Sunday, March 14, 2010
Nettles ~ Put Some Sting In Your Spring!
Today my daughter and I harvested our first batch of nettles of the spring! It was so exciting for me because I crave them all year.
We've been harvesting nettles each spring since she was a toddler. She's now 13 and still an expert! In fact, unlike myself, she doesn't even wear gloves. She squeezes the outer leaves and rubs them between her fingers and pops them in her mouth! (I don't suggest trying this unless you are prepared to get stung - or unless, like I suspect of her, you've made some enchanted pact with the forest nymphs!)
I harvest the tender tops from the time they first appear in spring through mid-summer when they begin to set flowers.
I use gloves and scissors and snip of the new tops into a paper bag.
What Do I Do With Stinging Nettles?
I enjoy fresh nettle infusions during the spring. The taste is decidely different than from dried nettle. I love it!
I steam them and eat then drizzle with chopped garlic, olive oil and apple cider vinegar. SWOON!!!!
I dry some for storing so I have nettle infusions all year long.
I also make up a big batch of Nettle Infused Vinegar
Nettles ~ The Nutritional Powerhouse
Stinging Nettles are a rich source of calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron, cobalt, copper, potassium, trace minerals, chlorophyll, the B-complex vitamins, and more.
Because of their dense concentration of minerals and amino acids, Nettles help to build healthy bones, hair, skin, and teeth, as well as being an excellent tonic for pregnant, lactating, and menopausal women.
Nettles are a tonic for the kidney, adrenal, and thyroid glands, so they can help increase and stabilize energy levels. Used regularly for several months, they can prevent hay fever and other allergies.
If you should get stung while harvesting nettle look for some yellow dock leaves (pictured below)- they always grow near nettle. Simply crush the leaves and rub on the sting.
I'd love to hear how you use spring nettles!