06/15/2013 12:36 EDT | Updated 08/14/2013 05:12 EDT

Stinging Nettle Chips - Like Kale Chips But Better

Stinging Nettle and Kale Chips

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.

Stinging Nettle Chips Recipe

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!

Stinging Nettle Chips Lemon

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.

Stinging Nettle Chips

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: