Nettles, Your Spring Friend
One of the first signs of spring is when nettles appear. They are full of vitamins and minerals, help detoxify the body, and protect the liver against damage by toxins, heavy metals and inflammation. People have been gathering and eating stinging nettles for generations upon generations. Instead of shopping for spring greens consider picking wild nettles this spring.
How to Use Stinging Nettles?
Make sure you gather your nettles in an area that have not been sprayed with pesticides. Always use gloves. The young leaves are the best part of the plant, once they flower, they become bitter and can irritate the bladder and kidneys. So always pick young, tender leaves and only harvest the top few inches of the plant. A quick blanching neutralizes their sting, or even just soaking them in hot water for a bit.
Spring Nettle Soup Recipe
2 leeks cut into rounds
3 tbs. Ghee (clarified butter)
¼ pound stinging nettle tops
bundle of fresh herbs tied together: bay leaf, parsley, thyme, sage.
1 quart vegetable broth or water
salt and pepper to taste
nutmeg to taste
- Sauté the leeks in the butter.
- Add the nettles and the herbs, and stock or water.
- Cover, bring to a boil, and simmer until the nettles are soft.
- Remove the herb bundle, turn the heat to low, and puree the soup using an immersion blender.
- Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Garnish with sunflower or pumpkin seeds.