If you’ve ever fallen into a patch of stinging nettles, you know it is an unforgiving pain akin to being stung by 1,000 bees- all at once. You could suffer from a formic acid (the active stinging component of Nettles) burn for up to 24 hours if you don’t plunge your hands into baking soda or medicated ointment post haste. It’s hard to imagine that you would actually be able to eat a plant like this, but boiling the leaves removes all the “sting” in no time at all.
The Multi-Vitamin benefits of consuming Nettles
According to Livestrong.com, stinging nettles are a powerhouse of nutrition!
- Stinging Nettles is low in Calories! One cup of the plant has only 37 calories.
- It’s low in Fat! It may seem odd that a plant has “fat,” but it’s only 0.1 gram, so you can relax.
- Nettles is low Carb! There are just 6.6 grams of carbohydrates in one cup of nettles.
- It’s high in Protein! The 2.4 grams of protein contained in Nettles isn’t too shabby.
- High in Vitamin A! You get 100% of your daily recommended Vitamin A. As you may know, Vitamin A is an essential nutrient that our bodies must obtain from an external source. This vitamin helps us see better, keeps our immune system functioning, increases white blood cell activity and supports cell membranes to help us fight off infections.
- High in Vitamin K! Nettles contains more than enough Vitamin K (369 – 493% DV). Vitamin K is essential for bone formation, blood clotting and is essential in transporting calcium throughout the body.
- High in Iron! Get 7.7 – 17.5% of your Daily Value in Iron from Nettles. Iron is a mineral which is essential in the production of red blood cells, it carries oxygen through the body to organs and tissues, keeps you feeling energized, and aids with mental alertness.
- High in Calcium! Instead of drinking a glass of milk, try a cup of nettles for 32.9 – 42.8% of your Daily Calcium Value.
- Rich in Antioxidants! Carotene is an anti-oxidant that ensures the healthy functioning of our eyes, skin tissue, mucous membranes, reproductive organs, bones and immune systems.
- Nettles is rich in Chlorophyll which helps to rid the body of free radicals, helps tissues grow and repair, improves oxygen flow and protects the body from carcinogens.
- Nettles also contains Vitamins B, C and D! Vitamin B contributes to healthy hair, skin and eyes. Since your body can use it but not store it, you will need to continually replenish your supply. Vitamin C protects us against immune system deficiencies, diseases and signs of aging. Vitamin D is needed for proper bone and teeth formation, as well as calcium transport.
So you see – you’d be wise to boil your nettles to access the goodness within!
Try this amazing recipe for: Nettle Lasagna
Recipe adapted from: http://www.learningherbs.com/nettle_lasagna.html
Delicious home-made tomato sauce
(12 oz.) your home-made pasta sauce
• (15 oz.) diced tomatoes
• (6 oz.) tomato paste
• (3 Tsp) dried Oregano and Basil (or twice as much fresh from your garden)
• (8) cloves of Garlic (chopped small)
after sauce is prepared…
• (16 oz) grated mozzarella cheese
• (15 oz) ricotta cheese
• (1 package/12 sheets) Gluten Free Brown rice lasagne noodles
• (12 cups) of fresh nettles (local farmers market)
• 1 large onion
• (2 Tsp) olive oil
1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
2. Make your beautiful sauce
3. Boil the lasagna noodles
4. Dice your onion & sauté it in olive oil
5. Prepare your nettle leaves (You can use the top 6-8 leaves as well as the stems. The lower leaves can also be used, however remove the stems from further down, they tend to be tough even when cooked.)
6. Chop the nettles coarsely then add them to the skillet with your onion and sauté until the nettles are wilted.
Assembling your Lasagna:
1. Cover the bottom of a (9 X 13) baking dish with 1⁄4 of your sauce.
2. Next, put a layer of (4) noodles, then another layer of sauce, a layer of (1⁄2) of the nettle and onion mixture, and a layer of cheese.
3. Repeat the last step
4. Put a layer of noodles on top and then finish with your last 1⁄4 of sauce
5. Cover the nettle lasagna with foil and bake in 375 degree oven for 45 minutes. Remove foil for the last 10 minutes of cooking for a crunchier top.
Savour your Nutritious Nettle Lasagna! 🙂