Monday 18 May 2020

Foraging for Nettles / Stinging Nettle Pie

This might sound mad but stinging nettles are incredibly nutritious, tasty, and are lurking in many of our gardens for free! When Eden was born we brought a big batch of vegetable pasta with nettle pesto into hospital in with us as there wasn't much vegan food available. It was delicious and really kept us going through the first hazy newborn days, so I like them even more now.

Anyway, not so long ago my nan donated some of her cookware that she no longer uses to us, including a pie dish. So for dinner last night J made a pie with nettles, walnuts, olives, mushrooms, silken tofu, nutritional yeast, onions and garlic. Served with peas, onion gravy and skin on mash, it made for a delicious Sunday dinner!

Nettles are full of nutrients - in fact more than broccoli and spinach. They have been used in the past to reduce inflammation, treat high blood pressure and many other minor ailments in traditional medicine. *Like many plants and herbs they are not recommended for use during pregnancy in case they stimulate uterine contractions (this was also the case with half my herbal teas) and as with all foraging it is important to make sure any plants harvested are correctly identified and collected from a place where they will not have been sprayed or polluted. Look for new growth, avoid nettles that have begun to flower. As nettles sting (the clue is in the name) it is important to collect and wash them well using thick gloves, then to blanche them in boiling water. After they've been in the heat there is no sting and they are safe to handle and eat. Have you eaten nettles before?

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