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rachael hamblin
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I went out and harvested a bunch of nettles today and I'm wondering what are some good ways to prepare them.  I'm dehydrating some and steamed some which was delicious.  Does anyone have any recipes with nettles they could share? 
 
paul wheaton
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They are fantastic in scrambled eggs.

They also go great in lasagne.

Pizza?  Piroshki!  How about something like spannikopita?
 
rachael hamblin
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It sounds like most places you'd use cooked spinach would do well with nettles?  Any tricks for masking the furriness?  That would be my one complaint about nettles (well, other than the stinging bit I guess).

Has anyone tried using them in smoothies?  I'm wondering if you'd have to worry about being stung or not.  I've eaten them raw and for the most part I'm fine once they're in my mouth and I've heard there's something in the leaf that counteracts the acid, so I'm wondering if you blended it if it would have the same effect...
 
paul wheaton
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I think once they are warmed a bit, they lose their sting.

As for the furriness, don't knock it until you've tried it. 

 
rachael hamblin
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I tried juicing nettles today and although I didn't get much juice out of it, drinking it didn't sting me.  I think I'll try a smoothie in the next few days and let you know how it goes.
 
paul wheaton
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Maybe it's just me ... but a smoothie sounds downright gross! 

Since nettles fill the same void in my stomach that meat fills, the idea of a nettle smoothie sounds like a bacon smoothie.

Have you tried nettle lasagna yet?

 
rachael hamblin
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Hmmm that's interesting, I hadn't thought of nettles that way.  I'm vegan so there tends to be a lot of overlap between my food groups.  Tofu goes in smoothies...greens go in smoothies...so I'm thinking, why not a high protein green?  I'm still thinking I'll try it, we've eaten through all our harvested nettles again so I'll have to wait until I get more, probably later this week.  I haven't tried nettle lasagna yet though I'd like to, we've been talking about making a lasagna sometime soon.  I assume you would use them in place of spinach?
 
paul wheaton
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Crazy vegans!  Ack! 

I think we might be getting to the end of nettle season. 

Yes, I usually use nettles where I might use spinach.  But I would also use nettles where I might use meat in a dish (perhaps you would use it where you would use tofu or tempeh).  I think a stir fry would probably be good.  Maybe a fried rice dish? 



 
rachael hamblin
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Tried a stir fry with beans, onions, and chard mixed in....sooo good.

I thought you could pretty much keep harvesting nettles until they died off in the winter, or at least went to seed.  Is this not the case?  What determines the unharvestable point?
 
paul wheaton
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Nettles get their name from the ability to harvest them and make nets out of them.  So I think when you get late enough in the season they are going to get kinda hard to consume.
 
rachael hamblin
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Got it.  Guess I'd better get out this week and find some to dry in that case.  I'm going to miss fresh nettles!

I just found this recipe for a soup with nettles (I bet you could use dried nettles and let the water re-hydrate them..):

Potato Leek stinging nettle Soup with White Beans

Ingredients
1 lb fresh spring nettle tops
1 whole leek sliced
1/2 onion chopped
1T olive oil
2 med/large russets, peeled and cubed
1/2 cup canned white beans
5-6 cups vegetable broth
1/2 cup dry white wine
salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste

Directions
Saute onions and leeks in olive oil until soft but not browning. Add white wine and deglaze. Add nettles and broth, cover pot and let simmer until nettles make room in the pot for the potatoes. Add potatoes and beans and simmer about 20 minutes, or until everything is very tender. Zip up with wand or in batches in the food processorAdd salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste.
 
Dave Boehnlein
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Here are two awesome nettle uses:

1. Nettle Pesto - which can be made vegan or not and is super good - olive oil, garlic, nettles, salt, sunflower seeds or pine nuts, and Parmesan cheese (opt) thrown in a food processor should do the trick. You can freeze it for three months or longer and eat it during the summer.

2. Nettle Infused honey - this year Maria juiced a whole batch of nettles and mixed the juice with honey. It tasted like a very yummy, medicinal treat. I believe she then proceeded to take the bulk of her batch of nettle honey and turn it into mead so the alcohol would preserve the nettles' medicinal value. We'll get to try that in a few months.

I suspect the nettle honey would be good for folks with allergies (so I've heard).

Maria has an awesome book called 101 Uses for Stinging Nettles by Piers Warren. Check it out!
 
                    
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nettles are excellent in any kind of tomato vegetable soup, white beans,
dal,  and perfect diced fine in hash browns..
I also like to dry them and add them to no wheat  non-gluten
breading mix for shrimp , okra , fish etc.
fresh nettles are also wonderful in  a stir fry with just curried  onions.
Nina
 
paul wheaton
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And when you say "use scissors", do you mean to say "use scissors and gloves"? 

 
paul wheaton
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ronie dee
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paul wheaton wrote:
And when you say "use scissors", do you mean to say "use scissors and gloves"? 
 

I don't need gloves to harvest nettles. Scissors and medium to large plastic bowl.
 
                              
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I should have some recipes for a nettle based wine from the UK.  Also have a feeling that I still have a beer or more correctly gruit recipe that has nettles in it.  When I find them I'll post them up.

Jeff
 
Jordan Lowery
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i gotta try that nettle lasagna

i harvest my nettles without gloves.
 
                              
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Icewalker wrote:
I should have some recipes for a nettle based wine from the UK.  Also have a feeling that I still have a beer or more correctly gruit recipe that has nettles in it.  When I find them I'll post them up.

Jeff


Still not found the gruit recipe.  Here's one nettle beer recipe - but I thought I had a better one kicking around

Nettle Beer Recipe -
Ingredients

10lb young nettles
40 pints water
10 lemons (or if you're lazy the juice of 10 lemons from store lemon juice)
5lb demerara sugar
1lb white sugar
5oz cream of tartar
1.5 oz yeast (baking yeast is fine)
Method

Rinse the nettles, drain and boil in the water for 15 minutes. Either do this in a six-gallon brewing boiler or do it in batches if you only have smaller pots.

Strain the liquor into a fermentation vat, containing the lemon juice, lemon rind (no pith), sugars and cream of tartar. Stir vigorously and allow to cool to blood temperature.

Sprinkle the yeast over the top, cover the vat loosely with a cloth and leave for 24 hours. Replace the cloth with an airlock and leave to ferment for a further 3-4 days.

Strain and either bottle or keg. If using a keg, it's worth adding another half pound of white sugar to help get the pressure up.

Leave for at least seven days before drinking. Serve chilled.
This is much stronger in flavour and alcohol than my other recipe. If you want to add finings (campden tablet, isinglass, gelatin etc), do it at day three, leave for 24 hours and then bottle or keg.
 
                      
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Do nettles have a spacific season? Aren't you able to harvest new growth all spring & summer?  It's only 10 days into Feb & I havent found anything really growing in Oregon yet. Did I miss it? I can honestly confess to bein a tourist in all this so it's entirely possibly I didnt look in the right places on the very few days of non-rain we've had here...
 
ronie dee
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MsMinuette wrote:
Do nettles have a spacific season? Aren't you able to harvest new growth all spring & summer?  It's only 10 days into Feb & I havent found anything really growing in Oregon yet. Did I miss it? I can honestly confess to bein a tourist in all this so it's entirely possibly I didnt look in the right places on the very few days of non-rain we've had here...


Keep watching late winter - early spring and you will find it growing real small. It is real easy to find if you know where it was growing last year. If you find it small it's good, but don't worry you can harvest leaves until late summer - early fall. Sometime late summer - early fall the leaves aren't good... not poison or anything just not palatable.
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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MsMinuette wrote:
Do nettles have a spacific season? Aren't you able to harvest new growth all spring & summer? 


Yes, spring. If you're harvesting for food or tea, make sure to harvest below knee height. Once they're taller, there's a compound that changes in the nettles that's really hard on the kidneys.

Harvest late in the season for using the plant fiber or root fibers, or for mulch or compost, not for food.

See more about harvesting, including videos, in the nettles thread under wild harvesting and ancestral skills.

I'm in the Seattle area; haven't been out yet myself, but I hear they're starting to come up!
 
                      
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Thanks Guys! I noticed that I may not need to be so confused if I check the dates on some of these posts. @ Jocelyn- Im in Oregon & I just dont see any yet- I bet its goin to be a case of watching a pot that never boils- cuz Im watching & stuff- I may be looking prematurley. Im actually a Whidbey Island Navy Brat... Are you teaching a class on Kefir by chance in the next month?
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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MsMinuette wrote:
Are you teaching a class on Kefir by chance in the next month?


Oops, this is a common misunderstanding. I'm not teaching eco classes (maybe some day after I learn more myself!) I simply compile a bunch of learning opportunities on my calendar. And, sadly, I'm behind in updating my calendar.

For kefir classes near you, I recommend Friendly Haven Rise Farm, near Vancouver, WA. Oh, of all things, there's one tonight! Jacqueline and Joseph are awesome.

 
                      
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Yes Jocelyn, there was a mix-up between the two pretty "J" ladies in WA when it was mentioned to me. I hope you were not offended. I did find the Friendly Haven Rise Farm info & will be looking forward to spending some quality time there learning stuff. . Thank You.
 
T. Joy
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We have a smoothie with baby spinach, berries and other fruit nearly every morning and its' terrific, even the kids like it. So this summer we're going to try it out with nettles. I have lots of friends who have made them and like them so we'll see. Might not use all nettles, probably a mix of those and baby spinach.

I am not vegan but close enough I suppose. Eggs I'll eat so maybe a nettle omelet sometime. We'll see... Oddly enough, the kids won't eat spinach in eggs so that might be a meal just for me.
 
paul wheaton
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Heidi Bohan (http://www.heidibohan.com/) author of "People of Cascadia" (http://www.peopleofcascadia.com/) makes a soup out of stinging nettles, salmon, camas, bitterroot, seaweed, ozette potato, lady fern fiddlehead, cow parsnip shoots, horsetail and lomatium (biscuit root).  She was loaded up with goodies from the "First Roots Feast" at the warm springs indian reservation.

Heidi shows how she prefers to prepare all of these foods and gives appropriate cautions for those plants that have counterparts that could lead to some confusion at harvest. 

Heidi shows some dried stinging nettle that is several years old.  And she talks about how she likes to dry stinging nettles. 

Heidi mentions how stinging nettles are good for you because it helps to draw toxic gick out of your system.




 
paul wheaton
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Marilyn Queiroz
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I went to the store and what did I find in the vegetable section but stinging nettles. Now I had the chance to see what they taste like. Pretty good. More substantial than cooked spinach ... kinda crunchy in my eggs. I cooked them slightly first, but didn't steam them. Then I added the eggs. Yum.

I don't think I would like fuzzy. I don't particularly like peaches with fuzz ...
 
Joy Oasis
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You can also simply make nourishing infusions aka Susun Weed. Put 1 ounce of dried nettles in a quart of boiling water, close it up and let it steep overnight. Drink it in 1-2 days. keep it in the fridge. Very nutritious and healing as well. I actually do second take, but that one is not as dark green as the first one.
 
Daron Williams
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I like making a tea out of nettles. A fun trick is adding a little lemon and it will change the tea color to pink. At least it worked that way with the nettles in England. If I made the tea using fresh leaves I would then cook them up with pasta and make a nice dish.
 
Shaz Jameson
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Inspired by today's daily-ish on using nettle for fibers, I wanted to revive this thread with something that recently came across my radar. This spring I'm really looking forward to making nettle pasta. Yess people!

Emiko Davies of Food52 fame has a brilliant recipe for stinging nettle tortellini in broth. She makes her pasta from scratch, but the recipe she was inspired from just uses premade wonton wrappers.

Look at this beauty:



Emiko also has a recipe for making pasta dough with nettles, so green pasta where the green is nettles. As my other half is Italian and I'm the adventurous permie cook, this seems like such an ingenious idea to sneak in some wild greens into traditional recipes.

Once again, from Emiko's blog:



Do go check it out if you're interested, her blog is a treasure trove.
 
Joy Oasis
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Daron Williams wrote:I like making a tea out of nettles. A fun trick is adding a little lemon and it will change the tea color to pink. At least it worked that way with the nettles in England. If I made the tea using fresh leaves I would then cook them up with pasta and make a nice dish.

That sounds very interesting. I have to try that trick. Do you add it right away or later? It might also make it stay good longer, lemon tends to do that. Speaking of lemon -lemon peel (including white part) is very rich in nutrients and healing agents as well, so I like to make smoothie that includes whole lemon - skin, seeds and all. And lots of bananas and molasses to hide the bitterness....LOL. I drink that one in 2 days, for one day I would use half of the lemon. Do not be surprised to have a longest BM of your life -it is thaaat healthy.
 
Daron Williams
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Joy Oasis wrote:
That sounds very interesting. I have to try that trick. Do you add it right away or later? It might also make it stay good longer, lemon tends to do that. Speaking of lemon -lemon peel (including white part) is very rich in nutrients and healing agents as well, so I like to make smoothie that includes whole lemon - skin, seeds and all. And lots of bananas and molasses to hide the bitterness....LOL. I drink that one in 2 days, for one day I would use half of the lemon. Do not be surprised to have a longest BM of your life -it is thaaat healthy.


I always added it right away - most of the time it was done as a trick for kids. Sometimes it was not a big change but we did get some really good color changes too. The kids were all fascinated with it and it made them interested in the nettles tea.
 
Joy Oasis
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Daron Williams wrote:

I always added it right away - most of the time it was done as a trick for kids. Sometimes it was not a big change but we did get some really good color changes too. The kids were all fascinated with it and it made them interested in the nettles tea.


So I tried, and in the cold nettle infusion there was no change, but when I added the hot water, it changed immediately. My was strong, so it didn't become pink, but was not green anymore, yellowish orange. I wonder what happens to that chlorophyl then?
 
Daron Williams
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Joy Oasis wrote:

So I tried, and in the cold nettle infusion there was no change, but when I added the hot water, it changed immediately. My was strong, so it didn't become pink, but was not green anymore, yellowish orange. I wonder what happens to that chlorophyl then?


Interesting, I never really experimented with it - the yellowish orange color is more common than the pink color. I wonder if the age of the nettle leaves matter... I'm not sure what happens to the chlorophyll... sometime I will need to see if I can find some info on it.
 
Angelika Maier
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I do nettle quiche it is nice: nettle quiche recipe
If not the harvesting would be so difficult I would cook much more with nettles!
 
Joy Oasis
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Angelika Maier wrote:I do nettle quiche it is nice: nettle quiche recipe
If not the harvesting would be so difficult I would cook much more with nettles!

It is not hard, if you have rose gloves...
 
Thelma Mc Gowan
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I make a nettle (spinach dip) with home made mayo. Sorry .no real measures

Steamed nettles chopped and drained
Sautéed carrots, cellery, onion, pepper a bit of garlic.

Mix with mayo, sr cream,  worstershire, lemon juice, salt pepper to taste

Dip it with anything, or eat it in a pita.


 
I agree. Here's the link: http://stoves2.com
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