Learn how to freeze stinging nettle. You’ve harvested your stinging nettle and now it’s time to freeze it as a quick and safe way to store your harvest.
How to Wash Stinging Nettle, with no sting
Step 1 – Wash Nettle
Put on a pair of gloves to dip and swish the nettles in a bowl of cold water, repeat in a fresh bowl of water, then drain.
Here’s a quick video showing you how to wash your freshly picked nettle without getting stung!
Step 2 – Blanch Nettle
For best color, flavor and nutrient retention, blanch the stinging nettles. Just like any vegetable, the enzymes that age vegetables will remain active in the freezer without blanching.
To blanch stinging nettles, simply add the nettles to boiling water and boil for 2 minutes. Remove from the boiling water and immediately soak in ice water for 2 minutes. You can use the blanching water for cooking pasta or soup.
Watch How to Pan Blanch Stinging Nettle
Here’s a quick video that shows you how to pan blanch your stinging nettle. Yes, you can also drop your nettle into a pot of boiling water for 2 minutes, remove and drain. This is simply an alternative, best if you’re only working with a small harvest. Alternately, you can pan blanch nettle. See video below.
Step 3 – Package to freeze
Chop and fill freezer bags or containers in 1/2 cup or 1 cup portion size for easy use. Be sure to squeeze and drain as much water as possible from the nettles.
You can also freeze sauteed nettle. The container below has nettle sauteed with garlic in just the right amount for topping our Friday night pizzas. Hey, don’t knock it til you try it – so tasty!
Add frozen chopped nettles to soup, casseroles, pasta dishes, stir fries, stews, egg dishes, dips, spaghetti sauce, gnocchi,etc.
I’m excited about this year’s stinging nettle harvest and plan to expand my list of nettle recipes. Do you think you’ll try stinging nettles this year? Do you have a favorite recipe? Leave a comment below or reach me on instagram @getgettys or Facebook @GettyStewart.HomeEconomist.
Getty Stewart is a Professional Home Economist, speaker, frequent media guest and writer dedicated to putting good food on tables and agendas. She is the author of several recipe books on enjoying and preserving fruit, Founder of Fruit Share, a mom and veggie gardener.
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Updated from the original post from May 2015.