When the days are getting longer and the weather warmer – the stingy nettle starts popping up. Spotting the stingy nettle is a sure sign the spring has arrived! The stingy nettle is at least one of the first plants I start foraging for.
However, the stingy nettle is only available for a short period of time in the spring. You can harvest it later in the summer too, but it will not taste that good anymore. The young shoots that come up early in the spring are definitely the best tasting!
So, what do you do if you want to have nettles later in the autumn or winter? There are several ways to preserve the nettle. One way is to blanch and freeze it.
If you want to learn more about foraging for the nettle you can download my free e-book on the topic.
Blanching the Stingy Nettle
It’s not very difficult to blanch the nettle, or any other vegetables for that matter. It does not take many minutes and you don’t need any other kitchen appliances than you already have.
I normally keep the water I boil the nettles in. You can see this water in the back of photo no. 4 above. So make sure you don’t drain it down the sink, if you want to use this further. Some of the nettle portions I want to use for soups, and these I freeze with some of the nettle water (glass bottles). Those I want to use for pies or pancakes etc. I freeze without any water.
The nettle water can also be used as tea as it is, or it can be used as a base for soups or to boil rice in.
Here you can learn more about how to use the nettle to improve the soil quality for your plants.