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Fresh Nettles

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Fresh Nettles

The wonderful Nettle (Urtica dioica) is one of the most versatile herbs. It is a valuable food with many vitamins, minerals, and trace elements. In spring, gourmets can enjoy fresh nettles. The young leaves with their fine-sour to nutty aroma can be used in many ways in the kitchen. In combination with dandelion, sorrel and wild garlic, a delicious wild herb salad can be prepared. With its fine stinging hairs that break at the slightest touch and inject histamine and formic acid into the skin, the stinging nettle has an almost animal nature.

The stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) is native to Central Europe and usually grows in groups in nutrient-rich soil. Depending on the region, the plants have adapted to the conditions, with all nettle types loving nitrogen-rich soils. The main harvest time is between May and September. In many mild regions or after mild winters, you can harvest them in March or April.

First, the washed nettle (Urtica dioica) leaves are wrapped in a cloth and rolled with a dough roller to avoid the unpleasant effect of the nettle hairs. But nettles are also a delight in soup, in a tart, in risotto, in spaetzle, in a casserole, and in homemade herb butter.

As a vegetable, the leaves are first blanched in boiling salted water similar to spinach, then drained, roughly chopped and heated with steamed onions. Then you can refine the spring vegetables with salt, pepper, nutmeg, possibly lemon juice and a dash of cream.


Features of nettle (Urtica dioica)

It grows up to one meter high and can be recognized by its serrated leaves, which are covered with small stinging hairs. On contact, they break off and release their stinging nettle poison, especially formic acid, onto the skin. This causes the burning effect. Therefore use gloves to protect the skin from the stinging hairs.


The young, approximately 20 cm high plants are particularly delicate and aromatic. But the shoot tips of larger nettles can also be used in the kitchen. It is very healthy as it is rich in iron, calcium and potassium, silicic acid, vitamins A and C.

Nutritional values ​​per 100 g of fresh nettle leaves

Energetic value

82 kcal




8 g


1 g


9 g

Vitamin C

333 mg


630 mg


7.8 g



Nettles and their use in the kitchen

It is advisable to wear gloves when handling the plants in the kitchen to avoid unpleasant contact. The nettle can either be made into a tea or eaten as a vegetable. Because there was a shortage of food during the two world wars, more nettles were consumed. This gave the plant the image of food for times of hunger.

The preparation of nettles is a child's play, it only has to be boiled briefly and then seasoned according to taste. The young shoots of the plant are generally suitable for this. Another option is to make spinach from the plant shoots - in this case, however, the cooking time should be increased somewhat.

Fresh nettle leaves can now be steamed like a vegetable (similar to spinach) and then processed into many recipes. Nettle leaves can also be added raw to green smoothies. Both the cooking and the mixing process destroy the stinging hair.


Nettle vegetables - the basic recipe

Put the crushed nettle leaves with a crushed clove of garlic in a saucepan with very little water, steam the leaves for a few minutes, season with a nettle spice mix and serve with butter.

Remember that the nettle leaves - just like spinach - collapse a lot. So you need between 300 and 500 grams of nettle leaves per person, depending on whether there are other vegetables, salads, side dishes, etc. or just the nettle vegetables with some fish or a veggie burger.


Nettle leaf smoothie

For a nettle smoothie, simply take the fruit of your choice, a little water and a handful of fresh young nettle leaves. Mix the mixture in a high-performance mixer and enjoy the fresh vitality of the nettle!

Nettle (Urtica dioica) is a common sight in backyards and gardens, although it’s often weeded out and thrown aside, sometimes even avoided because of its stinging properties. But remember that whenever you discard this weed, know that you’re also ignoring all the benefits that you can get from it.

1 pound (454 gram) - WEIGHT APPROXIMATES

Ingredients: Nettles

Packaging: Plastic Wrap


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Fresh Nettles