Today’s Solutions: November 26, 2021

The early days of January are the time of year where we start seeing old Christmas trees lying on the side of the road, but if you have yet to toss out your old tree, Julia Georgallis has a recommendation for you: try eating it!

In her new book titled How to Eat Your Christmas Tree, Georgallis has listed a number of great recipes that use the needles from the tree like an herb. The idea is that you can not only introduce that distinct Christmas tree scent into your cooking but also give your old Christmas tree a second life.

“What I aimed for this book to do, really, was to get people thinking about the odd ways that they can be more sustainable in their daily lives,” said Georgallis. “Eating Christmas trees isn’t going to save any turtles or freeze any ice caps. But if we start to think about everything that we do as a whole, then that builds up, you know, and that helps.”

When it comes to the recipes in her book, most of them use the needles from the tree like an herb. For instance, the needles from a spruce tree can be used to give a bit of a vanilla flavor, while a fir tree—the most popular type of Christmas tree—gives off quite a zesty flavor.

It’s important, however, to pay attention to what kind of Christmas tree you have as some kinds can be poisonous, such as cypress, cedars, and yews. And make sure your tree wasn’t sprayed with pesticides or other chemicals.

“If you have any doubt that your Christmas tree might not have been grown to eat, then maybe don’t eat it,” Georgallis says.

How to Eat Your Christmas Tree features recipes for all sorts of foods such as pickles, fish, squash, and lamb. Want to give your Christmas tree a second life? Check out the cookbook for yourself right here.

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