ITALIAN RECIPES TRADITIONAL AND CREATIVE
The stinging nettles are suitable for many recipes, and with some trick you can obtain rustic and healthy dishes.
The first one is to use only the tops of the youngest plants: they are tender and more flavored.
The second important trick is to pick up the plants at a great distance from roads and from other places with pollution risk. Any way rinse them carefully and for long time. Should you by them, choose from biological agriculture.
For eating you have two choices:
The first one, and the easiest, is to scald for 1 minute in boiling water: in this manner they will loose their stinging property.
Unfortunately they will loose also some nutritional property. So this method is advisable for pasta and risotto sauces, soups. In this case you should reutilize the water where you have boiled them.
A second method is to chop finely the nettles.
It is suitable for making omelets or stuffings, however you must use gloves for protection.
The stinging nettles have also many medical properties: Hippocrates (460-377 b.c) , the father of all the surgeons, mentions many time the nettles seeds in his works and the popular medicine recognizes their tonic and digestive value.
Rich of vitamins, iron, flavonoids and carotenoids the stinging nettle is used to treat painful muscles and joints, eczema, arthritis, gout, and anemia. Today, many people use it to treat urinary problems during the early stages of an enlarged prostate, for urinary tract infections, for hay fever. A good quality is also its price: nothing! The stinging nettle is also rich of vegetal vitamins: oz 1/4 (6 grams) for oz 3+1/2 (100 grams) of fresh product and oz 1+1/4 (35 grams) for oz 3+1/2 of dried product.
The stinging nettle is used also by herbalists: as tea, fluid extract, tincture. The nettle tea is, as recognized by Hippocrates, tonic and depurative. For dermatitis, fat skin, and for a better hairs growth are used tinctures for massages. The stinging hairs contain histamine (1%) and acetylcholine (0,2-1%), substances produced also by the human body . They act as nerves impulses transmitters of the neurovegetative system supporting the circulatory system and the digestive system
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