Today has been a day of cooking, it was cold and wet. So perfect. I made ‘french’ style easy bread today. It is lovely bread however the amount of time for rising is several hours, with some small work on it periods.
Compared to my other bread which is kneaded twice and only requires about 1 1/2 half hours or so rising time. It can be extended longer as in overnight but you just leave it. You do not have to work it during that time.
I also decided to make nettle soup. The Nettles are from my own garden so I know they are safe. I cut off the tips of the nettles about 10cms in length. I did not wear gloves as I had a container that when I cut the tips they fell directly into the container.
My soup had vegetable stock which seemed to be quite salty. It had onion rice and nettles. I did also add a garlic clove. The recipe I chose, was for four people. I decided to make half of the recipe. I picked a cup plus of nettles well packed.
I pan fried onions in olive oil and than the nettles which removes the
You then add stock and rice. I then bought the soup to the boil for a few minutes, and then used the absorption method for cooking the rice. I used my hand blender to puree it.
I did not have enough nettles, in the ‘soup’ The recipe has 500gms of nettles. That is a lot of nettles, I did not weigh my nettles.
I also added too much rice. So my soup was more like a risotto.
I ate it with one of my bread rolls. It was really interesting and I did enjoy it. It has a rich flavour. I have read elsewhere that nettle soup tastes earthy. It certainly had a flavour reminiscent of mushrooms I know go figure! I was assuming it would be green tasting. How do I describe that. hmmm fresh and light perhaps.
Stinging nettles are considered as a weed today by so many. In the past stinging nettles have been used to make fibre, sail cloth, sacking and fishing nets. Fibres have also been used to make cloth similar in appearance and feel to silky linen. In the Second World War the Germans used it to make cotton like fabric. The British used stinging nettles for the dye it makes for camouflage. It has/is also used as a food colourant.
The 18th Centuary English poet, Thomas Campbell, complained of the little attention paid to the nettle in England. He says, “In Scotland, I have eaten nettles, I have slept in nettle sheets, and I have dined off a nettle tablecloth. The young and tender nettle is an excellent potherb. The stalks of the old nettle are as good as flax for making cloth. I have heard my mother say that she thought nettle cloth more durable than any other species of linen.” (Plants and People: Choices and Diversity through Time 6.2 Humble Plants p273 edited by Alexandre Chevalier, Elena Marinova, Leonor Pena-Chocarro)
I will make it again, it was quick and easy. Tasty and simple. I would add more nettles and less rice. I was looking forward to a thin soup but as I said mine was like a poor risotto (I am not a huge fan of risotto).
I enjoyed the rich and hearty flavour. I intend to try more recipes using my nettles.
Such a low cost tasty hearty meal. I could imagine a vegetable soup with nettles would be delicious too. A quick soup to make.
I did not sow the nettles in my garden, they have come up in a good size patch. I know many people will look at them and see weeds. Mother Earth has provided me with this wonderful plant and I will enjoy and use it. It dies off each year and in Autumn it grows again as the cooler weather begins.
Like any food there are potential issues for some people in eating them I include The following information is from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/stinging-nettle#section8
Stinging nettle’s leaves and root provide a wide variety of nutrients, including
- 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
What’s more, many of these nutrients act as antioxidants inside your body.
Antioxidants are molecules that help defend your cells against damage from free radicals. Damage caused by free radicals is linked to aging, as well as cancer and other harmful diseases (3Trusted Source).
Studies indicate that stinging nettle extract can raise blood antioxidant levels.
There is evidence based benefits that stinging nettles may be benificial in arthritis, and other inflammations within the body.
Stinging nettle may help reduce prostate size and treat symptoms of an enlarged prostate gland in men with BPH.
Stinging nettle may reduce hay fever symptoms. Yet, some research indicates that it may not be much more effective than a placebo. More studies are needed on stinging nettle’s effects on hay fever.
Stinging nettle may help lower blood pressure by allowing your blood vessels to relax and reducing the force of your heart’s contractions. Yet, more human studies are needed to confirm these effects.
While stinging nettle may help lower blood sugar levels, more human studies are crucial before recommendations can be made.
There are some potential side effects
Consuming dried or cooked stinging nettle is generally safe. There are few, if any, side effects.
However, be careful when handling fresh stinging nettle leaves, as their hair-like barbs can harm your skin.
- Formic acid
These compounds can cause rashes, bumps, hives and itchiness.
In rare cases, people may have a severe allergic reaction, which can be life-threatening.
However, these chemicals diminish as the leaves are processed, meaning that you shouldn’t experience mouth or stomach irritation when eating dried or cooked stinging nettle (1).
Speak to your doctor before consuming stinging nettle if you’re taking one of the following:
- Blood thinners
- Blood pressure medication
- Diuretics (water pills)
- Diabetes medication
Stinging nettle could interact with these medications. For instance, the plant’s potential diuretic effect may strengthen the impact of diuretics, which can raise your risk of dehydration.