Herbal Momma's School of Domestic Arts
Herbal Momma, aka, Kristine Farley loves everything herbal, but has an infinity for all domestic and home arts.
This blog is a journal of family and domestic art activities that will be published in her forthcoming book,
Herbal Momma's School of Domestic Arts.

March 26, 2014

Nettles and Herb Book Review

Spring is here and it is time to pick Nettles this week.  Who would like to join me?  I'll be going on Wednesday or Thursday.  Of course, it will probably be raining or at least drizzling, but that is par for the course of living in the beautiful Northwest.

Nettles is only one of the great "Spring Greens" that are available this time of year.  I love Nettles!  And, YES they do sting.  So we don our boots, rain coat and some gloves along with a basket and scissors and off we go.

Before I pick any wild plants, aka "wild-crafting", I like to say a little prayer thanking God for His wonderful creations and the benefit this plant will be to my family and I also like to thank the plants. 

When wild-crafting I don't harvest all of the plants in one area.  I take up to 1/4 and no more.  This will ensure the sustainability of the plant and preservation of its eco-system.

The sting of nettles is neutralized by steaming, cooking or steeping. 

Nettles are delicious, nutritious and support a healthy immune system.
Healing Benefits include:
combats fatigue & anemia
relief for allergies
supports urinary health
reduces joint pain and inflamation

I like to harvest enough to dehydrate for tea, blanch for greens that I freeze and have a traditional pot of Nettle Soup.  The frozen greens can be used in quiches, frittata, lasagna, soups, etc.  Nettle tea in the winter is like a cup of "sunshine".  They are so rich in chlorophyll.  During World War 1 and II it was used to dye uniforms.

Nettle Tea is made by placing  1/4 cup fresh or 2 tablespoons dried nettles into a quart jar or tea pot.  Pour boiling water over herb.  Cover and let set for 10 to 20 minutes.  Strain and enjoy.  Sweeten with honey, if desired.  You may also combine nettles with other herbs, like peppermint, for a wonderful tea.

Nettle Soup
1 onion, chopped
4 potatoes, scrubbed and cubed
1/2 gallon or more of freshly cut nettle tops
garlic powder, salt and pepper, to taste
3 cups milk or more

 Place onion and potatoes into Dutch-oven with 2 cups of water.  Cook over medium heat until tender.  Add nettles and cook until wilted.  Puree vegetable in blender or food processor.  Add milk to desired consistency.  Season by adding garlic powder, salt and pepper.  Serve with a dollop of sour cream.


Foraging & Feasting 
A Field Guide and Wild Food Cookbook 
 This beautiful herb profile of nettles comes from my favorite "spring" herb book.  The reason I say "spring", because most of the wild-crafting I do is in the spring.  This book is a cookbook also with master recipes that provide you with lots of options for preparation.  It shows you  gorgeous illustrations and information for plant identification that is an excellent resource for wild-crafting.
  
You, too, will just drool over the beautiful illustrations, fabulous detailed information and delicious recipes.  If you enjoy cookbooks or herb books, this book will be a special addition to your personal library.

Available from Botanical Arts Press and Amazon

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