Nettle and Apple Bircher
Spring is on its way and the wild greens are springing up all over the place.
When I am not chewing on the punchy wild garlic leaves for their vitamin C and blood thinning properties I am brewing pots of tea made from cleavers, nettles and primroses in order to absorb their beneficial nutrients and stimulate the lymphatic system for which they have a great affinity. This really is my favourite time of year.
As a lover of breakfast and a maker of muesli I wanted to find a way of using one of my favourite wild plants (often thought of as a weed) The Nettle and decided to combine it as part of traditional Swiss Bircher muesli.
You will find the recipe below.
150g porridge oats
10g dried apple (sulphite free) or ½ fresh grated apple
2-3g of dried crushed nettles
4g chia seeds
The only ingredient you will need to prepare ahead of time are the nettles. You will need to refer to a wild food manual to identify this plant if you are not familiar.
I suggest picking the fresh tops of the nettle plants, as this is where the plant holds all its energy and if you are careful the leaves are softer here so you can avoid getting stung.
Gather at least 100g fresh weight (enough to fill a kitchen mixing bowl) so you will have some to store once dried. We don’t want any stalks.
Put the oven on the lowest setting and lay out the nettles on wire racks. Leave the oven door just open and dry like this for 4-6 hours or until crumbly when you scrunch them up in your hands. This destroys the irritating stings.
Another way to do this is to hang the nettles over the radiators or in a hot green house.
Once dry they should crush easily rather than be bendy.
Measure out all the ingredients from the list and place in a bowl.
Cover with your favourite milk the night before you want to eat it so it can soak.
Soaking oats allows them to be more easily digested.
If you are using fresh grated apple add this in the morning just before you eat it.
Nettles are one of the best sources of iron, vitamin C, A, and calcium so sprinkle your new store of dried nettles into as many meals as possible as a good nutrition source.
Chia seeds are a fantastic source of protein, fibre and omega 3 fatty acids
Oats nourish the nervous system