This is a blog about the pursuits of Naturalist Alan Russo to incorporate all things Natural, especially Plants, into his daily life. Living close to Nature has always been a passion of mine and I try, with natures help, to live a Healthy lifestyle for myself and for the Earth.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Stinging Nettles

Stinging Nettle Patch
  The cooler weather we have had, has started the Nettles growing again. In the Spring the Nettles grow tall and lush, but once they flower and the weather gets hot, they die back to a bunch of leafless brown stalks. It's not till the Fall that they begin to "wake up" again and grow lush and green, like a second birth. At this time they are tender, and can be harvested till they die back again in the cold winter. They come at a good time of year, when most of the garden and vegetable have died back, I can always count on the Nettles to shine.
  Nettle are one of the most nutritious plants on the planet. They are high in vitamins, minerals and protein and are highly regarded as a medicinal plant. Nettles are considered a nourishing plant and are used to rebuild the stressed out undernourished system. They are said to be good for rebuilding the adrenal glands and important for the prostate.
  If you have ever had an accidental meeting with Nettles, you may wonder why anyone would even want to eat such a irritating plant! It turns out that the sting disappears upon cooking or drying. Nettles make a great potherb or are great sautéed on their own or with other vegetables. If collected and dried they make a nourishing tea or infusion to help keep you healthy in the winter or any other time of year. I have read it is important to harvest Nettles before they flower.
  Well, today I went out with my gloves and knife and gathered enough Nettles for breakfast. First I cut them up stems and all, than sautéed them till they were tender but still bright green. Another plant that has a rebirth in the Fall, as it also doesn't like the hot weather, is Field Garlic (more on this another day). I gathered a large bunch of the leaves cut them as you would scallions and added them to the sauté for flavor.  At this point I added some fresh gathered scrambled eggs and had a super nourishing breakfast. Two wild plants and home grown eggs can't beat that for cost!

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