LEARN MORE... Sign up to harvest practical recipes, time-saving tips, seasonal and preserving tutorials and helpful kitchen ideas. Tea and possibly a skin wash. Nettles are best when picked small. But, more studies on humans need to be made to confirm these claims. By harvesting only the top third in spring, you’ll have more to harvest later in the season. I put mine in a paper bag or cardboard box in front of my furnace and let the warm, blowing air do the job. This is great for recipes that use cooked nettles, and for making fresh herbal infusions. I’m so glad you’ll give it a try! Once nettle has gone to seed, the leaves will become tough, a little bitter and develop gritty particles that may irritate the urinary tract of some people. With just a couple of easy tips, harvesting and using stinging nettle is absolutely safe. i have hay fever and suffer when any pollen is high. 5- Dry. So, use fresh when you can get it, but don't worry about drying it for use once the season passes. Is it safe to eat these leaves? According to botanist Laura Reeves who I mentioned in the article, the black spiny caterpillar of the Milbert’s tortoishell butterfly only lay their eggs on nettle. Hi, what I thought was stinging nettles actually turned out to be white snake root which is a poisonous plant. Nettles are primarily used in the management of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), diabetes, and arthritis. In the nook of the leaves, you’ll off see new growth emerging. In tea, the flavor is more pronounced so I usually mix it with hyssop, chamomile, mint or some other flavorful herb. Living in the city, I typically find stinging nettle along the river banks and along the edges of small urban forests. DryingAllFoods.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com, 3 Easy Methods for Dehydrating Marshmallows, 3 Super-Easy Ways to Dehydrate Kiwi at Home, 3 Easy Methods for Drying Mint Leaves for Tea, A Complete Guide on How to Store Dried Herbs, How to Harvest Oregano – A Complete Guide, How to Dry Flowers – From Harvesting to Drying Flowers, How to Dry Flower Petals: 6 Easy Methods of Drying Flower Petals. Just a word of caution to be careful with look a-likes. I leave the remaining plant so that it can regrow. Hi Leandra, Hi Getty I’ve been using nettles in my compost for years but this year I’ll be trying your recipe I do have it growing in my garden and keep it growing for the above use so do have a supply of it on hand so I recon I can say winner. White Dead Nettle looks very similar to stinging nettle but does not sting here in UK. 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. i want to know if freeze dry root or freeze dry leaf would make a difference.. i think the root is stronger than the leaf. Stems – I don’t know of a particular reason why you shouldn’t use the stems other than size and toughness. Thanks for the great questions, here are my thoughts: You could even turn the dried nettle into a powder and add it to smoothies, soups or sauces – as much or as little as you like. In late summer or early fall the stems are gathered and made into a strong fiber. Nettles dry and store very well, unlike some other delicate herbs. I'm excited to share my favorite tips and recipes for enjoying and preserving seasonal food. Let's put good food on the table! It comes back every year and can be difficult to remove. Yay! The only thing you can’t do is eat it raw! Patch of nettle in sunny spot along edge of forest. Learn about the benefits, side effects, and research around stinging nettle here. Not only is it highly nutritious (rich in Vitamin A, C, D, K, iron, calcium and protein), it’s also delicious, versatile, easy to recognize, and free. Great article! Store the stems in a warm, well ventilated place, ideally with some sunlight, like a greenhouse. Rinse your fiber thouroughly and let dry in a shady spot. 1. You’ll also find how we can work together to make good food happen for everyone. It is also a great healthy addition to backcountry dehydrated meals. Hi Getty – I have a large bag of dried nettles. Following are the steps to store dried stinging nettles to preserve their shelf life: Your dried stinging nettles will be good and safe for use within 6 to 12 months. Good luck with your experiments. Although stinging nettle can cause irritation when fresh, it is safe to consume when dehydrated, cooked, or freeze-dried. I would appreciate your advice To dry nettles, bundle them and hang them upside down in a dark dry place, or place them in a paper bag and rotate them every few days until dry. If put in the sun on a hot day they can dry in just a few hours. I’m guessing that I can, but all of the recipes I’ve found have required fresh nettles. Since it is partly dry, I would follow your instincts and dry it the rest of the way. I have endless stinging nettles on my little farm and after walking thru them early on I quickly learned to give them the respect that they demand LOL, but since then I have also been fascinated by them. 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. Hi If not, I would not eat it in any way. Updated from the original post from May 2015. Can you elaborate on the sizes of the leaves you use? When sauteed or in soup or biscuits I find the stinging nettle quite mild and pleasant tasting – even milder than spinach. I'd love to know what's cooking with you. She is the author of several recipe books on enjoying and preserving fruit, Founder of Fruit Share, a mom and veggie gardener. The plant is believed to aid in lowering blood pressure by letting the blood vessels relax and limiting the force of the contractions of the heart. I am aware of great improvement from allergic rhinitis and undiagnosed hip joint pains over the last two years and this seems long term. When I harvest stinging nettle, I harvest it before the seeds form, in spring. The sensation may last just a few minutes or a couple of hours, depending on the amount of contact and each individual. As for the brown spots, I’m not sure what they might be, but I probably would avoid them. Stinging nettle is a cold season perennial plant, meaning it is early to pop up in the spring. The stems will take longer to dry than the leaves, so always test them instead of the leaves to determine if the drying is done. In early spring, I cut the top third to half of the plant where the most tender leaves are. Probably not something you want to eat. Getty. In the photo below, you can see the two leaf sets on either side of the cut, both of these will grow into new shoots. 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. These again urge to reach in and stir them up somewhere, separating the now! To remove the sting and produce redness, itching, and dark place where there is always the danger cooking. This site is all about learning and finding ways to eat and use stinging nettle, there are new! 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