Stinging nettles – Health benefits and recipe ideas

In today´s blog post and related video I’m going to be talking about you how you can take a weed growing in your garden, i.e stinging nettles, and explain how you can make them into nutritious and delicious things in your kitchen. 

So having been very busy lately making videos, writing blog posts etc, I’ve kind of neglected my vegetable garden. When I came out, I got a lovely surprise with a great looking cauliflower and broccoli, which I planted at the end of the summer, but I also found to my dismay, the place was covered with stinging nettles. 

Now, I did a bit of research and I found that these are actually edible and extremely nutritious and packed with antioxidants.

So, I got a pair of gloves on so that I didn’t get stung while chopping them down, and then I took them into the kitchen to see what I could cook up. 

So regardless of what we´re using our nettles for, the first thing we need to do is wash them and then give them at least a couple of minutes in boiling water so that we can´t get stung by them and they´re completely safe to consume.

Which brings us on nicely to the first thing we can use them for and something we should always make as an added bonus of the boiling to make them safe, which is a herbal infusion, or a nice cup of nettle tea.

So by adding exactly a cup full of water to the freshly washed leaves, we then just boil them up gently for about five minutes.

Then we strain off the liquid, you can add a little bit of honey if you like, and there you´ve got some nettles you can now use to cook with and a nice and healthy steaming cuppa that´s rich in anti-oxidants as well. Lovely!

So one of my favourite ways to use nettles is to simply put them in a stew to add a bit of colour and to boost the nutritional content of, what for me, is a really comforting meal, especially on a cold and grey day.

So I just add the previously boiled up nettles to a chicken and vegetable stew which I serve on top of a thin, crepe style pancake. Now obviously, if you´ve got a bit more time then this should ideally be served with some Yorkshire puddings, but pancakes are a quicker option, and one of my mum´s dinners that I remember fondly from my childhood.

If there aren´t any potatoes in your stew then this is even better with the addition of some mashed potatoes. But either way, give this a go as it will definitely bring a smile to your face.

My next idea is to use the nettles almost like a spinach substitute and get them in a nice healthy smoothie.

There´s a link to my green smoothie recipe below, if you´d like to try this out, or else, simply add the previously boiled nettles to your other smoothie ingredients, such as oats, nuts and seeds, banana, avocado, fresh ginger, apple, aloe Vera and a cup of green tea for a fat burning boost.

And there you have a super healthy green smoothie absolutely brimming with healthy fats, vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants. Tremendous!

And finally you can use your nettles as part of a medley of green vegetables that could accompany a nice piece of fresh meat or fish.

Personally I like to add the nettles to some steamed broccoli and green beans, which I give an oriental flavour, with a splash of toasted sesame oil and soy sauce. Healthy, hearty and bags of flavour, nice!

Of course these are just a few ways that you could use nettles in your diet, but the possibilities are endless. Drop me a comment below to tell me your ideas on how to use nettles in your diet.

And if you´re still not convinced, then here´s a quick run-down of just some of the reported health benefits.

So first of all these luscious green leaves are full of minerals like Iron, calcium, zinc, magnesium, chromium, phosphorous, potassium and sodium.

Plus they contain vitamins C, A, D, E, K and selected B vitamins.

They also contain all of the nine “essential” amino acids that your body can´t make and that you have to get from your diet. These are usually found in foods like meat, eggs or poultry, so this is great news if you´re Vegan or vegetarian.

They´ve got loads of good fats too, all of which are acids (Oleic, linoleic, linolenic and stearic), and all of which are beneficial to your health.

And because they´re a veritable nutrition powerhouse, they´ve got bags of health benefits.

For example, they have been shown to reduce inflammation and therefore may be helpful in treating such conditions as arthritis and even allergies such as hayfever.

They also contain compounds that can help to relax the heart and the blood vessels, which can help to reduced blood pressure.

By preventing the conversion of testosterone into the more powerful dihydrotestosterone, nettle consumption may also help men suffering from an enlarged prostate gland.

They also contain compounds that may mimic the effects of insulin, which in tests have been shown to significantly lower blood sugar levels compared to a placebo. So they could be highly beneficial if you´re diabetic.

Not bad for something that most of us consider to be an annoying weed that stings.

Now obviously we must mention that you shouldn´t eat them raw (for obvious reasons) and also if you´re pregnant you should avoid consuming them because they may trigger uterine contractions, which can raise the risk of a miscarriage.

So obviously it´s a good idea to speak to your doctor before consuming stinging nettles, but for most of us it appears that the risk of any side-effects is minimal.

So next time you´re out for a walk or you find them growing in your garden, stick on some gloves, get them collected and give them a try. With this amount of nutritional value and potential health benefits you´d be daft not to, right?

So if you´ve enjoyed this post don´t forget to leave me a comment below and share it on your social media if you would be so kind. And of course don´t forget to watch the video and subscribe to the channel you haven´t already to get more videos with simple tips for better health, wealth and happiness.

Until next time, by for now.

Links

Watch my video that shows you how to make a healthy green smoothie (just substitute the spiniach with nettles): https://youtu.be/7DcjHKisCI0

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