How to Use Nettle Seeds to Make Your Own Wild, Green Superfoods
by Heather Gardner
Most of us loose our £pounds and our power by relying on things that come in a box or a tin from the store. We health-seeking heroines know that plenty of water, fruits and vegetables are good for us, and that supplementing our diets with superfoods is the buzz of the moment. But what if in these challenging times we can’t afford the latest designer health product and recommendations from ‘experts’? Luckily we have an expert who truly knows what is best for us, she’s been around longer than any others and she isn’t trying to sell us something, she is Mother Nature.
In herbalist Susan Weed’s opinion, eating nettles daily is more strengthening than wheatgrass, Spirulina and other green supplements that we buy in pills and packets and not naturally found in our local outdoor herbal larder. Luckily for us nettles grow abundantly in most areas of human habitation and are free for the foraging.
Gathering & Drying Nettle Seeds
Most of us are familiar with the properties and benefits of the leaves but the seeds are actually more potent again. Reputed to give energy and have adaptogenic properties, helping to deal with stress, fatigue, endocrine, adrenal and kidney issues. The nettle seed has similar benefits as the leaf though more concentrated. It’s possible to just nibble of a few seeds as we are out walking or working, for a quick boost, or we can gather and process them into our own superfood products.
To gather the seeds, cut the nettle tops when the seeds are nearly ripe. Lay them outdoors on brown paper for several hours to let the insects escape. If it’s very warm then they can be dried out in the sun, otherwise dry them in a well-ventilated airing cupboard or a dehydrator.
Nettle Seed Salt
Mix some dried nettle seeds with good quality salt, experiment to find your favorite proportions, 1 part salt to 3-5 parts nettle works well or 1 part salt to one part nettle if you prefer. You can add other things to make it really lovely, such as ground celery seeds, any dried herbs you like or even ground sesame seeds to make it like a Gomashio.
Nettle Seed Honey
You can mix ground nettle seeds into runny honey and store in glass jars. Use 1-2 teaspoons daily in your warm nettle infusion or as a tasty spread.
Dried Nettle ‘Super’ Powder
To make your own home superfood green powder, gather nettles and dry them in your dehydrator or hang in bunches upside down in an airing cupboard. When dry grind them to a powder in your blender or a coffee grinder. Then gather more nettles and run them through the juicer. Mix the juice with the nettle powder until you have a paste. Spread this on dehydrator trays until completely dry.
When dry, crumble it up and store in airtight-labeled glass jars in a dark place. Add it to your smoothies; use it to make warm beverages like powdered matcha green tea, or in any of your favorite recipes. You can even add it to sweet treats for an energy boost!
Nourishing Nettle Vinegar
Harvest the nettles anytime before it flowers, and tightly pack it into a glass jar. Fill the jar to the brim with organic cider vinegar. Let it brew, out of direct sunlight for 4- 6 weeks.
When ready, strain it into bottles and use in salad dressings and marinades for an extra boost of minerals. You can also use it diluted with water as a final rinse for your hair after washing.
For more information about how to include wild edibles in your daily lifestyle and understand how to move with the seasons, please register now for our Wild Edible Course with Sergei Boutenko through the Women’s Wellness University!
About Heather Gardner
Heather is a Raw Food and Kundalini Yoga Teacher. A lifelong 3rd generation vegetarian she began learning about herbs and wild foods at a young age from her herbalist mother while growing up on a remote mountainside in Ireland. Due to numerous health challenges at a young age, she began delving into the world of foraging, potion making, herbs, nutrition, and raw & living foods as a teenager searching for solutions. At 20 while studying Natural Nutrition she began learning and experimenting with the Raw Lifestyle, and at 27 she began to move onto a raw diet and has transitioned to a balanced high raw diet over time. She is qualified in many healing modalities and has over 10 years experience as a Natural Remedies, Health & Beauty manager and Brand manager within the UK Natural Products industry, working to help people to achieve better health naturally. Now she lives in the west of Ireland, devising raw recipes, making beauty potions, foraging, writing, teaching and running her business www.consciousearthcompany.com as well as running after her feisty little toddler! Connect with Heather on Facebook here.