nettles

31st December 2011

Another one of natures plentiful seasonal treasures.

 I can’t seem to get enough of them and have been eating nettles daily for weeks now.  If you google nettles on the internet there are so many elaborate recipes, but I  prefer mine simply sautéed in a hot skillet with a little ghee and a sprinkling of sea salt.  I have enjoyed them for a comforting hot breakfast, but mostly I love making this healing golden soup with a big spoon of vibrant green sauteed nettles dolloped in the middle then mixed through.  The idea of a nettle pesto risotto intrigues me.   You can simply substitute any recipe that uses greens, such as spinach or kale. Then replace those greens with nettles.  It’s that easy.

After reading up about nettles, I discovered that they are full of Vitamin C and A, iron,  fibre and a bunch of other goodies.  They’ve often been called a “super food” for this reason. They are unusually high in protein for a green plant. I found out that they are a great blood tonic and cleanser.  I also read how it makes your hair brighter, thicker and shinier, and makes your skin clearer and healthier.  If you want to read more about this “super food”,  have a look here .

Take care when harvesting as they will sting.  Always use gloves to transport the nettles to your pot or pan. As soon as they begin to cook, the sting goes away.  I like to use the younger nettles around 10 inches in height, as I find the flavour is more richly deeper and oozes their vibrant, green plant essence.   I also cut them just where the first leaves start on their stem.  This can be done when using the younger plant.  If using older plants, pick the tips off the plant.

sautéed nettles

ingredients :

A big, big bunch of freshly, field-picked nettles (remember they will disappear down like spinach)

2 teaspoons ghee/olive oil

sprinkling rock salt

preparation :

In a large skillet, melt half of the ghee/oil in the pan.  Add the nettles, being careful not to come in contact with them.  I use two wooden spoons to toss them about, drizzling the remainder of the ghee/oil.  Ensure the pan is quite hot, and move them about quickly, making sure they wilt right down as in the photo below. This happens surprisingly fast.  Sprinkle with sea salt and toss to mix.  Because I use the stems as well as the leaves, I use my kitchen scissors to cut them up into smaller bite-sized pieces, otherwise, you will begin to feel like a cow, forever chewing to break them up.

nettle tea

Pour boiling water over fresh nettles.  Steep, strain and enjoy.

OR

Bring water and nettles to a boil.  Simmer for a couple of minutes.  Remove from heat.  Strain, enjoy.

The tea is also good as a compress for wounds, cuts, stings and burns.  It is also good for facial steams and rinses.

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Goodness shared from Stacey

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