I assume by now you've been out to your local market, right?
Around here, living downtown Toronto, it becomes a tough choice. Do we venture to the Monday evening Sorauren market, Tuesday's in Trinity Bellwoods, Thursdays at Dufferin Grove, Saturday at Brickworks, or Sunday in Leslieville? I am spoiled!
I have been picking up a few seasonal staples each time I go -- asparagus, rhubarb and the unlikely and not loved enough Stinging Nettles.
It's true. They sting. Hence the name. This is a power food so get past the pain and get your love on for this wild green.
Five Reasons I Love Stinging Nettles
- High in Vitamin A, calcium, chlorophyll and plant digestible iron.
- Gradually and favourably alters the condition of the blood.
- Diuretic and liver toning properties
- Helps reduce water retention, PMS, balance menopausal extremes and toning the whole female system.
- A significant remedy for hay fever and allergies
Five Ways To Love Your Nettles
- Throw into your green smoothies
- Juice, juice, juice along with some ginger, beets, and apple for a happy, healthy liver.
- Chop and seep in hot water for a bright green, fresh tasting tea.
- Mix in with wild leeks, kale, basil or whatever greens you like to make amazing pestos.
- Dehydrate as you would kale to make awesometown kale chips.
Mind the sting! They are not the best greens to mix into a salad -- given the stingers that wrap around the leaves. This goes away with light steaming, so there is that option. Stinging Nettle Chips, however, are my favourite way!
Lemon Nettle Chips
8 cups of nettle leaves, de-stemmed, washed and dried
1/4 cup lemon (or juice from one lemon)
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp sea salt
- Toss nettles in lemon, olive oil and salt.
- Distribute evenly on dehydrator tray.
- Dry for 8-12 hours at 115.
Sour Cream and Onion Free Kale and Nettle Chips
2 head of Kale
4 cups stinging nettles, de-stemmed
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup raw cashews
pinch of sea salt
1/4 cup water (or just as much as you need to make this mix creamy)
- Place all marinade ingredients in a blender or food processor and process until smooth. Add water as needed just in order to blend. Remember- you will be drying this out again after so you want to avoid doing this as much as you can.
- With your hands, mix together the marinade, massaging gently.
- Transfer to dehydrator rack or parchment lined baking sheet
- Stick in your dehydrator on medium-high setting for 8 hours or in your oven on its lowest temperature with the oven door left slightly open
For more kale and nettle chip inspiration check these out: