What juniper berries are edible?

All juniper species grow berries, but some are considered too bitter to eat. In addition to J. communis, other edible species include Juniperus drupacea, Juniperus oxycedrus, Juniperus phoenicea, Juniperus deppeana, and Juniperus californica.

Can you eat juniper berries?

Unlike other berries, juniper berries are typically used only in small amounts to flavor foods — not eaten in large portions. They have an astringent, pine-like taste, which makes them a popular ingredient for seasoning recipes and infusing beverages.

Can juniper berries be toxic?

All juniper berries contain the powerful oil Thujone. This oil can cause stomach upset, diarrhea, and kidney problems when ingested in large quantities. Certain varieties of juniper berry contain safe, low amounts of Thujone, while other varieties contain high levels and can make you very sick.

Are fresh juniper berries edible?

Yes, juniper berries are edible. In fact, you may have tasted them before without even knowing it if you drink alcoholic beverages. Juniper berries are what gives a gin martini its unique flavoring.

Which juniper is best for berries?

common juniper

Since this isn’t a botany class, let’s just call them berries for the sake of conversation. The fruit of common juniper (Juniperus communis) is generally considered to be the most flavorful juniper berry, but J. virginiana (eastern red cedar) also produces tasty, edible berries.

How do I know what kind of juniper I have?

A helpful way to perfect juniper tree identification is by looking at its cones. Juniper cones on male trees are small and either yellow or tan. The female plants produce colorful berries, which are actually modified cones. Northwest species berries turn blue at maturity, but some species have red berries.

What does juniper berries do to your body?

Juniper berries or extract of the plant has traditionally been used as diuretic, anti-arthritis, anti-diabetes, antiseptic as well as for the treatment of gastrointestinal and autoimmune disorders.

Which species of juniper is toxic?

Savin Juniper is known to be toxic and potentially deadly poisonous if taken in large enough quantities. It can be difficult to accurately distinguish between different species of cultivated junipers because they have been bred to have unique features not present in their wild forms.

How do you know if juniper berries are safe?

There are numerous varieties of juniper. Do not eat juniper unless you can positively identify the species because not all of them are safe to eat. Juniperus communis is the variety typically used for flavoring. The berries produced by Juniperus sabina and Juniperus oxycedrus are toxic.

Should you crush juniper berries?

To prepare: The berries need to be lightly crushed before using to release their flavour – do this using a pestle and mortar or press them with the back of a spoon in a small bowl.

Can I harvest my own juniper berries?

You can harvest the berries green or later in the fall as they turn to dark blue. Juniper berries aren’t really berries at all, but are tiny cones with scales so small and packed so tightly that its hard to see them with the naked eye.

Can you eat cedar juniper berries?

Yes, they are considered edible, but as with everything, be sure to use in moderation since large amounts can be toxic. And even more importantly, be sure to identify your tree properly as the berries of some juniper species can be poisonous. Eastern red cedar is a familiar Island tree.

What do ripe juniper berries look like?

Juniper berries (which are actually cones) should be collected from about September through to December. They should be blue when ready. Try to avoid picking them when they are green. Cones are not always produced every year as they may take two seasons to ripen completely.

What does juniper berry taste like?

What do they taste like? If you’ve ever tried gin you’ll have a fair idea of what juniper berries taste like, although the ones used for cooking are riper. They have a slightly piney flavor with a touch of both fruitiness and pepperiness.

What can I do with fresh juniper berries?

Because of their strong flavor, juniper berries aren’t eaten on their own like other berries. Rather, they’re used like a spice or a flavoring for a dish. The most prevalent way they’re used is to flavor gin. Other uses for juniper berries include in teas, meat dishes, brines, and in sauerkraut.

Should you crush juniper berries?

To prepare: The berries need to be lightly crushed before using to release their flavour – do this using a pestle and mortar or press them with the back of a spoon in a small bowl.

What did Native Americans use juniper berries for?

These plants were used for medicine, food, shelter, drink, tools and art.

Is all gin made with juniper berries?

The flavours of a gin come from its botanicals (that’s the herbs, seeds, flowers, plants or spices added during production), and, crucially, all gins must contain juniper; in fact, the predominant flavour must be of juniper, otherwise the drink can’t be defined as gin, by law.