Do you absolutely love the flavor of juniper berries? Maybe you’ve never had them before but find yourself with a recipe calling for their use. Whatever the case may be, in this post you’ll find out where to buy juniper berries!
What Are Juniper Berries?
As you might have guessed from the picture above, juniper berries come from a conifer. There are varies types of juniper conifers around.
Fun fact: Juniper is the ONLY spice that comes from a conifer!
Not sure what a conifer is? Basically it’s a tree that produces cones and has needles. Pine cones come from pine trees, which are also conifers.
What Are Juniper Berries Used For?
Juniper berries are what gives gin its distinctive flavor. So homebrewers are generally very interested in this spice.
Juniper berries are also used for as a herb/spice in a variety of dishes including fermented foods! They are spicy and aromatic, and make a great addition to both meat dishes and fruit dishes. They have a piney, fruity taste.
I love to put juniper berries in sauerkraut! I’ll be sure to share some more of my sauerkraut recipes soon.
Juniper berries are also good for common ailments such as:
- low appetite
- GI infections
The berries can be added to food, or steeped to make a tea.
When using as a seasoning rub for meats, you might want to crush the berries to impart more flavor.
For fermenting, I use the spice whole. The acidity and salt from the ferment does a great job of extracting the flavor.
Where Do You Buy Juniper Berries?
You can buy juniper berries in a variety of places, including local supermarkets and online.
If you need juniper berries immediately, then it is worth it to check your local store’s spice sections. I have found the small jar of Simply Organic Juniper Berries at Whole Foods. You can also typically find juniper berries at local homebrew shops.
However, many recipes call for quite a bit of juniper berries, so I much prefer to buy juniper berries online.
I tend to buy one pound of juniper berries at a time.
The organic whole dried juniper berries from Frontier is the brand I always buy.
If you need to buy a smaller amount online, then I would look the 1/4 pound bag by Organic Way.
What If I Want To Plant My Own Juniper Berry Tree?
That’s a GREAT idea! There’s nothing like foraging for your own herbs and spices, and these plants can serve multiple purposes.
You can order plant seeds on Amazon and Etsy.
Juniper Communis seeds will result in the plant most commonly used as a herb/spice. This seller on Etsy has a great reputation for their Juniper communis seeds.
This variety is not commonly used for the spice, but is available as a plant start on Amazon:
This set of 3 Juniper Chinensis starts is perfect to get started. It is hardy and doesn’t require much maintenance. You will have to water it regularly until a mature root system develops, but once that is well underway, an occasional watering is all you’ll need.
The berries of a few Juniper species are poisonous or mildly toxic (especially to pets), so be sure to do a little due diligence before going with a different variety to plant!
Aside from being able to harvest your own juniper berries, these evergreen plants are also great for decorating your space. They smell wonderful, as well!