Down by the Nettles Patch
Since the area I play in in regards to plants
and medicine is lifestyle medicine, or the medicine we take in
everyday, I thought it would be fun to explore a plant a day for
the next week as food. Just normal everyday wild plants in our
meals and simple ways to prepare them.....
What I love most about spring is how
fresh, vibrant and truly yummy the plants are- right now is
really the time to be eating wild....most everything is tender
and less bitter in the spring, and many of the green shoots are
perfect for eating at this time- such as our nettles patch.
Stinging nettle, Urtica dioica, is a
nutritional powerhouse. It's extremely high in calcium,
magnesium, trace minerals and chlorophyll- it contains generous
amounts of B vitamins, protein and iron. It helps create healthy
shiny hair, nourishes the skin, and puts some deep love on your
adrenals.... this plant offers so much in the way of nourishment
and support if you invite it into your everyday life.
I drink nettles infusions regularly, a
full dry ounce in a mason jar with boiling water poured over top
and left to sit overnight. This sustains me, and nourishes me
deeply. I do not take any vitamins or supplements, preferring
instead to glean my nutrition from the wild world around me.
Infusions are a big part of that.
But I also really love nettles for dinner.
Or breakfast. Or lunch. If you are new to wild foods, think a
more textured spinach, chewy and mild. Cooking the nettles
deactivates the sting.
Tonight I did a saute in a pan with
onions, garlic, and lots of butter. While that was frying, I
roasted a pan of cauliflower that was marinated in tamari and a
splash of mulberry infused balsamic vinegar, added some wild
salmon pieces for the last fifteen minutes of cooking......then
piled little mountains of buttered nettle, nesting the salmon on
top, roasted cauliflower surrounding and toasted sesame seeds
sprinkled over the whole thing. IT WAS SO GOOD.
Even the boys were like- yummy mom :mmmm:
And faster than a Rachel Ray thirty minute
meal too. Humph.
If you have a lot of stinging nettle like
I do, you can dry it for tea, or use the dried sprinkles with
seeds and spices for a sort of seasoning for salads.
You can make nettle soup, it goes really
well with cream.... or saute it up with mushrooms and layer it
in phyllo dough with fresh goats ricotta, for a hearty
meal.....you can really use nettle anywhere you need a nice mild
cooked green. Its very versatile.
My favorite energy breakfast in the winter
is a bag of nettles fried with onion, warmed up with a little
miso gravy and a runny egg perched over the top of the pile,
with just a sprinkle of goat feta.
Every summer, when the greens are running
strong, I put up like, seriously, over a hundred sandwich size
bags of greens in the freezer, all different kinds.
I cook them up and just put them in bags
to dole out all the winter long in soups, stews, egg pies, and
other dishes. Greens are sooooo important for vibrant health,
and this makes it really easy to eat your greens, all you have
to do is pull out a bag and warm them. And the more they are
cooked the better the minerals contained within are absorbed.
Remember how granny cooked them? Long and slow and low with a pc
of fatback thrown in for good measure. Always eat your greens
dressed lavishly in fat for maximum nutrition....