Wild nettle pesto may be my new favorite. As soon as the basil is big enough, another batch will be made combining the two.
Nettles (stinging nettles) are one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet, even more so than blue green algae.
They are a wild plant that love to grow in cool, moist, nutrient dense soil. (As a cautionary side note, they do like to grow in irrigation canals and are prone to pick up contaminants such as pesticides, so it is best to find a clean landscape to harvest from.)
These "weeds" are rich in vitamins, minerals and protein. (For more info on this bit, you can visit here)
With an affinity for the kidneys, it is no wonder that nettles are actually a support for adrenal fatigue. The adrenals are those little powerhouse glands that sit atop the kidneys and are responsible for much of our endocrine function and steroid hormone production.
When we blow these puppies out with continual stress which asks of them to release cortisol they get tired and so do we.
Nettles and in particular nettle seeds are a trophorestorative ( highly nourishing, tonifying and strengthening) to the kidneys and adrenals. This property is what causes nettle to support us in building resilience and energy from the inside. Taking the seed orally can be helpful for those experiencing burnout, fatigue, brain fog and anxiety. However, this is not a more is better situation. There is a stimulating affect with nettle seeds, so it is advisable to go slow and not overdose.
The high iron content of this generous plant makes it an excellent blood tonic.
Healthy strong blood makes a healthy strong you.
Nettle also has a strong anti-inflammatory affect. Topically the histamine contained in its sting can actually bring about relief for arthritis. And orally it also shares with us its anti-inflammatory wealth and studies have shown it to be helpful for autoimmune conditions such as rheumatiod arthritis.
We know that cancer is related to inflammation and a recent study isolated a compound from nettle and is showing anti-cancer properties.
Nettle is rich in selenium which has powerful anti cancer properties. Research has shown that selenium acts to temper gene expression which can result in suppression of a protein involved in the onset, growth and metastasis of a tumor.
My recent nettle harvest yielded a bathtub full and I barely put a dent in this particular patch. My favorite kind of rich is phytonutrient rich and this is how I feel looking at this picture.
Some is being dried and the fresh has been made into pesto and a pie is now on the docket.
Following is the nettle pesto recipe.
1 gallon bag full of fresh nettle
1 small tin of anchovies
1-2 cloves of garlic
2 lemons juiced
1/3 cup walnuts
1/3 cup pumkin seeds
2 cups of olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
You can also add grated parmesan or other hard cheese if you like.
Place nettle in boiling water for 1 minute.
Drain and remove as much water as possible. ( I keep the water and use it to cook something else so I get all that nettle goodness).
In a food processor blend garlic, anchovies and nuts/seeds.
Blend in nettles and then add olive oil, lemon juice and salt and pepper.
More olive oil can be added for a less dense consistency.