Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica)

Incredibly nutritious

Stinging nettles are a true super food.  They contain high levels of protein along with Vitamins A, C and K plus several B vitamins, plus calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and sodium.  The leaves taste similar to spinach and can be used in exactly the same way.  Be careful not to overcook them and destroy all those amazing nutrients.

There are dozens of nettle recipes including nettle tea, nettle pasta, nettle gnocchi, nettle soup and nettle fritters.  Many of these recipes are available online as well as foarging books.

Stinging Nettle flowers and seeds

Stinging nettles have both male and female plants with the seeds growing only on the female plant.  The seeds can be carefully harvested either by shaking the plants over a bowl or pulling the dangling seed tassles off with tweezers or small tongs.  The seeds are packed with goodness and just one teaspoon on your breakfast or in a smoothie will give you a lot of the daily nutrients each day.

Nettle, leek and potato soup

Similar to a basic leek and potato soup this delicious version contains 10-12 nettle tops.  Pop them into the saucepan for the last 4 or 5 minutes of cooking to retain a lot of the wonderful nutrients.