Nettles: Fabulous and Free!

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Nettles are a free, wild, super-healthy food that is abundant at the moment. To go foraging is really rewarding and great fun for the whole family to do. Bring a pair of siccors/secatars, gloves and a bag for your harvest. Choose a location that is not close to heavy traffic/road and on land that has been sprayed with pesticides. A good place is near river banks….. nettles will have rich and high nutritive value due to flooding but no matter where you go if on private land always ask permission.

I might even ask the plant permission to pick it!!! And give thanks to it afterwards ~) two way respect

Traditionally 3 servings of nettles were consumed in May to cleanse the blood and to ward off colds & flu’s

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Nettle (also known as Stinging Nettle) has been used for centuries to treat allergy symptoms, particularly hayfever which is the most common allergy problem. It contains biologically active compounds that reduce inflammation (inhibits cyclooxygenase – and – 5-lipoxygenase – derived reactions). In Germany today stinging nettle is sold as an herbal drug for prostate diseases and as a diuretic. It is a common ingredient in other herbal drugs produced in Germany for rheumatic complaints and inflammatory conditions (especially for the lower urinary tract and prostate). In the United States many remarkable healing properties are attributed to nettle and the leaf is utilized for different problems than the root. The leaf is used here as a diuretic, for arthritis, prostatitis, rheumatism, rheumatoid arthritis, high blood pressure and allergic rhinitis.

 

Nettle Soup – Recipe of the Week

This recipe is from Darina Allen’s Irish Traditional Cooking.

Ingredients:

• 150g young nettles
• 50g butter
• 275g potatoes, peeled and chopped
• 100g onion, chopped
• 100g leeks, white and light green parts only, chopped
• salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 1 litre good-quality chicken stock
• 125 ml cream or full-fat milk (optional)

Directions:
To take the sting out of the nettles, place them in a heatproof bowl or a pot. Boil some water in the kettle, then pour it over the nettles. Allow them to sit for 30 seconds, then drain, allow to cool slightly and discard any stems. Roughly chop the leaves and set them aside.  Melt the butter in a large heavy-bottomed pot, ideally one with a tight-fitting lid, over a medium heat. Add in the chopped potatoes, onions and leeks and toss them in the butter until well coated. Season well.

Cover the pot and cook the vegetables over a gentle heat for 10 minutes, until the vegetables are soft but not coloured. Add the stock and bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until the vegetables are tender.  Add the chopped nettle leaves and simmer, uncovered, for just a few minutes more. Be careful not to overcook the soup at this point or the vegetables will discolour and will also lose their flavour. Liquidize the soup, then add the cream or milk, if using — check the consistency of the soup first, as you don’t want it to be too thin — and stir it through and reheat. Alternatively, you could just add a drizzle of cream to each bowl to garnish.  Taste and correct the seasoning if necessary

by arthur