It's nettle season!!! So many of us have no freakin' idea what to do with nettles- mainly because they have stingers on them, which can be quite painful if your skin comes into contact with them. However, if you dare to prepare the nettles- the rewards are fantastic!! And, it's not really that difficult, we promise.
All you need are some tongs or thick rubber gloves or gardening gloves to protect your hands. Nettles are available at farmer's markets right now if you don't have them growing in your back yard (or neighbor's back yard). Then, you can use the leaves in cooking (like any other green leafy vegetable), steep in boiling water for tea, or you can dry the leaves to save for making tea in the future.
Once you heat, freeze, dry, or juice the nettles- their sting goes away!
Nettles are rich in iron and medicinally are used to build up blood and strength in the body. Nettles are one of the best herbs that women can eat or drink during and after their period, to restore blood loss. Nettles also act as a slight diuretic, which works well on flushing toxins out of the kidneys and urinary tract. Drinking nettle tea is a good way to benefit the urinary system. Juicing nettles is another powerful way to get benefits from the plant- which regulates blood pressure and helps to redue hypertension.
Just to give you an idea of how easy-peasy it can be to prepare fresh nettle leaves, we added them into the most delicious soup!
Thai Curry Red Lentil Coconut Soup with Nettles
Ingredients: 3/4 cup red lentils 1 cup coconut milk 2 tsp coconut oil 2 cups water 1 vegetable bouillon cube (yeast free) 2 tsp Thai kitchen red curry paste 1/4 tsp sea salt 1 leek, chopped 2 cloves garlic, minced 4 cups nettle leaves
Directions: 1. Saute the leeks and garlic in coconut oil in a pot for a few minutes. 2. Add the lentil, coconut milk, water, vegetable bouillon cube, sea salt and red curry paste. Bring to a boil and then reduce to simmer, covering. 3. Simmer on a low heat for 15-20 minutes, or until the lentils are soft. 4. Add the nettle leaves in and cook for another 3 minutes. 5. Serve with a salad or with some brown rice or quinoa.