Stinging Nettle Tea anyone?
Over the past few years we have been developing the property we now live on in glorious natrualist bliss. It has transformed from shoulder high grasses, stinging nettles on steroids, all manner of clumpy tussocks and fibrous invasive plants to a much more civilised patch. Here's what it looked like 3 years ago
We have a mowed green down near the beach which is flat and lovely and the kitchen veggie patch at the back door to the cottage is to die for. But still those pesky weeds are tenacious, and I pluck a few out every time I go outside to try to keep them away from the beautiful produce that is peaking out through the rich soil; fertislised with seaweed and cow poo.
The kitchen veggie patch just replanted for the next season of crops
This morning when I was doing just that; weeding, when I found I had a healthy bunch of fresh young stinging nettles in a pile behind me. What is interesting is that I have somehow become immune to the sting. It used to be so painful if I inadvertently brushed skin on one of the leaves, it would burn and itch for ages. I wore gloves to try to combat it. I much prefer to use my fingers to weed: delicately extricating each week individually, roots and all, waiting for that moment when the plant releases roots from the clutches of the earth and it comes out intact - never to re shoot there again....dream on. However the stinging nettles still sting, I can feel them, there's a sort of warmth and after tingling. That's all. No pain. Anyhow, it got me to contemplating that change. What has gone on here? I have read that stinging nettles are phenomenally good for you - packed with
- Vitamins: Vitamins A, C and K, as well as several B vitamins
- Minerals: Calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and sodium
- Fats: Linoleic acid, linolenic acid, palmitic acid, stearic acid and oleic acid
- Amino acids: All of the essential amino acids
- Polyphenols: Kaempferol, quercetin, caffeic acid, coumarins and other flavonoids
- Pigments: Beta-carotene, lutein, luteoxanthin and other carotenoids
So I decided to research a bit, and see what I can make with them. I bought my bunch inside, washed them until they were really clean. Put them into a pot of water and brought it to the boil. Turned it off and let it steep for a while. Next it was drained through a sieve with a clean chux cloth into a basin. I had read that you can add cinnamon and honey to make it more interesting. I added a teaspoon of cinnamon to my mug of the hot brew, and it was fine. (Honey is not an option at the moment...I am detoxing). There is an interesting creamy yet earthy flavour to the nettles, and I enjoyed the warming infusion. I tried a second cup, this time without the cinnamon and I liked it a whole lot more.
So...who knows, will I be jumping out of my skin soon, after drinking this life giving elixir? We shall see. My conclusion - I like it. I will be sipping more nettle tea.