No, I’m not referring to the recently legalized Absinthe (yum!), and I’m not even making some eco-allusion to socially responsible beverages. Nope, I’m being quite literal here: I’m really talking about drinking. Drinking things that are green.
In the past I’ve written about green smoothies, and since then my adoration has only grown. I start off each and every day with the moss-colored mixture, and I truly encourage everyone out there to give it a go. But recently I’ve added an additional element to my daily green cuisine: nettle infusions.
Nettle tea has been brewed for centuries, imbibed for its healing and healthful properties. And like with any exciting [read: trendy] ‘superfood’, proponents of nettle will make all sorts of fantastical claims – from curing cancer to fighting colds and, of course, weight loss. I don’t know about all that jazz, but I do know the nutrient profile of this little plant – and it’s impressive!
Nettles are rich in vitamins A, B2, C, D, and K. They also posses important nutrients like bioflavanoids (antioxidants), amino acids (protein), choline, and chlorophyll, just to name a few. And most importantly, nettles carry a crazy mineral load – they’re rich in calcium, potassium, iodine, manganese, and especially iron! Both calcium and iron can be somewhat elusive for veg*ns, so I love knowing that I’m drinking a hearty dose each evening.
I prepare my nettles in a standard mason jar – about 2 tablespoons of the dried herb along with a splash of maple syrup, then covered with almost-boiling water. I then cap the jar loosely and let it cool on the countertop. After a few hours I screw down the lid and transfer to the fridge, where it lives until the next night.
You can take the tonic heated or iced. It has a mild pleasant ‘grassy’ flavor that’s best complimented with maple syrup, in my opinion. Drink at least 8 oz a day, or as much as you like. Nettle is of special benefit to pregnant, nursing, and menstruating women, so ladies drink up!