Can You Eat Pine Cones?

If you have pine trees growing in your backyard, you will notice pine cones growing on them. You may be wondering if you can eat pine cones.

Yes, you can eat pine cones. It is a great source of nutrients and can be eaten raw, cooked, or dried. The seeds inside which are known as pine nuts can also be eaten.

Are Pine Cones Safe To Eat?

If you have ever wondered if it’s safe to eat pine cones, the answer is yes. They are edible and nutritious.

Pine nuts are actually seeds from pinecones and are considered a delicacy. They can be eaten raw or cooked, but they need to be shelled first.

Pine nuts are also referred to as piñons, pignoli, or pinyon nuts.

In North America, you can find them in the southern Rocky Mountains and coastal ranges of California, Oregon, and Washington — plus Mexico and South America.

They’re also harvested commercially in Canada’s British Columbia region and Japan’s Hokkaido Island

Benefits Of Eating Pine Cones

Pinecones are not just for decoration. They can be eaten and are actually quite healthy!

Pinecones are a source of vitamin C, which helps boost your immune system and fight off colds, flu, and other infections.

They also contain vitamin A, which promotes eye health and vision, as well as vitamin E, which protects your cells from damage.

Pinecones are also rich in calcium, which is essential for strong bones and teeth.

Pinecones also contain manganese, magnesium, iron, zinc, potassium, phosphorus, and selenium. While these nutrients aren’t particularly abundant in pinecones compared to other foods like spinach or avocados (for example), they’re still worthwhile considering adding to your diet because they’re so easy to use — just toss them in your salad or add them to a smoothie!

What Do Pine Cones Taste Like?

Pine nuts have a unique flavor that complements many dishes. They’re often used in Asian cuisine and Middle Eastern cooking.

They’re also frequently included in pesto sauces, salads, and vegetable dishes. Because they’re so flavorful, they don’t need much seasoning when you cook them; just toss them into your dish at the last minute so they don’t burn while cooking!

How To Clean Pine Cones

Cleaning pine cones is a relatively easy process. There are two methods you can use. One involves using vinegar and water, while the other method involves using bleach. Follow the steps below for each method.

Vinegar and Water Method

The vinegar and water method is a good choice if you’re just looking to clean pine cones for display purposes. This method will not remove all of the sap from the pine cones, but it will get rid of most of it.

Place your pine cones in an empty bucket or tub. Add one cup of vinegar to one gallon of water in a large container.

Stir well until the mixture is even throughout.

Pour this solution over your pine cones and allow them to soak for at least 24 hours before rinsing them off with clean water and allowing them to dry completely.

Then store them in an airtight container or plastic bag until you are ready to use them again later on down the road.

Bleach Method

The bleach method is best used if you want your pine cones completely free from debris, including sap residue, without having to do any scrubbing yourself afterward.

Brush off dirt and debris. Pinecones are often covered in dirt and other types of debris, so make sure to brush off as much as possible before you clean them. This will help prevent staining from occurring during the cleaning process.

Soak them overnight in warm water with bleach (optional). You can soak your pine cones overnight in warm water and bleach for about 20 minutes to disinfect them and kill any germs that might be growing inside them. If you have an open sore or wound on your hands, skip this step because it could cause harm if the water touches your skin or gets in your eyes.

Rinse them thoroughly with warm water after soaking. Make sure all traces of bleach are washed away before drying off your pine cones and letting them air dry overnight on a towel or paper towel until completely dry.

How To Eat pine Cones

Raw: Pine nuts are often eaten raw by themselves as a snack food or sprinkled on salads as a garnish. They’re also sometimes added to trail mix along with other nuts and dried fruit.

Roasted: To roast your own pine nuts, simply spread them out on a baking sheet and bake at 350°F for about 10 minutes until golden brown (watch carefully so they don’t burn). You can also roast them in the oven for about 20 minutes until golden brown or toast them in an open pan over medium heat until golden.

What Can You Use Pine Cones For?

Besides eating pine cones, they are also a great addition to your holiday decor. They can be used in place of fresh pine boughs around your home and make a wonderful centerpiece on your dining table.

Pine cones are great for decorating: Pine cones are available year-round, but they are more abundant during the fall months. You can use pine cones for decorating a variety of items, including:

Wreaths and garlands: Create beautiful decorations for the front door or around the house by stringing together pine cones and other natural materials.

Centerpieces: Pine cones make great centerpieces for tables, especially when combined with candles or other objects that match your theme or color scheme.

Table settings: Make individual placemats by gluing pine cones onto a piece of card stock or construction paper and then tying them with ribbon or twine.

Gifts: Create gift bags out of brown paper bags by gluing pine cones all over them. Tie them with twine and add tags with instructions on how to make this craft yourself.


Pine cones are not only edible, but they’re also actually quite nutritious. Pine nuts — or pignolias — are the most famous part of pine cones, but they’re not the only edible parts of the plant. The entire cone is edible, including the seeds inside.