Foraging for Stinging Nettles
I took this little guy out to the back yard last week. It was a beautiful sunny day, just barely warm enough to go swearshirt-free. Sweatshirt-free is never a guarantee here, even in the middle of summer. We enjoy it whenever it happens, though!
We brought gloves and a grocery bag. What were we after?
Weeds! Actually, stinging nettles. The woodsy area behind our house grew some big tall nettles last year and I kept knocking them over so they wouldn't fall into our yard. I vowed that next year I'd be ready and pick them young so we could try eating them.
I have never been so happy about weeding before! I picked the fresh young green nettles and Moshe held the bag for me. He loved helping!
The nettles were washed (in a strainer with the sprayer) and then put in boiling water for about 5 minutes. Afterwards, their sting was gone and we all eagerly sampled the cooked greens for our first time.
Delicious! I thought the taste was mild and reminded me of green beans. I chopped up the cooked nettles and added them to beef vegetable soup, and no one could even taste them.
I used stems as well as leaves, even though my research indicated the stems were too tough to eat. I imagine the freshest youngest stinging nettles are the most tender and tasty, and ours sure were!
I can't believe I grew up on a farm overrun with nettles and never ate any of them! (We did eat gobs of dandelions though.) I think foraged food is my favorite... just pick and enjoy!
Now, I'm brainstorming how I'm going to get the kids all down the road to the woodsy park and go nettle-hunting. There just aren't enough nettles in my own backyard!
Have you eaten stinging nettles? If so, I'd love to hear your thoughts and more tips for gathering or using them! :)
Sweet Channah slept while we all played at the park last weekend. She sleeps best on/by/with me, which is part of my lack of blogging. (I am typing one-handed right now, but the slow pace is frustrating!) :)
We all soaked up the sunshine. Joshua played catch and t-ball with the older boys. There was bike riding, goat-feeding, and plenty of running around.