We are so excited to bring to you Organic Juniper Berries! You might be familiar with this fragrant ingredient if you enjoy the occasional Gin & Tonic, but this seed offers a rich flavour profile with an abundance of useful properties.
WHAT IS THE ORGANIC JUNIPER BERRY?
The Common Juniper is a low lying plant that is one of the most widely spread trees throughout the Northern Hemisphere. Juniper is quite unique in that it can be any shape from a shrub to a 25 foot tall tree. The branches of this shrub have tiny scale like needles and produce light blue and purple flesh like cones – known as the Juniper Berry. The cones, which are not a true berry, contain small fragrant seeds which lead to its berry like appearance.
Although it can be harvested any time of the year, only the blue matured cones of the Juniper Plant should be collected for food. The berry can take two to three years to fully ripen which makes a harvest that much more special! Did you know that ours is wildly foraged in the Balkans?
The cones of the Juniper plant are often covered in a white powdery bloom, also referred to as a wild yeast. This yeast can be used to create your own sourdough culture or fermentation starter. Due to the berry’s strong flavour and aromas of evergreen and citrus, it is becoming increasingly popular amongst many craft breweries to use Juniper to create rich winter ales and craft cocktails.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF ORGANIC JUNIPER BERRIES?
Juniper berries have been favoured throughout history for its many unconventional applications.
In medieval times Juniper smoke was believed to aid in clairvoyance and burned for the ritual purification. Juniper was seen as a protective herb and was used to ward off witchcraft and black magic.
In central Europe, Juniper was burned during outbreaks of the Plague as people believed it would help to expel the disease by fumigation.
Aside from providing a list of historical values, Juniper Berries are rich in Vitamin C and antioxidants.
Vitamin C is essential for immune health, blood vessel function and acts as a strong antioxidant. Antioxidants help to maintain youthful and healthy skin by aiding in cell regeneration and reducing inflammation. Juniper is also high in essential oils which makes for an amazing ingredient when used in aromatherapy and spa products.
HOW IS IT USED?
Traditionally used as a flavouring for Gin and other alcoholic beverages, Juniper Berries boast an impressive list of culinary and cosmetic purposes. Check out our list below for some ideas on how to get started:
– The berries can be eaten dried, fresh, chopped, or powdered
– Make a cleansing tea by steeping 1/2 tablespoon of Juniper Berries with 2 cups of hot water for 10 minutes before straining. Add honey as desired.
– Try making Smreka – a traditional Balkan beverage made from fermenting dried Juniper Berries with fresh lemons and honey
– Use it in a curing or pickling mix to add a spicy, evergreen flavour.
– Add dried Juniper Berries to marinades and spice rubs especially for game meats such as Venison and Rabbit. Tip: Start with 10 berries per pound of meat
– Use Juniper Berries to add a complex flavour when making Sauerkraut
– Combine Rosemary, Juniper Berries, and Blackberries with 2 ounces of Gin and 4 ounces of Tonic to make a unique cocktail
– Combine Juniper Berries and a Pine sprig with 4 ounces of Prosecco to make a winter celebratory drink
– Steep crushed Juniper Berries in almond oil to create a tranquil foot rub
– Add crushed Juniper Berries to sugar cookies and pound cakes to make a special holiday treat
CONNECT WITH US!
Capture the taste of summer by making your very own soothing bath soak. Get foraging for fragrant flavours, then bottle them to enjoy year-round or give as a homemade gift.