Honey Fermented Spruce Tips

May 28, 2020
Honey Fermented Spruce Tips

Have you ever walked past a spruce tree and thought, “I would like to eat that.”? Well, turns out you can! Spruce tips are the new growth on spruce trees that emerge in the spring months. They are entirely edible and have a delightful citrusy pine flavor. Right now is the perfect time to make honey fermented spruce tips, as these delicacies only come around once a year. If left to ferment until winter, you’ll have a perfect addition to your apothecary for cold and flu season.

The Benefits of Honey Fermented Spruce Tips

Spruce tips were often used by Native Americans to treat respiratory symptoms like congestion and sore throats, and they contain many beneficial nutrients:

  • Vitamin C: Spruce tips contain an exceptional amount of vitamin C and will give the immune system a boost.
  • Chlorophyll: Helps to rid the body of free radicals and toxins, stimulates the immune system, and assists in delivering oxygen to the body.
  • Carotenoids: Spruce tips also contain carotenoids, which are great for the prevention of eye health conditions and cancerous tumors.
  • Electrolytes: Spruce tips are a fantastic source of magnesium and potassium, and will help to alleviate dehydration.

Adding spruce tips to some raw honey also packs a load of benefits. Leaving them to ferment will give you everything you need to prevent or fight off illness during the next cold and flu season.

How to Forage Spruce Tips

Spruce tips are one of the easiest things to harvest. Look for the bright green colored tips that form in the spring months and pinch them off of the branches. Be sure not to harvest too many from any one part of the tree. The spruce tips are best and most tender when they are just emerging from their crispy brown shells.

spruce tips

Refrigerate, freeze or dry them if you won’t be making your honey fermented spruce tips right away. The greatest part about storing spruce tips is that they don’t lose their nutrients after being dried or frozen.

There are many other uses for spruce tips. You can pickle them or make them into tea or syrup. The possibilities are endless, and you will surely fall in love with their delicate flavor.

If spruce trees are not available in your area, firs, pines, and other conifers also have amazing flavor and carry similar benefits.

I know you’ll enjoy making and using your own honey fermented spruce tips! If you’re looking for some other immune-boosting honey ferments, check out my Honey Fermented Elderberries or Honey Fermented Garlic recipes. I encourage you to reach out if you have any questions.

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honey fermented spruce tips

Honey Fermented Spruce Tips

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By Curie Ganio
Prep Time: 10 min Cooking Time: 6 months

Honey fermented spruce tips have delicate citrus and pine flavor and are great for treating respiratory illnesses.


  • 1-2 C Raw Unfiltered Honey
  • 1 C Spruce Tips



Place the spruce tips at the bottom of a glass jar.


Pour honey over the spruce tips and allow it to seep into the spaces between the needles for 5-10 min.


Pour in more honey until the spruce tips are completely submerged and close the lid.


Store on the counter or in a pantry out of direct sunlight.


Open the jar daily to burp (release the air pressure) and close tightly again.


Flip the jar 1-2 times per day for the first couple of weeks when the tips float to the surface. You will want to keep them coated in the honey as much as possible.


After a couple of weeks, they will stop floating to the surface and the air pressure will subside.


Ferment for at least 6 months.


Use as a cough suppressant or cold/flu treatment.

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  • Reply
    May 29, 2020 at 12:17 am

    do you wash the spruce tips before using?

    • Reply
      Curie Ganio
      May 29, 2020 at 12:34 am

      Great question. I don’t wash them because I like to leave the wild yeasts and bacteria intact to air with fermentation

  • Reply
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