Stinging nettle is often said to be the healthiest plant in Finland due to its richness in vitamins and minerals. There's for example seven times as much iron in it than in its cultivated comrade you can use the same way, spinach. My plan is to collect and precook many bags of it in the freezer for winter. Besides food you can use it for fiber, cosmetics (especially hair), herbal medicine, dyeing and as a fertilizer.
Remember, nettle leaves are at their best when young. Use plants that haven't flowered yet, after a sunny period when the nitrate concentration is at its lowest. Cooking or drying completely destroys the stinging toxic. And of course, you should never eat anything that grows close to a road or such. The taste flavours many kinds of soups, sauces, fillings, beverages and breads. And of course nettle pancakes, a comfort food that even every health food hater loves:
- 1 l young nettle leaves (or 150 g frozen spinach)
- 3 dl wheat or spelt flour
- 1 dl potato flour
- 1.5 dl oat milk or water
- 1.5 dl cider (made from real apples, not those disgusting fake ciders)
- rape oil for frying
Lingonberry cram is a must have with these. I also made a quick sidekick from fava beans, soy yoghurt, mustard and black pepper.
Nutritional values / 742 g:
energy 1322 kcal
fat 34 g
protein 36 g
carbohydrates 205 g
fiber 16 g