It seems that people are leaving Christmas trees up a little later this year, because it's something nice to look at in a time when things are bleak and boring. If you've got a real tree, you know your days are numbered, because sooner or later that thing is going to die. It turns out you don't have to throw it out, because you can eat it.

Julia Georgallis released a cookbook recently, called How to Eat Your Christmas Tree.

Woman putting ornaments on Christmas tree

"How can we make something sustainable around Christmas time? What can we eat? What's the thing that no one eats that kind of represents Christmas? And then we just settled on Christmas trees," Georgallis says. "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."

"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," she says.

Most of the recipes in her book revolve around using the needles from the tree, just like an herb.

"And different Christmas trees kind of have different flavors. They're quite subtle, but they do have different flavors. So spruce is quite almost like vanilla in a way," she explained, "Fir, which is a really popular choice of Christmas trees, is quite zesty. And then you have pine, which is a little bit more floral, a little bit more delicate"

She says there's other parts of the tree you can use as well, such as pine nuts. "You can also basically char the entire tree and you can use it to do ash cooking, which is much easier than it sounds."

Of course, some trees are poisonous if eaten, like cypress, yew, and cedar, but you can also run into some problems if your tree was sprayed with pesticides. "So if you have any doubt that you're that your Christmas tree might not have been grown to eat, then maybe don't eat it," Georgallis says.

Read more at NPR

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