Wednesday – Nettles

Today I took a walk on the wild side!! Wild food that is. I have long been interested in harvesting wild plants from the garden and hedgerows around the area that we live. I have in the past picked dandelions, clover and plantain from the lawn and added them to salads and we spend many weeks in late summer picking blackberries and sloes from the bushes and trees that line the lanes around here.

I have thought about nettles in the past and drying them in the dehydrator and making tea from them but had never actually done it. Something about the ‘sting’ that always worried me a little. Anyways, after conversations on my forum about the great mineral content of nettles – they are rich in calcium, magnesium, silica, vitamin K, iron and chlorophyll – I decided to give them a go.

So this morning found me bright and early wandering around my garden in dressing gown and wellies armed with rubber gloves and scissors (it’s a good job we haven’t got any neighbour’s!!) searching for the best crop of nettles. There were many to choose from as they grow prolifically here.

Back inside I added them to my usual morning green juice and sat back to sample their delights. Actually the juice didn’t really taste any different to usual – probably due to me being over cautious and only adding a few sprigs – about a dozen leaves – to be on the safe side!. Now that I am happy that they won’t kill me or at the very least sting my throat I will add some more to the mix.

I plan on adding nettles to my juices like this for the foreseeable future to see if it has any noticeable effect and I will also dry some in the dehydrator and make tea. I may also experiment with nettle soup (hubby watch out!) and you can also make nettle wine out of them……emmmm that’s a thought, something to go along with the sloe gin that we make every year as well. Who knew nettles were so versatile……