Recipes from Sumac Season: Sumac "Spice"

Aug 18 / Alberto Carbo
Something else I like to do with sumac is infusing different things like yogurt, vinaigrettes, ice cream, smoothies, etc. To do this, the easiest way I found to make sumac ‘spice’ is the following:

Sumac Spice

As many sumac flowers as you would like (Try a small batch first, so you can see how long it takes you to accomplish, and decide if you want to do a bigger batch).

  1. Detach all of the sumac berries from the stems and place them in your blender.
  2. Blend the berries for a short period of time. If you have a lot, it may be wise to do small batches. I like to pulse my blender for a few seconds at a time 3-4 times.
  3. The blending will separate the soft, velvety outer part of the berries from the hard seed within.
  4. Take the blended sumac berries and place them in a bowl. Add a little bit at a time to a kitchen strainer (not too fine, but a pasta strainer will not work – the holes are too big).
  5. Use a wooden spoon to push the velvety sumac spice through the strainer. The seeds should remain in the strainer.
  6. Place all of the strained spice on a baking sheet with some parchment paper, spread out evenly, and bake at 300°F for 10 minutes.
  7. The spice should feel dry to the touch after it cools down.
  8. Keep in an airtight jar. It should keep for quite a while. I have definitely had it last through the winter and into the spring.

As always make sure to forage for plants away from roads and pollution as much as possible. Never overharvest any plant, as they are of course not only here for our enjoyment, but also here for the insects, bees, and birds. Have fun out there!
The information provided in this digital content is not medical advice, nor should it be taken or applied as a replacement for medical advice. Matthew Wood, the Matthew Wood Institute of Herbalism, ETS Productions, and their employees, guests, and affiliates assume no liability for the application of the information discussed.