Spring Foraging: Nettle Tea
I'm so ready for spring.
It seemed that all of a sudden winter became spring in the pacific northwest. The snow disappeared and temperatures actually hit double digits, and now I've been seeing all the new shoots coming up in the ground and trees.
I couldn't be more ready for longer days, warmer temperatures and new foraging!
I don't even think I can describe to you how happy I was to see a patch of nettles on my property. Considered a weed, this beautiful herb is actually extremely nutritive and healing to our bodies. Rather than cutting it down and wishing it away, it's perfect to pick and use in recipes to give your foods an extra boost.
Nettles are full of vitamin A, B2, B5 (your anti-stress vitamin), C, chlorophyll, and fibre, and are a tonic for your body that brings it back in to balance. It's an alterative, meaning that it restores the proper function of the body and promotes health and vitality; its naturally cleansing. It's also anti-inflammatory, and good for relieving soreness in your joints and digestive issues.
Harvest these nettles cautiously, as they are called stinging nettles for a reason. Once you've blanched or cooked them they won't have the stinging property anymore.
A good rule of thumb is to harvest (with gloves) when they're 6-18 inches tall, and to only harvest the top portion (5-7 inches). Make sure you don't take all the nettles in a patch, otherwise you'll prevent them from germinating and growing the next year.
If you haven't harvested nettles before, ensure that you go with a person who can correctly identify them or get confirmation from an expert on your harvest.
There are so many recipes to use nettles, and this tea is a great introduction to its taste and how it feels in your body.
Use this tea as a broth in soups or replace wherever you would use water. Think of it as another leafy green, and use it where you would use cooked spinach, kale, or chard.
I'll be creating some more recipes from it this month and posting them in the Kitchen, so check back for updates!
Wild, DAIRY FREE, GLUTEN FREE, REFINED-SUGAR FREE, VEGAN
This is a great drink to make if:
- you're suffering from seasonal allergies;
- you're feeling bloated;
- you're feeling stressed and need an extra boost of nutrients in your system to support your body;
- you want to gently cleanse your body after the winter;
INGREDIENTS & DIRECTIONS
- 2 stalks of nettles, approximately 10 leaves
- 2 litres of water
- harvest your nettles as per the directions above.
- gently wash them in a strainer to get any dirt off.
- add water to a pot and bring to a boil.
- add the nettles, turn down and simmer until your desired tea strength is reached.
- strain away the leaves and stem, and store your tea in an airtight container in the fridge.
Note: if you're new to consuming nettles, don't drink more than one cup per day to see what affect it has on you.
Qualified Sources Referenced: