Many people know that stinging nettle tastes almost like spinach and is used all over the world for traditional dishes and food. But not many people know that the fruits of stinging nettles, which are actually nuts, contain up to 40% proteins and have a very high nutritional value because of iron, potassium, calcium, carotinoide and vitamins A B C E. In this Ible I will show you how to harvest them and use them in tasty dishes.
If you have allergies, be careful with your first consumption and try a small amount to see if you respond.
Step 1: Harvesting the Fruits / Nuts
There are 30 different types of stinging nettle all over the world, except Antarctica of course. Most of these types are dioecious, there is a male and a female type. The sparsely male fruits are on radial twigs while the numerous female nuts are on hanging twigs. The nuts have a different ripening stage which you can see in the different colours in the picture of the female version.
Harvest only the female nuts. Wear a protective glove, take the stalk between thumb and index finger right below the nuts and stripe them off right into your harvest container.
There are two ways to pick the nuts from the twigs, roasting and drying.
Step 2: Roasting
Heat a pan at middle to high setting but do not use any oil. Prepare 2 plates, a sifter and a container. Now take a handful of your nettle nuts and put them in the heated pan.
Stir them with a spatula to avoid ignition. After a minute let the nuts slide out of the pan onto a plate, pick them up and shake them above the plate. Some of the nuts should fall out.
Put the nettle twigs onto the other plate and sift the roasted nuts into a container.
Put the nettle twigs back into the heated pan and add a small amount of fresh ones from your harvest container.
Repeat the procedure until you roasted all your harvested twigs several times.
Step 3: Drying
Put the nettle twigs into a wide container and dry them in the sun.
Later sift the twigs into another container.
On the bottom of the first container you will also find green nuts that have already fallen out.
The resulting harvests will have many different colours of green to brown, instead of the all black roasted nuts.
Step 4: Using As Nettlenut Coating
You probably know this as breadcrumb coating, but this is for a diet high in proteins. Prepare 2 plates, one with a stirred egg and one with a fine layer of unroasted stinging nettle nuts.
Place a piece of meat on the plate with the stirred egg and season it with pepper and salt.
Turn it around and season it again.
Then place the meat on the layer of nettle nuts.
And again turn it around to coat the other side as well.
Put the meat into a hot pan with some butter.
Cook the meat until its done.
Serve and enjoy!
Step 5: Spicing Your Goat Cheese
Take the amount of goat cheese that is needed for your diet.
Add a spoon of nettle nuts.
Stir and enjoy!
Step 6: Using As Spread
Take a glass of honey.
Add a spoon of nettle nuts and stir them into the honey.
Then take a healthy bread and use the honey mixture as a spread.
Step 7: Cracker
The nuts are very lightweight, a full breakfast bowl is only 50grams.
Crack an egg and stir it. Then spread the nettle nuts and form a vulcano, as if you wanted to make pasta.
Mix everything and form a disc.
To even the disc even more spread a cling wrapper on top and use a rolling pin.
Then bake at 200°C for 10 to 15 minutes. Tasty!
Step 8: Other Uses
Stinging nettle nuts can also be used to make tea, to spice your wine, to infuse your gin, to blend snuff tobacco, to flavour your butter or just added to any sauce, smoothie and soup. They will improve the nutritional value and taste.
Enjoy your meal!
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Organic Cooking Challenge