the jar is tightly packed all the way to the top.
  5. Once the jar is packed, screw the lid and band on (you can reuse old lids), and leave in a cool place to sit for a couple weeks.
  6. Turn and lightly shake the mixture every few days in order to mix it up and allow any sugar sitting at the bottom of the jar to blend in and liquefy. Continue to add sugar (and tree tips if you have more) to the mixture as the sugar liquefies and condenses, leaving room in the jar.
  7. After the sugar has completely liquefied, strain out the tree tips and bottle your syrup in a bottle or another Mason Jar and store in a cool, dark place.

 

Wishing you homemade, homegrown, homestead happiness 🙂

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CATEGORIES
HOMESTEADING
REAL FOOD
NATURAL LIVING

4 Comments

  1. Mary

    Hi Anna,
    ‘Sounds like a simple recipe, even I could do it! ;D
    What about cedar or hemlock?
    Thanks for your cool recipes and tips!

    Reply
    • Anna Sakawsky

      Hi Mary, I believe hemlock tree needles are edible and certain types of cedar are considered to be medicinal, however I know that Eastern Red Cedar (aka. Juniper) is toxic. I would do more research before consuming any of these plants, and ensure you know what variety of each tree/shrub you’re enquiring about as some types can be safe while others can be poisonous.

      Reply
  2. Amy

    Are tips from all types of evergreens edible?? I don’t know how to identify the kinds of trees, and I don’t want to get sick!

    Reply
    • Anna Sakawsky

      Hi Amy,

      As far as I’m aware fro the research I’ve done, all North American evergreen conifer trees are edible except yew trees, which are poisonous. You might want to double check what trees you have in your area to rule out yew. We don’t have any yew trees in our immediate area, so all of the light green tree tips that are growing right now are ffrom either spruce or Douglas fir trees around here. Spruce is most renowned for its citrusy flavour.

      Reply

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ABOUT ANNA
Hi! I’m Anna, and I’m a city girl turned modern homesteader who’s passionate about growing, cooking and preserving real food at home, creating my own herbal medicine and all-natural home and body care products, and working toward a simpler, more sustainable and self-sufficient life each and every day. 
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I also asked YOU what emergency skills or supplies you recommend having in your back pocket “just in case,” and one of the responses I got was to have a bug out bag packed and ready to go.

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If the concept of a bug out bag is new to you, have a watch through this video and check out this article on 15 Emergency Preparedness Items You Need to Have Packed and Ready to Go: https://thehouseandhomestead.com/15-emergency-preparedness-items-you-need-packed-ready-to-go/

Also, if getting more prepared for anything and everything from a power outage to a natural disaster to a medical emergency to a man made disaster like a war or a cyber attack is a goal of yours, be sure to check out the latest issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine, which is packed with great advice on emergency preparedness for any situation. (Link in bio @anna.sakawsky or visit modernhomesteadingmagazine.com)

I’d also love to hear from you!

Do you keep a bug out bag packed?

What do you keep in it?

What types of emergency situations are you preparing for in your area?

Let me know in the comments 👇

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With everything going on in the world these days, we’re getting more and more serious about equipping ourselves with the tools, supplies and skills needed to handle emergency situations if the need arises.

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My hubby @ryan.sakawsky covered many emergency scenarios and how to prepare for them in detail in the latest issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine. If you haven’t had a chance to check it out yet, you can subscribe and read the latest issue via the link in my bio, or by visiting https://modernhomesteadingmagazine.com/subscribe/

I’d also love to hear from you! What are you doing to prepare and/or what skills and resources would you recommend that everyone acquire now before it’s too late?

Comment below 👇
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To read the full story, click the link in my bio @anna.sakawsky or go to modernhomesteadingmagazine.com to subscribe or log in and read the latest issue 🍁

(Quote in the reel by Mike Fitzgerald, “Rolling With the Punches,” Modern Homesteading Magazine | Issue 29 | Fall 2022).

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I consider myself an optimistic realist: I hope for the best and I live fully and freely in the moment, but I prepare for the future accordingly based on what I can see unfolding in our world. And honestly, I find this “sweet spot” to be incredibly empowering.

This is why I do what I do and why I share it with you on a regular basis; I WANT TO EMPOWER YOU TOO!

That’s why I created The Society of Self-Reliance: A private membership that connects you with the resources, support and community you need to reclaim your independence and become more self-reliant in every aspect of your life.

From growing and preserving your own food to crafting and using herbal medicine to life skills like how to manage it all and stay calm in stressful situations, how to prepare for emergency situations and much more, if you’re ready to learn invaluable skills that will help you take control of your family’s food security, health and wellbeing, time, finances, and ultimately over your own future, The Society of Self-Reliance was created for you!

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In response, real Canadians are making videos and sharing their stories to show that we are not bots, but real people who have been negatively affected by the words and actions of our leaders, particularly our leader at the top.

I used to consider myself a lifelong leftist and have supported the liberal government and Trudeau over the years, but after what I’ve witnessed over the past few months; After how he has spoken about Canadians who have made a different medical choice or who have protested mandates (which have done nothing to stop the spread of you-know-what anyway); After the hate and division that has trickled down from the top and infiltrated our communities, I can no longer stand silently by.

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In the fall issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine, contributor Ashley Constance of @dirtypawshomestead and @alittleselfreliant shares her experience voluntarily going without power for the day, and what she and her husband, Shawn learned from their grid down experiment.

You might be surprised at the things they discovered and missed on their prep list, and it might prompt you to reevaluate whether you’re ready in case the grid goes down, or even just Google 😱

Check out the full story in the latest issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine!

Link in bio @anna.sakawsky or visit www.modernhomesteadingmagazine.com

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The other day when I had a few minutes to spare, I was out in the garden doing a little work when my neighbour said hi over the fence.

I lamented to her about how busy we’ve been and how hard it’s been to keep on top of this year. Very sincerely, she replied “wait until you have another one,” referring to our baby on the way.

“You’ll be moving back to the suburbs so quick, mark my words,” she said.

Now, I don’t for a second think there was any ill intent behind her statement, but still, it took me aback.

“We’ll never move back to the city or the suburbs,” I replied with a laugh. “This may be hard work but we love it.”

She then repeated her statement and followed it up with “just you wait and see.”

I decided not to continue the back and forth. After all, I told myself, it doesn’t matter if she or anyone else knows what’s truly in your heart. It doesn’t matter if she understands that there’s no amount of difficulty that would make me run back to the suburbs and leave this life behind. In fact, our dream is to upgrade to a bigger property someday where we can grow an even bigger garden and add more livestock to our homestead!

Likewise, I visited the city last weekend for a family event and as always, I had at least a couple people ask me “so when are you moving back to the city?”

Seven years later, and still we have friends and family members who think this is just a phase we’re going through, and eventually we’ll come to our senses and move back.

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Let me know below 👇
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• Drool-worthy recipes that feature garlic as the star!
• Expert advice from A Farmgirl in the Making’s Ann Accetta-Scott on what to look for (and look out for) when buying or selling a homestead property
• Advice on how to learn and grow from perceived homesteading “failures”

And more!!!

Go to modernhomesteadingmagazine.com or click the link in my bio @anna.sakawsky to subscribe or login to the library and read the latest issue if you’re already subscribed!
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