Free greens!

It’s good to use fresh ingredients found close to home, including wild foods. My favourite is stinging nettles. I juice them, blend them into sauces, pestos and spreads and also dehydrate them.

Nettles can be picked through most of the year and there are some around still in early December, at least till frosts arrive. Pick the shorter stems growing 8-10 inches high, but not much more, or tops, but avoid stems that are forming buds, flowers or seeds. According to Dr Brian Clement you can sprout the seeds and they are highly nutritious, but I have not succeeded at that, yet.

You can simply make a sprinkle of nettle leaves by dehydrating plenty till they are dried to a crisp and then crumbling the leaves into a container, reserving the dry stalks for tea. They taste delicious this way.

Or, nettles are good crumbled and mixed with sea vegetable flakes and sesame seeds as a vaguely Japanese seasoning. You can just use the sesame seeds as they are or soak them, rinse and soak again in a little tamari soy sauce. Then dehydrate them until crisp. This brings out the sesame flavour so that they are more like toasted sesame seeds.

I’ll post a nettle spread here soon too.