Well, potentially tasty.
Basically, and old fascination of mine (stinging nettle) had met a new one (smoothies) and the result is what I like to lovingly call “pond scum”. Mostly because of the look of it, as for the taste I don’t have all the needed information for a reliable comparison and I plan to keep it that way. (Until the day there’s hard evidence for pond scum having anti-aging effects; then all bets are off. Of course if that happens, I’m relying on our trusty food industry to produce strawberry-flavored pond scum shakes in a matter of months.)
Basic problem: I want to eat lots of veggies, but especially the fresh ones are (compared to convenience food) costly and can take quite some time to prepare and clean up afterwards. That and of course: if you forget them in the cupboard or fridge, you might end up throwing them away. Plus the question of how they were produced – genetically altered? Pesticides? Carted through more countries than I’ve visited in my life?
Stinging nettle is great – grows everywhere, especially in little parks and half-rural areas where there are barely any cars or pedestrians. Cheap, grows like weeds, chock full of minerals and vitamins, and can be prepared like spinach. Right now, the weather is just the right mix of showers with bursts of rain for stinging nettles to pretty much explode. Something like half an hour or less armed with a big bag and yielded this:
That’ll get sorted into grade B leaves and twigs for compost and the really nice , clean leaves for food.
The only drawback of cooking the leaves for food is that I’ll loose some of the vitamins plus clean-up afterwards; probably why I usually like to eat vegetables raw.
So I finally got myself a smoothie maker – google will dig up half a dozen recipes containing stinging nettle in a few seconds. Good to go!
Pretty color, isn’t it? And that’s more important than you might think, because masking the look of a pure nettle smoothie can only be a good idea.
Here you go, one cool, refreshing cup of pond scum.
The taste isn’t bad, but not deliriously delicious either. If you ever chewed around on a blade of grass in summer – the taste is pretty close to that. Very chlorophyll-y. The good thing is: it mixes really well with both fruits and vegetables. Orange juice, apple juice, mango, lemon, tomato juice and a few herbs… google will of course dig up half a dozen recipes in a few seconds. I tried a mix of tomato and stinging nettle and it’s pretty good tastewise. As for looks, to the layman it may now look like pond scum with mud in it.
Now it’s been a day since I made my first stinging nettle smoothie (with apple and banana added for taste), and after two smoothies and 24 hours I’m noticing:
– the stuff is remarkably filling, probably due to the fiber in the nettles; I was barely hungry all day and mostly ate because I knew I should have at least a snack (around 150 kcal). And I’m the sort of person who can make 4 rounds or more at a brunch buffet if they have fresh fruit.
– my vegetable & fruit intake is of course way up – one small banana, one apple, 1 cup of tomato juice, at least one up of stinging nettles, and just that’s two smoothies.
– no cravings for chocolate, candy or the likes. I drive by a small shop selling candy by the piece and normally I’m at last a little tempted, this time it barely registered with me. I think it might be because my requirements for minerals and vitamins are met with a vengeance. The test will be tomorrow, when I go shopping for an evening with friends.
I’ve googled around for recipes and another long-term effect of consuming stinging nettle is that the smoothies look delicious and emerald-green. Actually, the juice itself has a really intense, green color which probably looks very nice if thinned down or mixed with something like lemon- or orange juice. I tried to capture the color, but on camera it looks mostly blackish.
So, for the next days I’ll probably be trying out recipes and taking pictures. I’m very curious on whether there’s a way to make a smoothie with stinging nettles in it look good, but for now I know they taste good.