It comes back every year and can be difficult to remove. One man said that he occasionally felt a mild sting on his tongue for a short time (less than 30 seconds, as the enzymes in saliva neutralize the formic acid in the leaves). There’s so much we still don’t know and appreciate about the plants around us. Getty. This page contains affiliate links. Try the soup first – I think you’ll love it. This may be due to variation between subspecies of nettles. As for eating stinging nettle – cooking or drying stinging nettle will disable the sting. Generally, an herbalist would use alcohol of at least 50%... Cap tightly. This is your year. I have heard of people doing this, but I haven’t tried it. If you like baking, the drop nettle cheese biscuits are also a great way to introduce others to nettle – let them think it’s spinach at first! Welcome to my site! Reading all comments trying to get motivated for my first harvest in the morning. Large leaves will fill up a bag or bucket fairly quickly. The stalks become very fibrous and may be used for creating cordage as plants mature. Have a look, stay a while, leave a comment or drop me a line. Check the undersides of the leaves to make sure there is no white spittle present. A paper bag, bucket, or burlap sack to hold your harvest Once you identify the right nettle: Always wear your gloves when handling the plant. The stem and underside of leaves are covered in small hairs that deliver a sting loaded with formic acid that can irritate skin for several hours or up to 2 or 3 days. Once it does (during the middle of summer), it develops gritty particles which can do damage to your urinary tract once ingested. LEARN MORE... Sign up to harvest practical recipes, time-saving tips, seasonal and preserving tutorials and helpful kitchen ideas. An excellent idea for stinging nettles – but as Marj points out, they need to be blanched first. While it does appear to be edible, anyone considering eating it, should do more in-depth research on how to safely use it. You will not pay any extra for these products. All content copyright © 2019 Getty Stewart | Website & logo design by, How to Saute Red Cabbage – A Classic German Recipe », Time for what’s in #getgettyskitchen ! Thanks for sharing! It’s not an issue for anyone in my family, but something to be aware of and a reason why people often recommend harvesting nettle before it goes to seed. Glad you found relief. Thank you for sharing this helpful information! Find a place where there used to be an old barn or compost pile and you’re bound to find a patch of stinging nettle. I am aware of great improvement from allergic rhinitis and undiagnosed hip joint pains over the last two years and this seems long term. Excellent – you go for it Dee! Here’s what I’ve learned about finding, harvesting, drying, freezing and using stinging nettle. How to harvest stinging nettles. Also Read: How to Harvest Stinging Nettle, Quick and Easy Pesto Pasta, Creamy Chicken & Stinging Nettle Pasta What is Stinging Nettle Pesto. Getty Stewart is a Professional Home Economist, speaker, frequent media guest and writer dedicated to putting good food on tables and agendas. I suffer from psoriasis and am fed up with being given steroid based creams etc so have decided to go green. Good luck and thanks for stopping by. I am interested in the storage of nettles in my freezer. Are you ready to put on your gloves and harvest some stinging nettle? Thanks for the great questions, here are my thoughts: Puree the potatoes in the stock and add the nettle leaves – puree more if needed. So do I! Had a severe case of hives last summer-went to doc. amzn_assoc_marketplace = "amazon";
The author lives outside of Chicago with her husband, son, 2 dogs, 1 cat, and a variety of poultry. Thanks for the tasty tip, Marj! While harvesting stinging nettles can be unpleasant, it also teaches you to pay attention to your surroundings. It relieves inflation and decreases pain. Do you eat stinging nettles? You’ll get recipes, practical tips and great food information like this. Getty. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Here in Manitoba, ideal picking time is mid May to June. Picking stinging nettle and using it in various recipes is well worth the effort. Hmm, not sure that I’ve met a stinging nettle that doesn’t sting – are you 100% confident in what you have? Please be careful. Can I make nettle soup from them? Fast forward to this spring and you’ll find (big) me out in the weeds with my gloves on,... Leaves Are Best When Harvested In Spring. I would love any recommendations . White dead nettle (Lamium album) is from a different family of plants than stinging nettle (Urtica dioica), while it may mimic the look of stinging nettle, it is quite different. Add a bit of lemon and honey, if desired. So in this 3-4 month harvesting window that we have, I would recommend getting enough stinging nettle to last you for the entire year. Make an herbal tea by steeping leaves in hot, but not quite boiling, water until it is green. Are they viruses spots? You’ll find patches in disturbed soils, along streams or river banks, on old homesteads and along the edge of clearings, fence lines or forest pathways where the sunlight comes through. The leaves are beginning to wilt and yellow but there is still a lot of water in the stem. I would appreciate your advice After all that work of harvesting nettle, you can wash, bundle, dry and store it for the coming months. Stems – I don’t know of a particular reason why you shouldn’t use the stems other than size and toughness. In the nook of the leaves, you’ll off see new growth emerging. Me too! To prevent the sting, we need to protect our skin from contact with the barb and the chemicals. Hi Aaron, thanks for the feedback, glad you enjoyed the article. In the nook of the leaves, you’ll off see new growth emerging. The stems make good tea. Oh, if you do happen to get stung, try soothing it with a paste of baking soda and water or an anti-histamine cream. Thanks for all of the great info! (After the sting wears off). I have a small patch in my backyard, will that be enough for me to cook with, or will i have to forage around the neighborhood to supplement? The Beginner’s Guide to Backyard Homesteading. If you do, leave a comment below or reach me on Instagram @getgettys or Facebook @GettyStewart.HomeEconomist. If you can confirm that they are stinging nettle, harvest them early in the season when they are in good condition before the seeds form. I don’t want to have to throw it out. Before starting to freeze and store I decided to take them to the local extension office and it took them two hours but they identified it as snakeroot. Try using dried nettles mixed into herbal teas or grind them into a powder and add a tablespoon in soups or smoothies. Thank you for this page. It’s a good idea to wear thick gloves when harvesting stinging nettle to avoid these stinging trichomes. There are LOTS of nettles in the various parks I visit. I’m not sure if the spittle bug which make white foamy homes like nettles. Since you want only the leaves, you’ll save yourself a lot of effort later by cutting the leaves from the stems as you go. Updated from the original post from May 2015. Hi Felicia, By harvesting only the top third in spring, you’ll have more to harvest later in the season. Hi Julie, I’m so glad you’ll give it a try! Apply aloe vera gel. Do you like getting dirt under your fingernails? True to its name, stinging nettle imparts a painful sting through tiny hairs on the underside of its leaves and on its stems. amzn_assoc_region = "US";
Leave a comment! Wear gloves to protect your hands from the stinging hairs or you will likely regret it! Have you tried freezing it in ice cube trays so you can add a “puck” into smoothies, soups or stews? Strictly Necessary Cookie should be enabled at all times so that we can save your preferences for cookie settings. If there is any sign of mold, don’t use them. But if that were the only defense the plant had, it would be nothing more than a very brief, minor pin prick. I like to prepare my nettles for tea by first drying them , then I pack a Mason jar to the top with dried leaves. In your option is it o.k. I have wanted to harvest them for a long time but have just finally gotten up the nerve to this spring!! How much is enough? And got meds but the hives continued-about to drive me nuts with the itch-checked on internet and it mentioned a short blurb about nettles-picke a bunch sauted them at about 11:00am by about 5:00 pm was totally relieved-also cured my gout which I was on meds for. One of the, What’s your strategy for healthy eating during t, What's your go to method when you need cooked chic, Here’s what’s new in the kitchen - cast and cr, It's time for #GetGettysKitchen, a peek into what', In case you missed our panel discussion on Whole G, Can I interest you in a pomegranate whole grain sa, How many of these whole grains have you tried?, Are you eating whole grains regularly? Wash the area with soap and water to remove the nettle hairs. I tried the tea and wasn’t a huge fan, but with some honey and lemon it was pretty good. Use approximately 1 cup of leaves to 2 cups water. Your nettles will be ready to harvest between 80-90 days from seed. Here’s a quick overview of all the things you need to safely harvest stinging nettle. Is there something I should or should not use the stems for? Luckily, this is easy to do; just wear long pants, long sleeves, solid shoes and gloves when foraging for stinging nettle! All the best, Let it sit for 4-8 hours. I have nettles all over my yard for free, so score! If harvesting wild stinging nettle you will find the antidote for nettle stings near by. Thanks for sharing and opening conversation on the stinging nettle. Being near the Equator there are always new leaves on it though early in the year it is a little yellow and more fibrous. I didn’t realise nettles were so versatile until I read your article, I love spinach so will definitely be trying nettles, and they’re free and ample here in Wales lol. The sensation may last just a few minutes or a couple of hours, depending on the amount of contact and each individual. If a leaf or plant has torn, brown, shriveled or even bug eaten leaves, assume that the essential oils and nutrients are not in top condition. You'll get plenty of practical everyday tips from a Professional Home Economist who enjoys all food in balance and moderation, tries to limit the amount of processed foods, works to reduce food waste and is always open to questions. When you are ready to harvest, put on your long sleeves and gloves, grab a basket or bag, and gather your digging tool of choice. Whenever I harvest any wild edibles, I look for the best specimens that are blemish free. I also appreciate the value of stinging nettles much to the amusement of my godmother who lives on the old family farm. I even snacked on them for couple years but luckily didn’t ingest too much. I have been watching them grow and wither away year after year for several years. Probably not something you want to eat. I’ve returned to my roots with a more open mindset about trying wild edibles that might seem a bit odd or out of the ordinary. As the harvest here is best from April to mid- May drying the abundance of nettles seems to be the best option. Pop the wad into your mouth, and chew it well before swallowing. 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. It is best not to harvest stinging nettle once the seeds form. All the best, Nettles are also a wonderful source of protein. In fact, to add nutrients and extend the more delicate herbs, I usually mix dried stinging nettle with every herbal tea. I sure hope you give it a try. A great reminder for all of us to be 100% certain of what we’re harvesting. How to harvest stinging nettle root. You can crumble the leaves into any soup, stew or sauce. Then use as tea or in soups and stews. Someday you can tell your grand kids that those stinging weeds are edible…and they will think you are a little bit nutty. How to Make Money and Save Money on Your Homestead. Sign up to get articles by Getty delivered to your inbox. Whit this method, I never harvest the bottom leaves, which are often bigger. Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica), wood nettle (Laportea canadensis) and the stingless nettle (Boehmeria cylindrica) are all sources of fibres. It's Stinging Nettle season! Frittata: olive oil, potatoes, eggs, blanched stinging nettle leaves, onion +or green onion, garlic, milk, chedder cheese if desired, tomato pieces if desired, salt and pepper. Store in an airtight container in a dark place. Is it just the texture that doesn’t work for the larger leaves? I’m glad you found this info useful Rebecca. They prefer sunlight, but will tolerate some shade. 2. While they may be safe to use, flavor will start to decrease after six months and become noticeable after 12 months. Nettle would be perfect for that recipe. I DID see at least two people picking the leaves off the plants, using just bare hands, but I am not about to try it myself! By mid summer, there is new growth that can be harvested again. Bring along a pair of scissors or garden clippers to make harvesting easier. My new backyard is woodsy and natural, and I have plenty growing…so I will be drying, harvesting and freezing…for the first time. Adjust seasoning as required. amzn_assoc_asins = "B071FRBJN8,B0050U240O,B011XEA15A,1615648895";
. Getty. You can be an urbanite and still take a walk on the wild side by hunting down edible wild foods! I munched on dandelions, plantain, cattail shoots and roots, cowslips (marsh marigold), mushrooms from the horse pasture, and wild fruits and berries. White Dead Nettle looks very similar to stinging nettle but does not sting here in UK. Oh yes, let’s all frittata! Hope this helps. Hi Laverne, While they continue to be safe to eat, quality goes down quickly after about 8 months or so. Harvest the nettles by cutting off only the upper leaves (no larger than about 3” wide). But the idea of eating stinging nettle was maybe just a bit far fetched for me to wrap my adolescent brain around. Basically, any recipe calling for cooked spinach or kale can be made with stinging nettle. Cut about 2 -3 inches above ground level just above where there are two leaves branching off. (I have heard a couple of people say they eat in raw, but that just sounds like crazy talk to me.) Despite what others may say, you’re not crazy! Fast forward to this spring and you’ll find (big) me out in the weeds with my gloves on, harvesting stinging nettle to cook up with eggs or pasta, dehydrate for tea, or blanch and freeze for the winter. As for dehydrating in the oven, Vitamin A and C are sensitive to heat, so you may lose more of those vitamins due to the higher heat of the lowest oven setting vs the dehydrator. In case you missed that article: https://www.gettystewart.com/how-to-saute-stinging-nettle-with-garlic/. Hi Cha, With just a couple of easy tips, harvesting and using stinging nettle is absolutely safe. You’ll find my favorite recipes, tips and how to’s for making tasty homemade food & preserves. After all, in my experience, this plant was the source of many a painful rash! You could try adding the leaves toward the end of the soup making just to long enough for them to rehydrate. Foraging stinging nettles can be a bit intimidating, they sting after all! If not, I would not eat it in any way. I really enjoy the taste of nettle as a fresh spring green. Stinging nettle is a popular home remedy for arthritis, seasonal allergies, and many other conditions. Before you start picking stinging nettle let’s look at what causes the sting so you know what to do to avoid getting hurt by nettle. I also use stems in teas, only composting what doesn’t conveniently fit in my storage jars. I would never prescribe consuming a certain amount per day. If it has been stored at a consistent temp without exposure to moisture and as little air as possible, it will be safe to use for years. Is it safe to eat these leaves? How to harvest stinging nettle safely. Then, use tongs to handle the nettles. Come harvest some Nettles with us! Trust me, you'll thank me later. It grows rapidly and will reach its typical 3-5 foot height quite quickly. Use stinging nettle as a substitute for spinach in any recipe where the greens are cooked. I can’t wait to try it. If you want to learn homesteading skills, like raising chickens and preserving the harvest for winter, you’ve come to the right place. Cut about 2 -3 inches above ground level just above where there are two leaves branching off. She has earned an Associate of Applied Science in Horticulture and a Bachelor of Fine Arts. It had seeds in a long chains and the leaves had some brown spots. Be careful not to harvest from areas that are close to busy streets or are frequented by dog walkers. The first time I harvested the seeds I ignored Henriette’s advice and, like many a young herbalist who disregards the voice of experience and wisdom, I came a-cropper. I’d love to hear what you thought, please let us know! I sometimes toss a handful into spaghetti sauce. For pizza, I like sauteed nettle with garlic – oh so good! It’s good karma to let them be. The best time to harvest nettles is the first few weeks of spring when the leaves are young and tender. And of course, freezing is another great way to preserve your nettle for later use. See those tiny prickly barbs on the stems of the plant in the photo above. I pick long stems with scissors and then use the scissors to cut off the leaves. I believe the restaurant used blanched or dried. amzn_assoc_linkid = "6a046523488496d95e684bdd6034ff01";
Raw nettle will irritate the throat and cause pain and discomfort. I collect and use Nettle for house hold use, dried I use it as a herb as well for drinking tea’s. Hi Lee Before you search the hood, test it out and see just how much you like it and how much you see yourself using it. Set them aside and use them later … The sting of the fresh leaves is said to have healing properties, such as helping to reduce inflammation, improving circulation, and even combating allergies. Thanks for the idea…Hopefully I can find some nettles this year to try this. After 6 weeks, strain the jar contents, reserving the liquid. It is best to harvest before it goes to flower. How to Harvest Stinging Nettle Leaves Stinging nettles grow practically everywhere: even in cities, it is often possible to find the plant growing in parks or gardens as a weed. How great is it that you and I can have the same edible plant growing across the globe in two very different habitats. For more help with identification, check out this website. As for the brown spots, I’m not sure what they might be, but I probably would avoid them. amzn_assoc_placement = "adunit0";
Cut the fresh nettles at one of their nodes, snipping directly into the bag, bucket, or burlap sack. The sting is a combination of tiny barbs and the release of chemicals. I’m sure your compost won’t mind sharing a few of the nettles with you. You could try to plant them and see what happens next year. I haven’t tried this and now my stinging nettle patch has been bulldozed for a new subdivision. Start with a cup of nettle tea to see if you like it – try 1/2 cup of loose fresh nettle leaves with 1 cup boiling water and steep for 2-5 minutes or longer for more flavor. I’ve used dried stinging nettle that’s just over a year old but try to finish my supply before the next season arrives. Great article! Sign up for Honest-to-Goodness Homesteading Information and get my new eBook 'Secrets to a Weed & Pest Free Homestead' for FREE! Nettle pesto pasta is one of many delicious recipes using nettles. It’s this cocktail that causes the long lasting stinging or burning sensation we experience. can you help me? You have successfully joined our subscriber list. Great to hear from you. Our nettle is covered by 2-3 feet of snow for 5-6 months of the year! A friend gifted me some harvested nettle. Hi Val, Many experienced foragers pick barehanded, but they often contradict each other when giving advice. amzn_assoc_ad_mode = "manual";
I enjoyed reading your piece on the Nettle, a Cornish bush Favorited of mine. Use 3 cups of loose fresh nettles in the biscuit recipe, 6 cups in the soup. Hi Leandra, The stingers (or needles) point down. Thanks for sharing this info. Stinging nettle is called stinging nettle because it has needles which can poke your skin and cause a stinging sensation. You can find out more about which cookies we are using or switch them off in settings. As long as you don’t eat raw stinging nettle, there are many safe ways to eat and use stinging nettle. Let's put good food on the table! Just began eating stinging nettles, raw (uncooked), after watching some Youtube videos. I love nettle tea, and on occasion , I have cooked up the leaves in casseroles and such. Read More. Thanks for your article. Collecting and eating wild plants carries a certain amount of risk and I cannot be held responsible if you don’t practice due diligence in identifying plants before eating them. That way you’ll get the best nutrients from the plant and you’ll be much happier and confident with your edibles. i have hay fever and suffer when any pollen is high. Hope you find something that will help alleviate your symptoms. Glad to hear you’re able to use your nettle as food, protection and for its medicinal purposes. Fabulous article.