Autumn Olive Guide + Recipes – Here is an informational guide on Autumn Olives, a list of recipe ideas & inspiration, and links to Autumn Olive recipes.
Estimated reading time: 7 minutes
Autumn Olive Guide + Recipes
Hi Everyone, Are you familiar with Autumn Olives? They are unique, sweet and tart, small, reddish berry that grows wild here in Central New Jersey (and can also be found in NY and PA).
Enjoy this guide, list of recipe ideas & inspiration, and links to blog recipes on this unique, foraged berry!
I link to the foraging guide that I use, Northeast Foraging, in the recipe link card below at the end of the post.
(All the photos in this post are photos of Autumn Olives on our property, taken September 2020)
What are Autumn Olives?
According to Wikipedia, Autumn Olives are:
“Elaeagnus umbellata is known as Japanese silverberry, umbellata oleaster, autumn olive, autumn elaeagnus, or spreading oleaster. The species is indigenous to eastern Asia and ranges from the Himalayas eastwards to Japan.”
The back of the leaves are silvery in color as compared to the green front side of the leaf.
They have a olive-shaped, pointed pit in the center.
Are Autumn Olive Plants Invasive?
They are an invasive species and spread easily and are feasted on by birds and other wild animals. The plant thrives in disturbed soil areas.
Therefore, don’t feel bad about harvesting them!
I suggest throwing the pits in the trash or where they can be composted (and will not grow into plants), instead of throwing them back in the woods where they can continue to spread.
Are Autumn Olives real Olives?
No, they are fruit/berries, not olives. The berries are olive-shaped.
Are Autumn Olive Plants Shrubs or Trees?
They are considered shrubs and can turn into small trees when they get large.
What is the Nutritional Value of Autumn Olives?
According to Specialtyproduce.com:
“Autumn olives are high in vitamins A, E, and C and are known for their high content of the antioxidant, lycopene.”
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What do Autumn Olives taste like?
Autumn Olives taste sweet, tart and slightly astringent.
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When are Autumn Olives Ripe to Harvest in Central New Jersey?
In Central New Jersey, Autumn Olives begin ripening at the end of August and are ripe at the end of the Summer, in September and through October and into Late Fall, November.
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Recipe Ideas & Inspiration for Autumn Olives
Here is a list of several recipe ideas for Autumn Olives:
- Autumn Olive Fruit Leather
- Autumn Olive Gin Cocktail Recipe
- Autumn Olive Mocktail
- Autumn Olive Ice Cream
- Autumn Olive Frozen Yogurt
- Autumn Olive Chia Seed Pudding
- Autumn Olive Sorbet
- Autumn Olive Coulis
- Autumn Olive Sauce/Topping
- Autumn Olive Lemonade
- Autumn Olive Iced Tea
- Autumn Olive Panna Cotta
- Autumn Olive Galette
- Autumn Olive Pie
- Autumn Olive Juice
- Autumn Olive Tart
- Autumn Olive Jam
- Autumn Olive Jelly
- Autumn Olive Quick Bread
- Autumn Olive Scones
- Autumn Olive Rolls
- Autumn Olive Cookies
- Autumn Olive Cake
- Autumn Olive Jelly Roll Cake
- Autumn Olive Marinade or Sauce for Steak/Chicken/Fish/Venison/Meat
- Autumn Olive Honey
- Autumn Olive Wine
- Autumn Olive Syrup
Get Proper Plant Identification
With any foraged food, I HIGHLY recommend using a field guide (I link to my favorite one below, Amazon Affiliate Link) and making sure you have a foraging expert verify the plant.
If you have any doubt, wait until you know for sure. There are a lot of wild berries out there and many are poisonous!
I also currently use an app to help with plant identification on our property and beyond; the one I currently use is the “Picture This” app which I use on the iPhone. I always use multiple verifications before consuming any wild/foraged food.
Here’s a YouTube video on Autumn Olive berry Identification to help you ID it:
Have you made any recipes with Autumn Olive berries?
Please let me know in the comments at the end of the post.
Thank you for reading and following along!