Stinging Nettle is a nutritive dense plant and eating it regularly can give you vitamins, minerals, and phyto-nutrients that may be missing in your diet. The leaves are loaded with calcium, manganese, magnesium, vitamin K, and protein and can restore and support healthy energy levels. Luckily, stinging nettle makes for an excellent spinach substitute and can be added to a wide range of meals – such as breakfast muffins! Who wouldn’t want vitamins, minerals, and energy in the morning? Learn more about stinging nettle
Note on foraging
Nettle grows in sunny places where there is rich, moist soil. Often found near rivers, streams, lakes, ditches, fences, and along the edges of cultivated farm fields. Obviously, avoid places that may be polluted or sprayed with chemicals. It’s best to gather fresh young leaves before the flowers start to bloom. I personally pluck the top cluster of leaves from the young plants and continue to do so until the plant starts to flower or the leaves loose their vibrancy. Here in New Hampshire, the month of April is ideal – the leaves are young and there are no insects residing in the plant! When harvesting it’s best to wear proper protection as you will get stung. A long sleeve shirt, pants, and gloves work just fine. Always wash your plant material after gathering.
Nettle Breakfast Muffins
3/4 cup fresh stinging nettle leaves
2 cups flour (these were made with gluten free flour)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
6 tablespoons butter
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1 tablespoon finely chopped chives (optional but delicious)
1/2 cup feta cheese crumbles
- Prepare the stinging nettle by removing the “sting”. Bring a pot of water to a boil and carefully add the fresh stinging nettle leaves. Allow to boil for 1 minute. Remove leaves from the pot and immediately place in a cold water bath or run cold water over the leaves. Squeeze as much liquid from the leaves as possible and chop into smaller pieces. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 375 F. Prepare muffin pan by coating generously with cooking spray.
- Mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and ground pepper in a large bowl.
- Cut the butter into smaller chunks and add it to the flour mixture. Using a pastry cutter or two forks, cut the butter into the flour until it is combined well.
- Whisk the buttermilk and eggs together and then add to the flour butter mixture. Stir until combined, then add the stinging nettle and feta cheese. Stir until well incorporated.
- Divide batter evenly among the greased muffin tins.
- Bake the muffins for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Remove the muffins from the oven and allow them to cool slightly. Serve warm!
These muffins can also be cooled completely and placed in the refrigerator or freezer for another day. Enjoy!