Nettles are quite distinctive, and once you've gotten familiar with them you'll find you can recognize them at a distance (which is good...). Wash your nettles in cold water and carefully strain them. 1. In the Salzburger Pinzgau region, wonderful recipes are created from natural ingredients. Taming wild stinging nettles is as easy as boiling water. Cooking, steaming, or blanching stinging nettles in hot water completely neutralizes the plant’s stinging capacity. First, blanch the nettles. Transfer the blanched leaves to the ice water, and stir. The best and easiest way to prepare fresh stinging nettle is to blanch them in water. The stem is square in shape and the leaves are jagged and simple, growing opposite from one another. Lift them from the bath and spread them out onto a clean dishtowel or paper towels, and pat them dry. Scared off yet? But leave them for too long and - like spinach - the leaves will wilt too far, and start to lose flavour, texture and goodness. Chop and use in a recipe or dehydrate and store in a Mason jar or similar container, for future use. Dried Nettle Leaves for Tea. To remove the sting from the nettles, blanch them by boiling them in water with a little bit of salt for about 5 minutes. To Dehydrate… Dry clean leaves in a single layer in food dehydrator until crispy, or hang in small bunches in a dry, room temperature spot until leaves are fully dehydrated. But to cook them, you first need to tame them. Stinging nettles can be made into tea, used in soups, or sauteed with some butter. Quickly blanching them in a pot of boiling water will deaden the sting. You have to blanch nettles anyway before eating them, and the left over blanching water can be used as a vegetarian stock. To remove that sting, you must first blanch your nettles. Stinging nettles are found in abundance across the UK, most often viewed as weeds. Do this by blanching in hot water for a few seconds. Long Term: Blanch for 1 minute, then rinse, drain, and freeze. Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) is a perennial plant originally native to Europe, North Africa, and parts of Asia but now found worldwide.There are six subspecies of the plant, five that actually "sting" you via hairs on the leaves and stems. Freeze Nettle Stock/Nettle Tea. Store in an airtight container in a dark place. By using gloves to pick them and then blanching them, you stay sting-free while making them safe to consume. If sautéeing raw nettles, make sure to keep the heat high so the liquid they throw off as they cook evaporates quickly. Another way to clean the nettles is the blanching method. Stinging nettle has naturalized in nearly every state in the United States. What you're left with, once the scary stuff is out of the way, are delicate greens, with a flavor like a spinach-cucumber hybrid and so many nutrients we don't even have time to list them all. In order to reap the benefits of stinging nettle, they need to be “de-stung” first. To blanch, place in boiling water for a minute or two, and then quickly douse in ice water. There are several varieties of nettles, the best being Urtica dioica and U. urens. While some seasoned nettle foragers swear by foraging with their bare hands (there is some evidence that stings from stinging nettles can actually help to prevent and treat arthritis), I don’t recommend it. Stinging nettles are really delicious, but before consuming it is important to take out the sting. NOTE: Most of my nettle recipes are linked within the following article. Stinging nettle has anti-inflammatory properties which can help alleviate pain. 1. Nettles can be eaten when they're young, as is done in many parts of Europe. Nettles can also be dried in a dehydrator. Despite this, by foraging and cooking with these nettles, we can end up with some tasty dishes! Stinging nettle comes under the simple name "nettle" on most teas and commercial packaging. How to Cook Stinging Nettle Pesto Pasta. That’s because it is very much like basil pesto, you basically just replace the basil with blanched stinging nettle (blanching it removes the stinging). Stinging nettles are a traditional ingredient in Austrian cuisine. That’s why you should cook stinging nettles rather than eating them raw. The key to neutralizing the stinging agent is to use moist heat (either blanching or steaming) to lightly cook them before touching or consuming them. Heat up a big pot of salted, boiling water. Take care when foraging for stinging nettles. These hairs act like miniature hypodermic needles, injecting you with histamine, folic acid, and other substances that cause localized redness and pain. Rinse them afterwards, which doubles as washing them as well. Wear a good set of gardening gloves and pick or snip the freshest foliage at the tips of the nettle. We jokingly call it “Incredible Hulk Soup” due its color, although cooking stinging nettles does tend to dull the color a bit. Some 2013 research shows that there are many plant foods that are anti-inflammatory, including nettle. Lay out to dry on an absorbent towel. Stinging Nettles (Urtica dioica) are quite a cheeky plant and one that everyone remembers! They were one of the first plants I began foraging and were a gateway plant into the fascinating world of wild foods. 1. Treat nettles like any other leafy green, such as spinach, although they need to be cooked to eliminate the sting. Sounds a lot like basil pesto, doesn’t it? Wear gloves when harvesting and dropping them into the boiling water. Stinging Nettle is an herbaceous perennial that can grow from 3-6 feet in height. Place the nettles into a pot of boiling water for a few seconds. If you handle them correctly, nettles are actually a dead simple green to prepare. Freeze it and use within a year. Our favorite use of cooked nettles is to make soup. Top Your Pizza. ... Identifying Stinging Nettles. Ok here we go! Use stinging nettle as a substitute for spinach in any recipe where the greens are cooked. Blanch for 1 minute in boiling water, chill, pack tightly into freezer bags and store in freezer for winter. How to eat Nettles. The nettles now have lost their “sting” and can be used in place of spinach for most recipes, including lasagna or pasta sauce. Stinging nettle pesto is a green sauce/condiment/paste made with garlic, salt, Parmesan, walnuts, oil and blanched stinging nettle. Freeze tea in plastic freezer containers. How quickly they subdued into limp, inoculated leaves and stems. Blanch the leaves for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Simply brush your hand across this plant and you’ll quickly identify the species. Step 4: Toast pine nuts and toss-dry your blanched nettle leaves — then cool them. Add the oil, butter, or other cooking fat, swirl to melt and/or heat, and add the nettles. Nettle tea is very easy to make and all you need are fresh or dry nettle leaves. As you might tell I have a soft spot for Nettles. Cooking or drying neutralises the toxic components, and nettles can be … TAMING Nettle’s Sting. You can remove the leaves before digging up the roots, save them and use them in a stir fry or dry them for tea. Check out these easy ways to use nettles to offer great taste and nutrition to your meals. The brief exposure to high heat neutralizes the stinging hairs. Gently squish away any excess water from the strained medicinal weeds. ... Blanch whole leaves and pack in freezer bags or plastic containers and freeze. Stinging nettles might sound like a bit of an unusual ingredient, but they’re actually a source of vitamin C, and when handled and cooked properly, they’re nothing to be afraid of — they’ve been used in food and cooking for millennia. How to make it: Step 1: From the dough ingredients (flour, salt, turmeric, and hot water) knead a solid pasta dough. We wish there was a more local nut (like pecans or walnuts) that tasted as good in pesto as pine nuts. This is how: You will need two or three big tong-fulls of fresh stinging nettles for this recipe. Squeeze to drain as much moisture as possible, chop, and place in freezer bags or containers. At this point, it's best to think of stinging nettles in a similar fashion to spinach in terms of cooking the leaves. Researchers caution that more research is needed, but this preliminary research seems to support how nettle has been used traditionally. As I prepared a large pot of boiling water, I admired the nettles’s papery toothed leaves. I Chose the Nettle leaf for the logo of my business. Taste wise, nettles are a mild and tasty green, with a bit more density than something like spinach. Top 5 Ways to Use Stinging Nettles. (The blanching water makes a great tea or can be used a base for a vegetable stock, so don’t throw it out). All look similar, can be eaten, are highly nutritious and have the same troublesome hairs. For example, did you know that stinging nettles can be used as an amazing filling for pasta? Before freezing, you’ll want to blanch the leaves to remove the sting. First things first, the stinging power of nettles is instantly dismantled when they're cooked (and by cooked, we mean anything from pureeing into a soup or quickly steaming/blanching the leaves). ... Just fry them, blanch them, wilt over flames. By doing this it gets rid of any dirt or other bits we don’t want in the pesto. When you are ready to eat your nettles, blanch them in hot water for five minutes and drain. If you just want to make nettle tea later, first give the leaves a rinse and pat them dry (avoid touching them with bare skin). If you’ve made it past the rash sentence above, good. A short bath into the boiling water {called blanching} was all they needed to become tame. While the leaves are blanching, fill a large bowl with cold water and ice for an ice-water bath. ~Hank. D eep green nettle soup is a spring treat; don’t worry, all the sting is taken out by the heat of the liquid. Heat up a big pot of salted, boiling water. I say tong-fulls because you do not want to pick up fresh nettles, as they will sting you. Cook, stirring frequently, until the nettles are tender, about 2 minutes for blanched nettles and a few minutes longer for raw nettles. Using Stinging Nettles. (That is, if you want to consume them yourself). How to Cook Stinging Nettles. First, blanch them. Blanch the stinging nettles for a few minutes; Strain the water away from the nettles. Photo by Holly A. Heyser. You have to blanch nettles anyway before eating them, and the left over blanching water can be used as a vegetarian stock. A salad spinner would work even better. You can also find a straight list of all my nettle and wild greens recipes above. This not only cleans the nettles but takes out the sting. How to Dry Stinging Nettle Step 1 – Wash Nettle Put on a pair of gloves to dip and swish the nettles in a bowl of cold water, repeat in a fresh bowl of water, then drain. The stalk and leaves are covered in very fine, needle-like hairs or projections. The easiest way to blanch stinging nettles is to put a fitted metal strainer/colander down into a pot of boiling water (as is being done here), then pull the colander out when done. Because we’re about to get to the fun part: eating them. 1tbs sea salt 30g walnuts 50 to 80g extra vergin olive oil 10g freshley grated Parmesan 1 clove of garlic. 100g freshly picked stinging nettles (Make sure your gloves are on!) There are about 18 varieties in the genus Urtica, including wood nettle, horsenettle, spurge nettle, and more. Quart size freezer bags of stinging nettle and curly dock.
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