Stinging Nettles: What the heck do you do with them?

It’s stinging nettle time so do we blend them in our smoothy while fresh or freeze or dry for tea?


Last year I found interesting stacked netted racks on Amazon to dry our best loved herbs for tea or culinary applications, but I never got around to ordering them. They are available in many shapes and sizes between $20 to $40. Hanging these nets in a breeze way on warm sunny days will produce a good end product in 2 days.


I have dried herbs like parsley, dandelion blossoms and basil in our little Excaliber dehydrators, but find that the flavour and certainly the colour lacks vibrancy. So what is a better way to dry herbs without spending a dime?

Just yesterday, a friend told me that they used to dry herbs in pillowcases and hung them on the clothesline to dry. Or the attic perhaps? It’s best to use cotton or linen for this purpose. Synthetics and food, especially healing herbs, do not mix.


The trick is to not pack the pillowcase too full. There is no need to de-stem. You can simply pluck the leaves off when they are dry. Even dried nettles still have a bite, so use gloves. If you do get stung while harvesting, simply bruise a few leaves with gloved hands and rub the crushed leaves on the itchy spot. I make the mistake year after year to pick nettles in shorts and runners and always get poked!


Happy Harvesting!


Afke


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