Dried Stinging Nettles, Nettle Soup recipe and Cooking with Nettles information

Nettle grows like crazy here in the Pacific Northwest. Lucky for us ferns do too so if we get stung collecting fresh (stinging) nettles relief is usually close at hand- just rub the underside of the fern leaf on the stings.

I found a reliable source for dried nettles  (click to buy) so I have begun to experiment with adding dried nettles to everyday recipes.


A great source of Nettle recipes is EatWeeds

Nettle soup
2 qts nettles
2 cups water/vege broth
salt to taste
1 tbsp butter
1 1/2 tbsp flour
1 1/4 qts total vegetable water from nettles
salt and white pepper

Wash nettles well and drain. Cook in slightly salted water 10 minutes or until tender. Strain, reserving water. Chop nettles finely or pass throughsieve. Melt butter, add flour and stir until well blended. Add stock, still stirring, and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the nettle purée and season. Serve with a poached egg or quartered hard boiled eggs floating on top.

In Sweden it’s called nässelsoppa (nettle soup) and the traditional way of eating it is add halves of hard boiled egg to the soup.
Learn to dry nettles

Traditional Uses: Nettles, a mineral rich plant food, have been used for generations to treat allergies. The infusion of the aerial parts has expectorant qualities having been used for asthma and cough. Nettle tincture is used for flu, colds, pneumonia and bronchitis. Dried plant is styptic when applied to wounds and Naturopaths use the drug to treat internal bleeding. According to Brill and Dean in their book, Identifying and Harvesting Edible and Medicinal Plants, drinking nettle tea and eating nettles may make your skin clearer and healthier and it may be therapeutic for eczema. Eating nettles may improve color, texture, gloss and health of hair. Aerial parts also infused as a tea and used for urinary tract infections, kidney and bladder stones, rheumatism. Root tincture used for irritable bladder and prostate complaints

http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/n/nettle03.html

Nettle Pudding

To 1 gallon of young Nettle tops, thoroughly washed, add 2 good-sized leeks or onions, 2 heads of broccoli or small cabbage, or Brussels sprouts, and 1/4 lb. of rice. Clean the vegetables well; chop the broccoli and leeks and mix with the Nettles. Place all together in a muslin bag, alternately with the rice, and tie tightly. Boil in salted water, long enough to cook the vegetables, the time varying according to the tenderness or otherwise of the greens. Serve with gravy or melted butter. These quantities are sufficient for six persons.



Nettle Beer

The Nettle Beer made by cottagers is often given to their old folk as a remedy for gouty and rheumatic pains, but apart from this purpose it forms a pleasant drink. It may be made as follows: Take 2 gallons of cold water and a good pailful of washed young Nettle tops, add 3 or 4 large handsful of Dandelion, the same of Clivers (Goosegrass) and 2 oz. of bruised, whole ginger. Boil gently for 40 minutes, then strain and stir in 2 teacupsful of brown sugar. When lukewarm place on the top a slice of toasted bread, spread with 1 oz. of compressed yeast, stirred till liquid with a teaspoonful of sugar. Keep it fairly warm for 6 or 7 hours, then remove the scum and stir in a tablespoonful of cream of tartar. Bottle and tie the corks securely. The result is a specially wholesome sort of ginger beer. The juice of 2 lemons may be substituted for the Dandelion and Clivers. Other herbs are often added to Nettles in the making of Herb Beer, such as Burdock, Meadowsweet, Avens Horehound, the combination making a refreshing summer drink.

Sources:
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/n/nettle03.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stinging_nettle
http://www.yougrowgirl.com/about.php

Cook Local is a Seallte blog with a Nettle frittata recipe  Spring Leek and Nettle Tart





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