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has anyone here sucessfully used stinging nettles for cheese making?  RSS feed

Taryn Hesse
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Location: Rainy Cold Temperate Harz Mountains Germany 450m South Facing River Valley
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I was trying to make mozerella cheese from stinging nettels and citric acid to form the curds. I have collected pound and pounds of this plant and tried making curdles ten times and failed. has anyone sucessfully done this and are willing to share their recipe? I dont have so many of some of the other plants ive heard work growing around me.
Bryant RedHawk
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Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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This is how you can make a rennet from nettles.

Harvest nettle leaves before the plant has gone to seed. Once the nettle has seeded, it is unsafe to use for making rennet. Harvest nettle leaves into a clean paper sack.
If fresh nettle is not available in your area, check local natural food stores. Dried nettle leaves are readily available, as they are often used for tea. Substitute ¾-1 pound dried nettle for 2 pounds fresh leaves.

The Ingredients:

2 pounds fresh stinging nettle (urtica dioica)
Large pot
1 Tbsp. Sea Salt

The method:

1. Rinse 2 pounds fresh leaves under cool, filtered water.
2. Fill a large pot with 4 cups water, add the clean leaves, add more water if needed to just cover the nettle leaves, bring the water and leaves to a light boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer 30 minutes.
3. Add 1 heaping tablespoon of sea salt to the pot; stir gently to dissolve, The salt will help to break down the leaves and release the coagulating enzyme.
4. Place a colander inside a large bowl, line the colander with one layer of clean cheesecloth, pour nettles into colander and drain until leaves stop dripping.
5. The liquid drained from the nettle leaves is the liquid nettle rennet. It can be used in amounts of 1 cup of nettle rennet per 1 gallon of warmed milk.
6. Keep tightly covered and avoid exposure to light. Nettle rennet will keep in the refrigerator or cold storage for a few weeks if stored properly.

How to use your nettle rennet:

When using nettle rennet in cheese making, use slightly less salt than the cheese recipe calls for, because the rennet will be a bit salty.
Nettle rennet can be used with any milk to make cheese.
However, cheese made with vegetable rennet may develop a bitter flavor if aged for a long period of time (over 2 months).
Solve this problem by using animal rennet for aged cheeses, making cheeses with shorter aging periods when using nettle rennet, or merely eating the cheese younger.

Hope that helps you with your cheese making.

David Livingston
Posts: 3476
Location: Anjou ,France
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Commercial producer using nettles

The permaculture playing cards make great stocking stuffers:
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