This is part of a series of multimedia stories curated through a collaboration between Earthworks Farm and KCETLink. Watch a segment from KCET's "SoCal Connected" and visit the project hub for more information.
Most people consider the stinging nettle a weed, and one that can be very physically irritating as well. However, stinging nettles are an extremely nutritious vegetable that are very easy to grow -- indeed, because it grows like a weed. As for nutrition, it has more calcium, iron, magnesium, and potassium than spinach. It is also a good source of Vitamins A, K, and B-6, as well as many other micronutrients.
Of course, one must be careful when harvesting stinging nettle (use long sleeves and good gloves) so that one is not irritated by its painful sting. Moreover, the stinging nettle should be steamed for five minutes before eating to eliminate its stinging qualities. Once this is done, however, it is a healthy and nutritious addition to many dishes.
Here we are making a delicious drink, sweetened with apples and honey, and frosty cold from ice.
Stinging Nettle, Apple and Honey Smoothie
Makes about two servings
1 bunch Stinging Nettle, steamed for 5 minutes
2 Apples, medium, cored and chopped
½ Cup Ice
½ Cup Water
2 Tbsp Honey (or to taste)
Add all ingredients to a blender. Blend until smooth and frothy.