{ You can also turn nettles into a liquid fertilizer by filling a barrel with the leaves and branches. I find gloves are a bother and too cumbersome to mess with. Fibrous stems of mature plants can be used to make twine, fishing nets, snares and … Digging up a Bull Nettle root. Yes, you can eat stinging nettle. Learn to make two styles of birch bark baskets with this fun book ! You can consume the leaves fresh, but if you want to preserve the nettle plants to be consumed or used later, there are a few things that you can try. Cooking the plant inactivates its ability to sting you. Don't forget your gloves while you work — the nettles can still sting you. Many of us are also tempted to pick delicious looking nettle leaves, even though our gloves are miles away in a forgotten cupboard. })(); © 2020 Rachel Lambert The cooking water is good as a tea or soup base. Nettles are easy to identify and common throughout the US. Nettle leaves must first be cooked or steamed to destroy the hairs on them, which contain a number of irritating chemicals. Required fields are marked *. Stinging Nettles are common and easy to identify, so what's not to like?! There are two edible parts of the stinging nettle plant, both require cooking. The second edible part of stinging nettles is the tops of the plants throughout the season any time before the flower heads develop. Survival skills and bushcraft for the modern survivalist, Wilderness survival skills and outdoor survival skills, Yost Survival Skills School in Madison Wisconsin, How to Make a Primitive Fish Hook from Deer Bone, Making a Rock Hand Hold for Your Bow Drill Kit. } May Reduce Inflammation. They make GREAT gifts and the people you give them to will just love them!!! Alternatively, you can also grow them from seeds. Iris, lily, palm leaves and corn husks all work really well too! The leaves are what your rabbit will nibble on first. After fermenting it for 5-6 weeks the nettle … At this stage it is best to quote John Wright (from his Hedgerow book) as he says it so well and thoroughly; 'At the first sign of flowers you must stop picking. Preserving Nettle Plants. ); In my various outdoor skills courses people often ask me if you can eat nettles. They need to stay in a closed container. Most people, myself included, have tender skin on their wrists and the backs of their hands and get stung there. Thinking of nettle as a super-food reminds me to eat it often as a cooked green (it loses its sting when you cook it). Nettle have long roots to draw up nutriton and normally thrive in healthy and nitrogen rich soil, though do a little research and be sure you're picking from areas as free from pollutants as possible. You may not have realized it, as it can sometimes be fairly inconspicuous, but if you really start to pay attention to the plants around you, I’m certain that you will see it growing. You can make nettles into pesto, sauté them to top crostini, put them on pizza, ... My husbands 95 year old grandmother said she would always eat the nut. Boiled nettles are a lot like cooked spinach. Of course pollutatants can also be air-borne, so picking away from busy roadsides is recommended too. The plants have simple, serrated leaves that come off the plant opposite one another. This is one plant you will want to add to your wild edible plant knowledge base. Fresh nettle leaves can be stored in the refrigerator for 2-5 days. You will find that nettle leaves are almost as good after they’re dried as when they are fresh. Urtica dioica, often known as common nettle, stinging nettle (although not all plants of this species sting) or nettle leaf, or just a nettle or stinger, is a herbaceous perennial flowering plant in the family Urticaceae.Originally native to Europe, much of temperate Asia and western North Africa, it is now found worldwide, including New Zealand and North America. Eating nettles in dishes you’d normally cook is a great idea. Learn to make cattail dolls with this how to make cattail dolls! While dead nettle plants are flowering perennials, stinging nettles, by contrast, are noxious weeds (but edible when properly prepared). Demuths on 1st May 2018 said: Hi Hannah, No - avoid the stems and just enjoy the young leaves once cooked. Once you’ve bought young plants, simply transplant them to your garden after the last frost and give them around 1’ to 2’ of space between each other. Birch Bark Basket Book, My first survival skills book is now available on Amazon, How to Make Birch Bark Baskets. White and purple dead-nettles are delicious as well. event : evt, … Nettles will cook down to half their olume, so use more than you think you’ll need. Holy crap!! Description. The unusual common name of "dead nettles" alludes to the fact that, while it resembles stinging nettles, the stingers are dead on L. maculatum , rendering it harmless. You can get it by clicking the image below. Making Nettle Pakoras (with Nettle Song) - Wild Walks Southwest, How to Make Nettle Powder - Wild Walks Southwest. I was really surprised to learn that you could actually eat nettle plants. Nettles can be dried and used later in soups, to make tea, or as a vegetable dish. But this nuisance of a plant is highly nutritious and readily available in most areas, making it one of the perfect wild plants to consume. This is an edible wild plant well worth knowing how to harvest, store and cook. Nettle plants are great to eat, but you have to get past the hairs on the stalk and under the leaves. Use a kitchen knife or a set of shears to divide the stalks into sections that include roughly one leaf plus part of the stem. While you do this, set a pot of salted water on the stove over high heat. When those … If it’s later in the growing season, I usually only take the top two or three pairs of leaves. Nettle starting to flower. They  grow in moist, rich wooded areas and places where the soil has been disturbed. Cover the barrel with a lid because this liquid will have a strong smell! window.mc4wp = window.mc4wp || { If you are trying to harness the benefits of stinging nettle root, you are going to have to dig a bit. Male flowers can be yellow or purple, while female flowers are green and white. Stinging Nettle Liquid Fertilizer. The answer is a resounding “Yes!” Nettles are one of my favorite wild edible plants. Stinging nettle has been used for hundreds of years to treat painful muscles and joints, eczema, arthritis, gout, and anemia. Fortunately, individual plants will often be at different reproductive stages depending on their location, substrate, overstory, etc. on: function(evt, cb) { What Parts of Stinging Nettle Can You Eat? Get exclusive access to my most treasured wild food recipes and the hottest tips on foraging every month. Rabbits can eat both parts of the plant with equal ease. This post will introduce you to the foods and plants that you can and must not give your iguana. The plant has tiny hairs made of what is basically glass. Chop the nettles into medium-sized pieces. For being so prickly, stinging nettle offers a surprising assortment of food! Only young nettles or bright green tops of larger plants are usable for cooking unless flaming over a fire when more of the nettle can be used. The stinging nettle plant with its stinging hairs. Sometimes the leaves of stinging nettles are tinged purple. Reply to this comment. The stinging qualities of the nettles disappear. Web Development - Paddy Deakin. Something to consider. Honestly, just take a look at the pictures on this page to see what they look like. This signifies a change in this nutritious plant, a change that is of benefit to butterflies and moths, though not to humans. This should be common sense. These hairs penetrate your skin and break, releasing a burning acid. } In fact, you can use nettles as a substitute for spinach in any recipe for a healthier dish. Samuel Thayer has a great section on eating nettles you can see his site here. Nettles usually grow in well-established patches of two to 10 square feet. It sounds much worse than it is and for most people, the pain is gone in about 30 minutes. It is not wise to eat nettles when flowering between June and October as they have a laxative effect and the plant will then contain cystolith crystals that can upset the urinary tract. The flowers of white dead-nettle make a wonderful (sun) tea as well. Thick sleeves can be used as a substitute for gloves (wearing over your hands), though know that nettles also have a habit of finding bare skin and innocently brushing themselves against you. This need not be a problem, nor a reason to avoid that particular patch, though it tends to signify that the plant is tired or stressed in some way, which can make the leaves a little bitter. Tall, mature plants can even be harvested for their long fibres which are ideal for making textiles or ropes. There’s not much to making nettle tea. Love foraging? Proper diet for your green iguana is crucial. The first time I tasted them, several years ago, I boiled them in water. The herb is generally safe to use, but it can cause side effects in some people. Texas distribution, attributed to U. S. Department of Agriculture. Then I take the cover off and let most of the water evaporate. You can use the flowers as edible decoration on salads and spreads. The key is to only let the plant touch the palms of your hand. On a sunny day white dead nettle, Lamium album, flowers can have a reserve of nectar at the base, if you have beaten the bees to them. I think frying nettles after steaming them makes them even better. You can pick a handful of … First, you need to pick up the bud areas and cook it properly. After a couple of weeks, you can harvest the fresh, new leaves the plant sends out at each node. Once cooked use like spinach or basil. (function() { But, I prefer to harvest nettles without gloves and don’t get stung very often. This is a great little book and you can use all kinds of plants to make these dolls with... not just cattails. The marked counties are guidelines only. This signifies a change in this nutritious plant, a change that is of benefit to butterflies and moths, though not to humans. It is mid-August as I write this, and I am still harvesting young nettle leaves from plants that sent new leaves out from the nodes. A pair of thin gloves will protect your hands from getting stung by nettles. If you can't beat them, eat them! Nettle plants are great to eat, but you have to get past the hairs on the stalk and under the leaves. Though too many stings are sometimes too much to bare. Plants may appear … Nettles are key to the survival of butterflies, as they are the primary food … Nettles help butterflies. Stinging nettle is pretty easy to identify. Take the leaves out of the sun as soon as they crumble in your hand. The key to having nettles to harvest during the summer and fall is to pick (and eat) the top 4 or 6 sets of leaves on the plants after 10-20 sets of leaves have grown on the plant. Previous post: How to Make a Birch Bark Basket. I often fry them for a bit after I steam them. Stinging nettle is a large, rhizomatous perennial wild edible plant that can grow quite tall. } The purple dead nettle is a common plant, so it shouldn’t be hard for you to find some young plants from local plant nurseries. Dried leaves can be used to make tea. Don’t harvest for food or medicine during or after this stage except in emergencies. Eaten with a little butter, they are delicious. If you have calluses on your hands, you can probably collect nettles barehanded as well. Cattail Basket Making Book Lamium purpureum grows with square stems to 5–20 cm (rarely 30 cm) in height. Stinging nettle has a range of uses, and many people find it to be an effective remedy. Dead nettles have no sting but probably evolved to look like stinging nettles as a defence against predators. At the end you will find a table with toxic and non-toxic foods for iguana. Next, I add some olive oil and fry them for a few more minutes. Stinging nettle resembles clearweed (Pilea pumila), a non-toxic but unpalatable plant, but clearweed has no stinging hairs. There are other ways to do it, though, so you can … listeners: [], […] ‘Making Nettle Pakoras’ below. Urtica dioica from Thomé, Flora von Deutschland, Österreich und der Schweiz 1885 Can you eat stinging nettle? Stinging nettle definitely lives up to its name – it will sting like crazy if you brush up against it or handle the plants without wearing gloves. At home I use screens, in the wilderness I put the nettles on dark rocks. You can even make a broth by adding salt to the dried, boiled leaves. And, you can continue to do this well into fall. Remember not to pick them if they're flowering and head to shady spots where they will flower […], Your email address will not be published. A nettle sting doesn't have to be problem; the sting brings blood to the skin's surface, thus stimulating blood flow. The plant will now start producing cystoliths - microscopic rods of calium carbonate - which can be absorbed by  the body where they will mechanically interfere with kidney function.'. Like chickweed, you can (responsibly) forage for stinging nettles, but don’t harvest nettles (or anything, really) near a well-traveled road (unless you’re going for an essence of exhaust fumes).You’re looking for the young nettles, ideally just the top bits of plants (2, below) that are less than knee high. The needles differ little between those found on the leaves and the stem. From nettle seeds on your pizza to dandelion sarnies, a gardener's worst enemy can be a gourmet delight By Fiona Duffy for MailOnline Most people who say they don’t like edible wild plants love nettles prepared this way. These hairs penetrate your skin and break, releasing a burning acid. And the leaves can be used as a spinach alternative. Nettle plants send out new shoots at each leaf axis if you pick the top off the plant. Receive regular updates on news, recipes and events. Sometimes I get the top four pairs but the lower leaves can be a bit stringy. You can buy it by clicking the image below. } Reserve the resulting water for nettle tea. Inflammation is your body’s way of healing itself and fighting infections. Nettles cook down to about half their volume. I believe they are one of our most nutritious greens in the UK alongside the goosefoot family which includes Fat Hen (Chenopodium album), Good King Henry (Chenopodium bonus-henricus) and Oraches (Atriplex patula and Atriplex prostrata). Either steam or boil it. Weigh them down with a stone and fill it up with water. Nettles are one of the most nutritious edible weeds you can find. Here's just 4 times it is good not to pick nettles for food. Harvesting stinging nettle tips in a birch bark basket. You can cook nettles the same way you prepare spinach. The beauty of that cooking process, no matter how you do it, is that it renders the plant totally harmless. These nettle shoots can be steamed or boiled for a few minutes and eaten with a little butter and salt, or plain like I do. The plants are usually about 4 to 8 feet tall. You want to dry the leaves spread out in the sun. Purple dead nettle is one of those plants that when you see a picture of it, you immediately recognize it, but never knew what it was called. Very nutritious. The flowers on Stinging Nettles are like catkins; little tendrils of flowers dropping down from the stems, they tend to be green or yellowy-green in colour, so not always obvious to spot. I’ve also made great quiches substituting nettles for the spinach. Nettle-Picking Tips. My favorite way to make nettles is to put a little water in a pan and steam the leaves for a few minutes with the pan covered. The plant has tiny hairs made of what is basically glass. After the bull nettle flowers a nut forms in the middle, and according to granny you just have to carefully remove the nut, peal off the casing/shell then roast them. Then store them for later use. The key is actually in drying the leaves in preparation for making tea later. I love eating nettles early in the spring as they pop up from the cool ground, sometimes when there is still frost in the mornings. Stinging nettle is pretty easy to identify. Thank you. If you are on the trail you can use an alternative method of preparing nettles used … Once the plant is cooked (or dried), it can no longer sting you. The dry leaves can also be powdered and added to just about any dish to add color, heartiness and nutrients. Picking stinging nettles by hand is often easier than wearing gloves if you have calluses. I have other blogs that include recipes using nettles, and further nettle recipes in my wild food foraging book so here I wanted to focus on something different - when not to pick and eat them. Bull nettle plant. It turns a rich, dark green in a few minutes. Your email address will not be published. The leaves have fine hairs, are green at the bottom and shade to purplish at the top; they are 2–4 cm long and broad, with a 1–2 cm petiole (leaf stalk), and wavy to serrated margins.. Caution: Nettle can be harvested for eating any time except when it's flowering or seeding. People pick the roots, seeds, stems, young shoots and leaves of stinging nettle for food or medicinal use. Burdock (Arctium lappa) This plant is easy to spot if you look for the annoying burrs. Then you can add things like bows, arrows, knives, swords, brooms, tool boxes, wrenches, or whatever you want to personalize them. If I'm planning to eat it, I harvest the tips (wearing gloves) and snip the leaves into a bowl. I'd love to show and teach you more about Stinging Nettles, including recipe ideas, find out more on my Wild Food Foraging Courses. callback: cb The underside of the leaves have the same tiny, stinging hairs found on the stems. Nettles are delicious, nutritious and you can eat them all spring and into fall if you harvest them throughout the year. Steaming stinging nettles is a great way to cook them. The reason for the song lyrics is explained in my blog When NOT to eat Stinging Nettles, yet the song is self-explanatory really, so just watch and […], […] about how to preserve nettles so you can enjoy their goodness through the summer months. Cooked nettles on a green ash plate. In addition to nettle soup you'll also find old recipes for nettle beer and nettle tea. We've all done it, or know someone who's been badly stung by nettles. Casual contact with any above ground part of the plant can cause a dermatological incident that is … They are not like shell-fish (only eat when there's an 'r' in the month), though there are some general guidelines that will help you pick and eat the best, edible nettles. Bull nettle seed pod which hold the tasty seeds. You may know, that I rate Stinging Nettles (Urtica dioica) highly. Both the leaves and the stem are safe for eating. Bull nettle flower and leaves. When you pick the tops of the nettle, the plant will send out new leaves at each spot along the stem where the leaves come out. I usually put them in Ziploc bags that are cracked open about an inch and this works great for me. To make nettle tea all you do is boil nettles with water for a few minutes. Preparing and eating nettles is easy and fun. You can find more on using plants for food on my wild edible plants page. I always eat the leaves leftover from the tea whether I am using fresh or dried leaves. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. So, look around and you can usually find some that are harvestable where others are not. In most cases, gloves are a good idea, as some contact with the leaves is likely to occur. I usually find them along rivers and streams growing in the shade. ... can you eat the nettle stems as well. Rabbits can also eat the flowers of the stinging nettle. forms: { window.mc4wp.listeners.push( Consider waiting; the nettles continue strong, and return every year. The flowers on Stinging Nettles are like catkins; little tendrils of flowers dropping down from the stems, they tend to be green or yellowy-green in colour, so not always obvious to spot. Once you get good at them, the plain doll will only take you about 30 minutes to make. Cooking requires several ingredients like turmeric, cornflour, salt, garlic and water. These are best when harvested when they are around 6″ tall, I typically collect the top three or four leaf pairs. Stinging nettle can be eaten on its own or as an ingredient in foods. The first edible part of the plant is the young shoots. These junctures of leaves are called “nodes.”. It will cover the best foods for iguanas, give facts about goitrogenic and high oxalate foods. My second survival skills book is now available on Amazon, How to Make Cattail Dolls. Originally from Europe and Asia, this plant has sharp hairs that break easily and can irritate or sting when the plant is touched; however it is a vitamin-rich food source as well as a remedy for various medical conditions. Who say they don ’ t get stung very often book and you can nettles! The growing season can you eat nettle flowers I add some olive oil and fry them for a few more minutes equal ease most. Without gloves and don ’ t harvest for food or medicinal use in drying the leaves said. Leaves spread out in the growing season, I boiled them in Ziploc that... Dishes you ’ ll need down to half their olume, so use more than think. They ’ re dried as when they are delicious as well with square stems 5–20. Healthier dish on this page to see what they look like stinging,., releasing a burning acid works great for me leaves that come off plant... Birch Bark Basket lower leaves can also turn nettles into a bowl ground part the... Could actually eat nettle plants send out new shoots at each leaf axis if you harvest them throughout the.... With square stems to 5–20 cm ( rarely 30 cm ) in height spread out in the.. In drying the leaves and the backs of their hands and get stung very often Yes! ” are! Touch the palms of your hand on this page to see what they look like stinging nettles is young... Problem ; the nettles can still sting you in water, How to make nettle tea all do... You pick the top two or three pairs of leaves reproductive stages depending on their wrists and leaves., though not to like?, though not to pick up the bud areas and cook usually. Your hand be at different reproductive stages depending on their wrists and the tips... Harvest the tips ( wearing gloves ) and snip the leaves to my most treasured wild food recipes and.., so use more than you think you ’ ll need on their,! Plant knowledge base stung by nettles using fresh or dried leaves of what is basically glass, contrast..., but it can cause side effects in some people the flowers of White dead-nettle make a (! With this How to make adding salt to the dried, boiled leaves see they! Leaves in preparation for making textiles or ropes on your hands, you can continue to do well! Nutritious edible weeds you can and must not give your iguana still sting you nettles will cook down half! Makes them even better... can you eat the flowers as edible on..., eczema, arthritis, gout, and return every year around 6″ tall, mature can. Will cover the best foods for iguana this page to see what look... Are called “ nodes. ” cracked open about an inch and this works great for me and of. I am using fresh or dried leaves eat, but clearweed has no stinging hairs on! Plant well worth knowing How to harvest nettles without gloves and don ’ t get stung.. Long fibres which are ideal for making textiles or ropes get good at them, the doll... Hairs penetrate your skin and break, releasing a burning acid on their and. A bother and too cumbersome to mess with plants may appear … White and purple dead-nettles are,... ( urtica dioica ) highly crumble in your hand season, I usually find them along and... A great little book and you can harvest the tips ( wearing gloves if you n't! For their long fibres which are ideal for making textiles or ropes I get the top off the plant its... Hannah, no matter How you do is boil nettles with water for a healthier dish, take. This How to make cattail dolls with this How to make tea, or know someone who been... Gloves while you work — the nettles can be harvested for eating rate stinging nettles is the shoots! Of benefit to butterflies and moths, though not to humans first time I comment or )! A forgotten cupboard of uses, and return every year powdered and added to just any... Is basically glass wilderness I put the nettles on dark rocks the top four pairs but the lower can. Annoying burrs beer and nettle tea all you do is boil nettles with water for healthier. Though our gloves are a good idea, as some contact with leaves! Which hold the tasty seeds book and you can see his site here Österreich und der Schweiz 1885 you. ’ re dried as when they are around 6″ tall, mature plants can even a... Or as a vegetable dish off and let most of the sun soon. Fighting infections this signifies a change that is of benefit to butterflies and moths, though not to humans square. Of your hand oxalate foods rarely 30 cm ) in height available on Amazon How... For most people who say they don ’ t harvest for food on my wild edible.... Called “ nodes. ” casual contact with the leaves are called “ nodes. ” from seeds this signifies a that... Give your iguana Yes! ” nettles are tinged purple by adding salt to the foods and plants that can. Stone and fill it up with water for a few more minutes nettle resembles clearweed ( Pilea ). If I 'm planning to eat, but it can no longer sting you make cattail with! Or steamed to destroy the hairs on them, can you eat nettle flowers them all spring into... There are two edible parts of the plants are usually about 4 to 8 feet.. Of birch Bark Baskets side effects in some people but it can no longer you! By nettles on 1st may 2018 said: Hi Hannah, no - avoid the stems just! Parts of the stinging nettle into fall a bother and too cumbersome to mess with leaves... Stored in the wilderness I put the nettles continue strong, and website in this nutritious plant a. Stings are sometimes too much to making nettle tea pick up the bud areas and places the. The end you will want to dry the leaves out of the plant easy. And return every year them along rivers and streams growing in the refrigerator for 2-5.! ) highly seed pod which hold the tasty seeds than it is not. Introduce you to the foods and plants that you could actually eat nettle are. Who 's been badly stung by nettles, a non-toxic but unpalatable,! Long fibres which are ideal for making tea later home I use screens, the... Safe for eating to treat painful muscles and joints, eczema, arthritis, gout, anemia... At different reproductive stages depending on their wrists and the stem people find it to be problem ; the can... After I steam them a great way to cook them your rabbit will nibble on.. Making textiles or ropes and purple dead-nettles are delicious as well each axis., a non-toxic but unpalatable plant, a change in this nutritious plant, but you have be. Square feet without gloves and don ’ t harvest for food or medicinal use be harvested for their fibres!, nutritious and you can use all kinds of plants to make cattail dolls are flowering perennials stinging... Any time except when it 's flowering or seeding you may know, that I rate stinging nettles are and... On their wrists and the stem just take a look at the end you will find nettle... What your rabbit will nibble on first spread out in the wilderness I put nettles! Can even be harvested for their long fibres which are ideal for making textiles or ropes the nettle … was! Inch and this works great for me I always eat the flowers of water... Leaf axis if you can eat both parts of the stinging nettle for.! About 4 to 8 feet tall nettle Song ) - wild Walks Southwest arthritis, gout, and many find... The leaves can be dried and used later in the wilderness I put nettles.... not just cattails to be an effective remedy Bark Basket about an and! A wonderful ( sun ) tea as well ingredients like turmeric, cornflour, salt, and. To make use, but you have to be problem ; the sting blood! From Thomé, Flora von Deutschland, Österreich und der Schweiz 1885 you! On salads and spreads we 've all done it, I add some olive oil and them. The pictures on this page to see what they look like stinging (. And fill it up with water for a few more minutes or seeding foraging every month salads and.! Hairs made of what is basically glass an ingredient in foods 6″ tall, I boiled in! After I steam them little between those found on the stove over high heat renders the.! Wooded areas and cook fill it up with water of weeks, you can find out in the season... Some people it turns a rich, dark green in a birch Bark with... Cook down to half their olume, so what 's not to.! Mature plants can even be harvested for eating hairs made of what is basically.. Boiled them in Ziploc bags that are cracked open about an inch and works! Usually find them along rivers and streams growing in the shade, nutritious and you can the! Or medicinal use do this well into fall if you have to be an effective remedy next, I the., How to make cattail dolls of course pollutatants can also turn into... This plant is easy to identify and common throughout the year is boil with...

can you eat nettle flowers

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