Pine is a unique plant in which not only needles, buds, sap, but also young cones are useful. They have a rich chemical composition and many valuable medicinal properties. People have long been accustomed to making jam from pine cones in order to benefit from them. It is a tasty, nutritious and effective remedy that helps fight colds, vitamin deficiencies, chronic fatigue and depression in winter.
The benefits and harms of pine cone jam
All the beneficial properties of pine are concentrated in the cones. They have powerful biological effects on the body. Their effect on human health is no less than that of pine buds. The most valuable in forest jam are aromatic oils, resinous acids, tannins, as well as vitamins and minerals.
The surface of young pine cones is covered with resin, which has antibacterial, antiviral properties. In this way, the plant protects the seeds, multiplies and takes care of its offspring. These properties of resins bring significant benefits to humans.
Pine cones contain substances such as tannins, which are phenol-based compounds that are anti-inflammatory and antiseptic. They are active against many microorganisms and even mycobacterium tuberculosis. In addition, tannins help oxygenate the blood. They block the death of brain cells after a stroke. In addition to tannins, pine cones contain many other useful substances:
- trace elements (K, Ca, P, Mg, Cu, Fe, I, Na, Se);
- vitamins (C, B1, A, E, H, U);
- tannins terpenes exhibiting antiseptic and analgesic properties;
- phytoncides that have a detrimental effect on fungal and bacterial microflora;
- essential and fatty oils.
Each of these elements makes an invaluable contribution to human health. Only one group of B vitamins is represented by ten varieties. Thanks to this, the nervous system is strengthened, regenerative tissue processes proceed more intensively. Young pine cones are loaded with vitamin C, which boosts our immune system. In addition, there is vitamin PP, which strengthens the walls of blood vessels, as well as many other biologically active compounds:
- vitamin C: pine cone jam is beneficial for children and adults in that it strengthens the immune system and the nervous system, protects against colds, participates in hematopoiesis;
- vitamin B1: necessary for the normal functioning of the cardiovascular and peripheral nervous system, digestion;
- vitamin A: strengthens vision, gives tone to muscle tissue, helps the body to resist infectious, inflammatory diseases;
- vitamin E: ensures the health of the genitourinary system, speeds up metabolism, has an antioxidant effect, protects the appearance from age-related changes;
- vitamin H: ensures the normal functioning of the digestive tract, supports the functioning of the nervous and immune systems, affects the appearance;
- vitamin U: strengthens, cleanses blood vessels, has an antihistamine effect, maintains water-salt balance;
- calcium: pine cones pine jam is beneficial for men, as it strengthens the musculoskeletal system and the entire body, improves the conduction of nerve impulses, serves as the main "brick" for bone and cartilage tissue;
- potassium: plays an important role in the health of the cardiovascular, respiratory, immune systems;
- phosphorus: strengthens the musculoskeletal system;
- magnesium: affects the functionality of the cerebral cortex and central nervous system, helps the body to resist infections, participates in the interaction of phosphorus and calcium.
Despite the fact that the benefits of jam made from young pine cones are enormous, there are a number of cases when it can be harmful. Pine jam should be eaten with caution or abandoned altogether during pregnancy, lactation, chronic kidney dysfunction, at an early or old age.
Collection and preparation of cones for jam
The benefits and harms of pine cone jam largely depend on the quality of the harvested raw materials. Cones need to be collected far from settlements where there is no public transport or gas pollution. A pine tree should be chosen healthy so that it is not damaged by pests, there are no fungal diseases. Pines that have reached 15 years of age begin to bear fruit. This happens at the end of flowering, which can last May-June. It all depends on the atmospheric conditions. And after a couple of weeks, small green bumps appear.
A pinecone is ready to harvest when it becomes a uniform green color with a smooth and even surface, up to 4 cm in size. It is firm to the touch, but can be easily cut with a knife. There should be no defects on the surface in the form of foulbrood, fungal diseases or pests.
If you cut a young pine cone in half, you can see a resinous substance inside, thanks to which the fruits have unique healing properties. That is why it is necessary to collect dense, not yet opened cones. From the collected raw materials, honey, sugar tinctures, and jam are prepared. Pine cones need to be processed in the first day after harvest so as not to lose their healing qualities.
Pine Jam Recipes
The benefits and harms of pine jam will also depend on the technology of its preparation. First, sort out the fruits, remove the stalks and be sure to soak in water for several hours. This is to remove small debris, ants or other insects from the surface of the pine cones. It is better to take a pan made of stainless steel, and not aluminum, since the resin that is released during the cooking process settles on the walls and is difficult to wash.
Green pine cone jam recipes bring invaluable benefits to human health. Its pleasant taste and aroma make it a favorite medicine for all family members, including the little ones. It is worth considering an example of making classic jam for the winter. Rinse pine cones, drain and dry with a towel. Next, you need the following ingredients:
- pine cones - 100-120 pcs.;
- water - 2 l;
- granulated sugar - 1 kg.
Pour pine cones with water, simmer over low heat for about 50 minutes. Add sugar and boil for another 2 hours. Roll up in the usual way.
The second way to make pine jam. Pour 1 kg of raw materials with 2 liters of cold water, leave for a day. Then drain the infusion, add 1 kg of sugar and cook the syrup, into which, after boiling, lower the cones. The jam is cooked for 2 hours on low heat. At the same time, remove the foam as it boils. When an amber color appears, a wonderful taste and smell, the jam is ready.
The third version of the classic jam recipe. Wash the pine cones first, then chop. Fill with water so that they protrude slightly above the surface. Add the same amount of sugar to 1 kg of pine cones. Cook in 3 stages like any apple or strawberry jam. Boil for 15-20 minutes, then turn off the gas, let it brew until it cools completely for about 4 hours, and so on several times.
Jam without cooking
Cut well-washed pine cones into small pieces, roll in sugar and lay out in layers of 1.5 centimeters. Additionally, sprinkle each layer of fruits with granulated sugar. Cover with a towel and place in direct sunlight. From time to time, at least 3 times a day, shake the container with pine cones well. After the granulated sugar has completely dissolved, you can eat the jam.
It is worth considering the recipe for jam, which resembles honey in taste and texture. Ingredients:
- pine cones - 1 kg;
- granulated sugar - 1 kg;
- water - 1 l;
- star anise - 1 pc.;
- cardamom - 5-10 pcs.;
- cloves - 2-3 pcs.
Prepare syrup, add pine cones and simmer for 2 hours, collect foam. Put spices in a gauze bag, dip in jam for a quarter of an hour. Turn off the gas, strain and pour into jars.
The second option for quick jam. Prepare pine cones, grind them in a meat grinder. You can do this even 2 times so that the mass is fine-grained. It is allowed to grind on a blender. As a result of all the manipulations, a brown-green mass should be obtained, because pine cones are slightly oxidized during grinding.
Then mix the resulting mass with honey or sugar in a 1: 1 ratio. Give enough time to infuse. If jam with sugar is prepared for the winter, you can boil it a little, so it will be better stored.
To make jam for 100 g of young pine cones, you will need 200 g of sugar and half a lemon, chopped and pitted. Combine the ingredients, add a glass of water and heat to 100 degrees. On a moderate heating mode, keep for 15-20 minutes, stir, remove the foam. As soon as the jam has acquired a pinkish color, you can turn it off. Pour into dry, clean jars.
The second option is pine jam. Mix 1 kg of raw materials with 3 liters of water, cook slowly for 4 hours, do not forget about the foam. Then cool the broth, strain, discard the cones. Pour in 1.5 kg of sugar, cook until thickened. Add lemon juice obtained from one fruit, boil for a few more minutes. Pour hot jam into jars.
With pine nuts
You can enhance the taste and healing properties of forest jam by adding pine nuts to it. They contain healthy fats and many substances that strengthen the immune system, improve the work of metabolism.
Cut the pine cones into 4 parts, mix with the same amount of sugar, cover with water. Boil for 15 minutes and turn off the gas. Let it brew for several hours and boil the jam again for 20 minutes. After insisting until completely cooled, add pine nuts, pre-fried in a hot pan and peeled. Boil all together weakly for 15-20 minutes, turn off and after cooling, pour into prepared containers, roll up.
The use of jam for medicinal purposes
Pine cone jam is closed for the winter in order to strengthen immunity from infections and viruses during the cold season. It contains substances that help cure coughs, throats, colds, support the body during winter-spring hypovitaminosis, as well as in many other cases:
- metabolic disorders;
- any inflammatory processes in the respiratory tract;
- high temperature (has a diaphoretic effect);
- post-infarction condition;
- weakened immunity;
- violation of cerebral circulation;
- noise in ears;
- malfunctions of the gastrointestinal tract;
- diseases of the thyroid gland;
- weakening of the body.
Pine jam is stored for the prevention of strokes, sclerosis, and other pathologies of the cardiovascular system. Its components have a beneficial effect on the state and functionality of the vessels of the brain, the viability of nerve cells. When taken regularly, the jam helps to increase the elasticity of the capillary walls, helps to reduce pressure.
People who have had a stroke may feel the benefits of pine jam for themselves. The result of treatment is somewhat reduced if the disease is severe. In any case, it must be borne in mind that the effect will not manifest itself instantly. You need to be patient to undergo long-term treatment.
Sweet pine cone jam has not only benefits, but also contraindications. Large quantities should not be consumed by people suffering from obesity, prediabetes and diabetes. In such cases, it is better to use decoctions, tinctures of mature or green cones for treatment. Pine cones should not be taken for kidney disease and hepatitis. You can not feed babies under 1 year old, pregnant women and nursing mothers with jam.
Components in conifers often cause severe allergic reactions. People with a predisposition to such diseases should be wary of pine jam. You need to start trying the sweet medicine with small amounts, gradually increasing the portion.
Terms and conditions of storage
Pine jam is allowed in the refrigerator, basement, cellar or closet. Any dark and cold place will do. If the dishes in which the finished product is stored are glass and transparent, it is better to put them in the refrigerator so that the sun's rays do not fall. Can be stored in a drawer on the balcony.
Pine cone jam is a natural remedy for the treatment and maintenance of many bodily functions. The composition compares favorably with synthetic drugs in that it does not harm health. The rich chemical composition determines the medicinal properties of the jam against many diseases. It is important to consume the product regularly and in moderation, then the body will receive only benefits, not harm.