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Carolyn Press McKenzie's stinging nettle recipes - 4 November

Stinging nettle and onion weed soup

Nourishing and packed with iron. All I can say is YUM!!

1.5 litres of water
1 vegetable stock cube
1 bunch of stinging nettle 
1/2 bunch of onion weed

Bring water to boil, add the stock, nettle and onion weed. Simmer for 20min then take of heat and leave to cool. Pour into blender and blend, then sieve back into pot. Gently heat to comfortable eating temperature and enjoy! Serve with chunks of fresh crusty bread.

Stinging nettle ginger beer recipe

Jam-packed with nutrients, a much healthier energy drink for your teenager.

2 litres of water
3 bunches of nettle
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/2  orange, juiced
700g sugar
1 dessertspoon cream of tartar
1/2 large ginger root, chopped

Boil the water turn off then add the nettle tips. Leave to infuse until cooled to around 35-36degC (usually takes a couple of hours).
Strain out the nettle and put liquid back in your pot. Add the lemon and orange juice, the sugar and the cream of tartar. Heat gently and stir until the sugar has dissolved - do not boil.
Leave to cool to about 20degC (overnight is usually best), then pitch the yeast.
Cover the pot loosely with muslin and leave to stand in a warm place for about three days.
Carefully skim any scum off the surface, then pour the Nettle ginger beer into beer bottles, taking care not to disturb the sediment. Leave to condition for a week or so, then serve cold.

Stinging nettle and mint hair rinse

This recipe will stimulate and nourish your hair, giving it body and bounce.

3 tbsp dried nettles
1 tbsp of dried mint
2 cups purified or distilled water

Simply place the nettle and the min into a bowl and poor over boiling water to make a Stinging nettle/mint tea (decoction). Cool, and sieve keeping the liquid.

After shampooing, gently towel dry your hair, then wrap a towel around your neck. Leaning over a sink or basin, apply the rinse. Do not rinse out. Blot hair dry with a towel.