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Forage & Feast: Nettle Seeds
They're energy boosting and nutritious
I bet that, no matter where you live, you won’t be far from a big patch of nettles. You might even eaten nettles before - perhaps you’ve used the young leaves to make nettle soup in spring (or my new favourite cake)… but have you ever eaten the seeds?
Last year I foraged nettle seeds for the first time and I’ve been adding them to my breakfast ever since. They’re packed full of vitamins, are a natural antihistamine and give you an energy boost (check out this post for a full list of their benefits).
Nettles are dioecious, which means the male and female flowers/seeds grow on different plants. It’s the female seeds you want, not the male flowers! Here’s a photo of the two - see how different they are?
This is a video that talks you through the foraging process and goes into some more detail about nettle seeds. We tend to pick whole stems and then just tie them up with some string in a dry, sunny spot and leave them to dry for several days before picking the seeds off (we don’t have a dehydrator or the drying screens in the video below).
Don’t forget you can use the leftover bits of nettle to make nettle fertiliser for your plants (the leaves are no good to eat at this time of year).
So go on, get your gloves out and harvest some seeds. Or, next time you’re out in nature, just pop some straight in your gob for a free and natural energy boost)!
Important notice: Never eat something unless you’re 100-percent sure you can identify it correctly. Do your research and make sure it’s safe to eat, and in what quantities. In the UK, we have common law to forage the four Fs (fruit, flowers, fungi and foliage) for personal consumption, but never uproot anything without permission and only take what you need if it’s growing in abundance.
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