Nettle Tea

Justin All Recipes, Cocktail & Beverage Recipes, Nettle Recipes, Produce Recipes, Wild Produce Recipes 3 Comments

I’ve drunk nettle tea (made from both fresh and dried nettles) many times before. And, a couple of friends who are naturopaths proclaim the nutritional benefits of nettle tea. When naturopathic doctors agree that something is good for me, I don’t ask questions. I just open my mouth.

But, I’ve never made fresh stinging nettle tea before… So, as we so often do around the office here, I decided that we’d all make good guinea pigs.

First, I rinsed a few handfuls of the nettles.

washing-nettles.jpg

Don’t forget: never handle raw nettles with your bare hands. The “stinging” part of their name is true, as Emily learned when she picked these up from the farmer’s market. Just use gloves or put your hand in a Ziploc bag to handle them. After they are cooked a couple minutes, they are completely safe: heat destroys the stinging agent (which I am told, is formic acid).

Then, simply boil some water. Add the nettles to the boiling water and cook for a couple minutes. Then, remove from heat and let it steep for 5-10 minutes. The aroma of stinging nettles as they cook and steep is fantastic… earthy, robust, spinach-y.

cooking-nettles.jpg

Some days are happier “guinea pig” days than others. It’s a good thing that we’re also shooting artisanal cheeses today, because otherwise this would’ve been a pretty unhappy sampling day, right before the weekend. Comments on the taste of nettle tea ranged from: “like drinking broccoli water” to “a cross between sautéd greens and green tea”… not such good comments for a beverage.

Herein lies the discovery. Nettle tea is rich, robust, dark and very nutritious. It would make a fantastic soup stock with a little salt…

nettle-tea.jpg

And, of course, it’s good for you. So, drink up. I added some honey and drank the whole cup. If we had lemon around, it might have made it tasty. I might just go down to the market and come back for seconds.

Update:
We’ve since found an even better way to make nettle tea that makes it taste more like green tea and less like spinach water. All you have to do is steep dried nettles in water like you would loose leaf tea. Drying nettles is really easy and a great way to keep nettles in your kitchen year round…check out How to Preserve Nettles for more info.

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Comments 3

  1. Nice post on nettles! Its a wonderful herb for women especially, as its high in both calcium, iron, and many other vitamins and minerals. Tastes great, easily absorbed and can be drank everyday. I’ll make sure my patients are aware of the preparation information you provide here. Thanks for spreading medicine!

  2. based on what is described above, you might enjoy just drinking the broth from nettles steamed in broth better. just simmer in broth, throw some butter on the nettles/eat nettles, then after the juice in sauce pan has cooled, drink up! i think chicken broth is better that veggie broth, but that is a matter of personal taste.

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