Local nutritionist Mary Carmody has kindly written a lovely recipe for us –
Simple Nettle Soup.
It’s May, so that means nettle season!!
Did you know that it’s very good for our health to enjoy 3 feeds of nettles before the end of May?
Many people including gardeners consider nettles to be a weed, but they have many health benefits:
· For the treatment of painful joints and muscles
· Tendonitis, sprains and strains
· Anaemia and boosts iron stores to combat fatigue
· Urinary Tract Infections (UTI’s)
· Prostate health in helping to reduce an enlarged prostate
· Hay fever
· Insect bites
Nettles are just so versatile and have a powerful diuretic action that keeps water flowing through the kidneys and bladder, washing out bacteria and stopping urine crystals forming into kidney stones.
Nettles also contain many nutrients including Vitamin C in their leaves which allows their iron content to be more easily absorbed so they’re good for young girls, women and anybody who tends to have low iron. Nettles are also an excellent reproductive tonic and can be taken during pregnancy, menstruation and menopause.
The stems and leaves contain natural anti-inflammatory substances that work like antihistamines. In fact, herbalists believe that including nettle leaves in your diet in Spring can help “inoculate” against seasonal allergies.
Nettles are amazing plants to help to nourish us, help us feel restored and they also have a great grounding effect on us helping us feel more balanced in our lives. They have fresh new growths in May and September and while its ok to harvest these all year round if cuttings are taken regularly throughout the seasons, but if not just stick to using them in May and September when the fresh growth appears.
Nutritionally, Nettles are rich in iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, protein and chromium. They also contain Vitamin A and C and flavonoids (powerful antioxidants with anti-inflammatory and immune system benefits).
Nettles also contain B vitamins which will nourish our adrenals, balance our emotions, support a well-balanced nervous system and a well-functioning metabolism. The calcium is calming and soothing for our nervous system and relieving stress and anxiety and calcium and magnesium is great for healthy teeth, hair and bones. Nettles also help us maintain good blood sugar balance with their chromium content which is always great for health.
So, with nettles growing wildly and freely around our countryside at the moment and with the current lockdown happening, why not go out on our lovely country walks and pick up a few and make this lovely simple soup.
Simple Nettle Soup
1 tbsp of coconut oil
¼ tsp of chili flakes
¼ tsp. cumin
3 cloves of garlic
2.5 cm piece of ginger (peeled if not organic)
2-3 peeled potatoes (cut in bite size pieces)
800 ml (approx.) stock e.g. Marigold Bouillon powder
2 handfuls of mushrooms
50gs/2 handfuls of nettle leaves (be careful as they may sting)
Salt and pepper to season
Juice ½ lemon
· Chop up vegetables and set aside
· Add some oil to the pan and fry up onion, chili and cumin for 1-2 minutes over medium heat
· Add garlic, ginger and potatoes and stir up and cook for a few minutes.
· Now add in stock and bring to the boil and allow vegetables to simmer for 5-8 mins until vegetable are soft.
· Add mushrooms and washed nettle leaves and stir and cover and simmer for another 8-10 mins approx. until all vegetables are soft.
· Blend up and season with salt and pepper and a few drops of lemon juice and enjoy!
How To Get The Best From Nettles
Pick fresh plants and avoid nettles that have been treated with pesticides. I use the tops of young nettles as they are full of nutrients and have a mild and tasty flavour.
Other Ways Of Using Nettles
Nettle Tea Pop some freshly washed nettles in hot water for 10-12 mins in a teapot and enjoy as a detoxifying tea several times during the day
Nettle Pesto Substitute basil leaves with nettles in your regular pesto recipe
M : 087 2884461
Youtube: Mary Carmody Nutrition