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Feeding Nettles

27 Oct 2009
Firstly, are these nettles? I know what you're thinking, just run them on your skin and see, no chance haha. Just wondering if there's something that looks similar to a nettle that I shouldn't be putting in there.

I hear shrimp love them but do I dry them out first or just boiling water over them for a whike and straight in!

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Nice one Tim, just thought I'd check first. Got them from a cycle path in the middle of the sticks so they should be relatively pollution free. The leaves just look a lot bigger than I remember them.

I'll leave them hanging up in the window for a while then to dry them out.

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OK, I'll blanche and feed and dry and store the rest for later. Noticed quite a few creatures crawling out of them so I'll probably dry them for a good while before putting in a tupperware box or similar. Do they store indefinitely?

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I watched a shrimp guy on youtube, he just used the new growth at the tips and blanched them.
I watched a shrimp guy on youtube, he just used the new growth at the tips and blanched them.

Funny you should say that, the piece I put in had some little buds on it and they appeared more interested in that. They're not exactly wolfing the leaf down right now but its still a bit fresh and intact. I suspect they'll get their teeth into it a bit more as it breaks down and softens up a bit.
Shrimp love the pollen in the buds so that's why they are swarming them first. It's a good idea to dry some of these flower buds to feed all winter long.

I also just blanch it for a couple of minutes and only use the tips.

You can make a good food from dandelion, stinging nettles and a few other leaves like spinach or kale. Blanch them, blend them and then add a little agar to set. Once frozen into sheets it lasts the colder months when you can't get fresh.
Thanks @mort nice tip. I had to google agar to see what it was, I'll see if I can get hold of any. I think I might get out for another forage before it's too late, the ones I got when you dry them out there wasn't as many as I thought. How long can you keep dried ones for or would they need to be in a freezer? The leaf I put in the shrimp must have been waiting until it was soft enough to get some purchase. Leaf was still in tact yesterday when I left work but you could see it was turning to mush around the edges but tonight when I got in it was completely gone, and I mean completely!
Dried leaves and pollen should last a long time if kept dry in a air tight box. If you make some food with the agar then it lasts well in the freezer but putting leaves in there tends to just decay them with freezer burn. You could store some dried leaves and supplement them with fresh greens like spinach or kale during the winter months (assuming you eat those yourself).
(assuming you eat those yourself).

Sadly not mate although I should, the nearest I get to my five a day is eating a bag of Haribo although I am partial to a banana most mornings.