Making and Using Nettle Powder for Nutrition and Health...And How to Sneak It Into Your Family's Food!
When I first heard the term, "Stinging Nettle" many years ago, I thought, "Yikes! Who would want to pick and eat that stuff?" It's true that this plant can cause some pretty severe reactions because of its "stings," and gloves must be worn when picking the plant---but the health benefits are absolutely amazing. So..why and how would you want to make and use Nettle Powder?
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Why Should Stinging Nettle be a Part of Your Family's Diet?
Nettle is full of nutrition!
Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica) is full of the entire spectrum of vitamins and minerals we need. In fact, it has so much calcium that it is an excellent remedy for growing pains in children. Nettle affects many other health issues, including but not limited to: gout, skin eruptions, detoxifying the body by strengthening and supporting the liver and kidneys, bone health, joint health, hay fever, anemia...and more!
Nettle is definitely an all around champion herb when it comes to its use as a tonic as well as use for acute issues.
Nettle was even cultivated by the ancient Greeks and used as one of their main sources of food as well as medicine. Yes, it is actually very safe and delicious to eat! It tastes "grassy," but vinegar, lemon, garlic, and spices can be added to make a delicious vegetable side dish.
I just LOVE when an herb can be used as a delicious food source as well as medicine. Nettle, along with Dandelion, Burdock, Chickweed, and so many others can serve these dual purposes.
As Hippocrates famously said, "Let thy food be thy medicine."
What if you don't grow your own Stinging Nettle?
It's a common herb, and very easy to purchase fresh-dried and organic, high quality Nettle.
I buy my organic Nettle leaves from Starwest Botanicals. Nettles are pretty easy to grow, but honestly, I just don't want to deal with the "stinging" part right now. Maybe some day. But since Nettles are definitely part of our diet---through foods, teas, and tinctures---I love buying mine from Starwest!
What if my family doesn't like Nettle (or any green thing)?
Unfortunately, not everyone likes eating Stinging Nettle. After all, it's GREEN, which can factor into being a turn off for some folks, especially kids. It's also "different" by today's vegetable standards.
If you are wanting to be sure your family gets enough greens, and especially with the high nutritional value found in Nettle, there IS a way to ensure they eat their nettles (or greens in general) without causing a ruckus. The answer?
Powder your nutritive herbs and greens!
Powdered herbs, including Nettle, can be sprinkled and used on all kinds of dishes---and guess what? No one's the wiser! :-)
I've been drying and powdering Nettle for years using a spice grinder. It's easy to sneak into all kinds of foods including casseroles, breads, smoothies, even cereal! You can sprinkle it on meats, salads, into salad dressings too.
The possibilities are endless! And best of all: NO ONE WILL EVER KNOW! :-) Like many other herbs, Nettle becomes pretty tasteless when used in powdered form.
How to Powder Dried Nettle Leaves
This is so ridiculously easy:
Step 1) Put your dried organic Nettle leaves into your spice grinder.
(Don't use your coffee grinder! I have a grinder dedicated to herbs and spices---if you double your coffee grinder as an herb grinder, you will have some really funky tasting herbs!)
Step 2) Grind until you have a fine powder.
You can use a fine mesh strainer to sieve out any larger parts, but I really don't bother with this. Once it's in the food, it doesn't matter!
Step 3) Pour your Nettle powder into a shaker jar, and sprinkle liberally away!
That's it! How easy is that?
I keep my shaker jar on top of my stove, and whenever I cook anything, I sprinkle some in! When I make smoothies, I'll use a tablespoon or two. That's really a LOT of Nettle leaves too.
Final Thoughts on Making and Using Nettle Powder
Getting your nutrition through food is really the best way to go. I'm not naysaying vitamins, mind you--I take these myself. However, there is just nothing better, more natural, and healthy than good old green plants for making sure your body is getting the best nutrition.
If you (or your family) is concerned about whether or not you are getting enough greens in your life, then solving this problem is easy! Just powder your green, dried herbs and plants. And enjoy in and on your other foods.
Sneaky, right? But in a very good way, I say.
Have you ever used powdered herbs to cook with? What are your thoughts on using herbal powders? Leave a comment in the comments section! We'd love to hear from you.
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Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor or medical professional. I simply share my own advice based on years of study and experience for informational purposes only. Please see a doctor for any medical or emotional issues you may have. Please always do your due diligence and research any herbal or prescription medication you put in your body. If you are pregnant, nursing, or on medication, please check with your doctor before using herbs.