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.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Sauteed Nettles

  With all the rain we have been having, things are just growing crazy. My Stinging Nettles patch seems to be growing 3 inches a day! Wanting to take advantage of this most nutritious vegetable before it goes to flower, prompted me to go and gather a bunch for dinner. Normally I don't mind the sting too much but decided to use gloves this time, as sometimes my fingertips stay numb for a couple of days after picking bare handed. I love the taste of  raw Nettles,  and have figured out a way to eat them without getting my mouth stung. If you take the leaves and roll them in your fingers or against your pant leg or something, it triggers the sting and is safe to eat raw. Though a few stings in the mouth is not the worst thing in the world, I'm sure most people would not like it too much. If you dry or cook the plant the sting is neutralized also and I dry lots of Nettles for infusions over the winter and to use as a liquid fertilizer for my garden and house plants.
 Anyway, you may ask, why bother going through all this trouble to eat a plant? Well, Nettles are one of the most Nutritious and Medicinal plants on the planet. Nettles are reported to be very high in Vitamins A+C, Iron, Calcium, Protein and lots of trace minerals. The medicinal qualities seem endless, and as a nourishing adaptogen, seems to help with everything from fatigue to chronic viral infections. Nettles are also Hemostatic and finely powdered herb sprinkled on small cuts and scrapes will stop bleeding and help sanitize the area. A strong infusion can be used as a wash for open sores and Poison Ivy. Ethnobotanically speaking, this plant is a treasure trove of usefulness, from its fiber content for cordage to its ability as a Dye plant just to name a few. This is only the tip of the iceberg!

 Dinner was simple. Once I pulled the leaves off the stem, I sauteed the Nettles with Onions and Mushrooms and garnished with Violet Flowers. Delicious!
 I took the stems and remaining leaves and covered with water and brought them to a boil. I have been using this infusion for watering my garden seedlings and plan to use some of it as a foliage spray for nourishment and to help keep insects away.

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