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Friday, June 21, 2024

Stinging nettle Nutrition facts & Health benefits


Selection

Wild-food enthusiasts gather fresh nettles during the spring from nearby woods, in a way similar to ferns, morels, etc. Oftentimes fresh nettles are sold in the farmer’s markets during the season.

In the North-West US and British Colombian Canada, each year foragers look forward to springtime and head towards the forest to gather fresh, tender nettles.

Choose fresh, crisp, bright green nettle leaves in tiny bundles. Avoid sunken, dry, yellow, and bruised leaves as they are out of flavor.

To preserve nettle leaves for tea or seasoning, gather leaves that are clean. Hang them in tiny bundles and dry them under the shade till they appear shriveled and crumble and crushed.

Storage

At home; store fresh, un-washed leaves inside a perforated plastic bag in the vegetable drawer.

Cooked nettles may be frozen and preserved for later use.

Store dry leaves whole or slightly crumbled in a dry place like a glass jar or a plastic bag out of direct sunlight.

Preparation and serving methods

Stinting nettle young shoots and leaves are widely used in spring soups and as a green vegetable.

To prepare, rinse nettles in a colander to remove dirt and debris. Cooking removes the stinging character of nettles and allows them to be consumed safely.

Here are some serving tips:

  • Add cooked nettles to quiches, casseroles, meat-pies, egg scrambles, meatloaf, lasagna, etc.

  • Blend cooked nettles to a thin paste in a blender with toasted pine/hazelnuts, olive oil, lemon juice, and spices to prepare classic nettle leaf pesto.

  • Enjoy nettle pesto over toasts, in pasta or meat and seafood dishes.

  • Enjoy stinging nettle in mouth-watering risotto.

  • Nettle tea is a favorite springtime drink, enjoyed for its freshness as well as health benefits. Cleaned nettles are boiled for 3-5 minutes and drink while hot.

  • Dried nettles are used in tea infusions and are a delicious addition to soups, sauces, and chutneys.

Safety profile

Nettle bristles inject inflammatory substances like histamine when handled with unprotected hands. The result is swelling, redness, and itching of body parts that came in contact with the nettle sting.

Put ice over the itching part and take anti-histamine drugs or consult your family physician for serious stings.

Because of their high vitamin-K content, patients taking anti-coagulants such as warfarin are encouraged to avoid this food since it increases the vitamin-K concentration in the blood which is what the drugs are often attempting to lower. This effectively raises the effective dose of the drug.
(Medical disclaimer).

Also read ≻≻-

≻≻- Dandelions nutrition facts.

≻≻- Arugula (Salad rocket) nutrition facts.

≻≻- Back to Vegetables from Stinging nettle. Visit here for an impressive list of vegetables with complete illustrations of their nutrition facts and
health benefits.

≻≻- Back to Home page.

Further Reading:

  1. USDA – Nutrient Database for Standard Reference.

  2. Stanford School of Medicine Cancer information Page-Nutrition to Reduce Cancer Risk.

  3. Urtica dioica- Extension Gardener- North Carolina plant toolbox– PDF.

  4. American Botanical Council.



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