Wednesday, 31 March 2010

'Tis the season to pick nettles!

The young nettles springing up at the moment are perfect for picking and, true to the versatility of this plant, making a whole range of recipes. Spring nettle mania struck here in Leamington Spa at the weekend. Here's what I made:
  • Nettle vinegar - simply cover the young leaves in apple cider vinegar and store somewhere warm for a few weeks. This vinegar will be high in minerals.
  • Nettle tincture - cover the leaves in vodka (or brandy) and store somewhere dark and cool for about four weeks, giving it a gentle shake daily. According to a handout on nettles from Sarah Head this is good for adrenal support in stress remedies.
  • Nettle and apricot iron tonic - this is a recipe I saw suggested by Sarah Head recently. I covered a mixture of nettle leaves, organic apricots, plus peel of one orange with red wine. This is also stored away in a cool dark place for four weeks. This will be a remedy for iron deficiency.

More nettle posts:

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  1. Hi - great post on nettles. Weather permitting I'll be out this weekend doing some collecting too. I was interested in your apricot & nettle iron tonic, specifically using red wine - would the wine not spoil once opened, and if not, would it keep a reasonable length of time?

    Sounds like it would taste lovely!

    Best wishes, Martin

  2. Hello Martin,

    We had a taste of one that Sarah had made earlier at the last Mercian Herb Group meeting, and it did indeed taste lovely.

    I think its fairly common to use red wine for tinctures. I guess it may not keep from a wine-tasting perspective, but I think it keeps in terms of shelf life (although maybe not as long as those using vodka/ brandy?). I've got a couple of red wine tinctures I made about a year ago, and they seem fine.

    Enjoy your nettle picking :)

    Warm wishes,

  3. How comforting to see herbs nestled in liquid and shining through to warm us even before they are used.