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Stinging Nettle Cordial

Google the health benefits of stinging nettles, and you will find the most incredible list of diseases and complaints that this plant has been attributed to helping with- everything from hay-fever and arthritis, to supporting menopause and detoxifying the body. Of course many of the claims are anecdotal, but there is also some robust research out there that backs up some of the suggested benefits.

Nettles are found across much of the world, and archaeological evidence here in the UK has shown the we have used the plant since prehistoric times, with 'Nettle Pudding' laying claim to being Britain's oldest recipe. Nettles are certainly nutritionally dense, containing a wide range of vitamins and minerals, as well as good amounts of protein and fibre.

 

Google the health benefits of stinging nettles, and you will find the most incredible list of diseases and complaints that this plant has been attributed to helping with. Here we show you how to make Stinging Nettle Cordial. This recipe  tastes delicious and is nice and simple to make.

All this sounds great, and we even have patches of nettles growing in our garden, but persuading my kids that they are going to start eating nettle soup a couple of times a week is not so easy. In my experience, introducing new foods is a lot easier if it a. tastes great, and b. the kids can relate it to things they already know and love. This recipe, which I got out of the book 'The Eatweeds Cookbook' by Robin Harford looked like the perfect place to start, and we couldn't wait to give it a go.

 

Google the health benefits of stinging nettles, and you will find the most incredible list of diseases and complaints that this plant has been attributed to helping with. Here we show you how to make Stinging Nettle Cordial. This recipe  tastes delicious and is nice and simple to make.

 

You will need...

200g freshly picked nettle tops
1kg granulated sugar
40g Citric Acid
500mls boiling water
sterilised bottles

I collected our nettle tops in freezer type bags, imagining that a bag of spinach must be about 100g. I wore gloves, used scissors to cut off the top portion of the nettles, and let them drop straight into the bags. This worked great - I didn't get stung, it didn't take long to collect them, and it made weighing really easy. I did wash the nettles really well, and had a good look to check I hadn't included any other plants by mistake. The recipe suggests using a salad spinner to dry the leaves which I did.

Google the health benefits of stinging nettles, and you will find the most incredible list of diseases and complaints that this plant has been attributed to helping with. Here we show you how to make Stinging Nettle Cordial. This recipe  tastes delicious and is nice and simple to make.

Combine the sugar, citric acid and water in a large saucepan and heat it to 60 C (I stirred it while I had it on the heat, and the sugar dissolved). Then remove it from the heat, throw in the nettles, and give it a really good stir to ensure all the nettles get covered with the syrup.

Cover and leave for a week, giving your mixture a good stir each day. As the week went on the nettles looked more and more macerated and slimy.

Google the health benefits of stinging nettles, and you will find the most incredible list of diseases and complaints that this plant has been attributed to helping with. Here we show you how to make Stinging Nettle Cordial. This recipe  tastes delicious and is nice and simple to make.

After a week, strain the nettles (I used a jelly bag in a sieve) and bottle in sterilised bottles (which I took to mean glass bottles which had sat in a low oven for a 10 minutes or so). Remember to let your bottles cool for a few minutes before adding the cold cordial, or you may end up with the glass cracking.

Google the health benefits of stinging nettles, and you will find the most incredible list of diseases and complaints that this plant has been attributed to helping with. Here we show you how to make Stinging Nettle Cordial. This recipe  tastes delicious and is nice and simple to make.

The resulting cordial is lovely. It is a beautiful amber colour, really syrupy (like a Bottle Green cordial) and tastes not quite like anything I have tried before. Hubby describes it as tasting a bit like peaches with a hint of elder-flower, I think it tastes a little like lychees and sherbet. I would definitely recommend giving it a try.

 

Google the health benefits of stinging nettles, and you will find the most incredible list of diseases and complaints that this plant has been attributed to helping with. Here we show you how to make Stinging Nettle Cordial. This recipe  tastes delicious and is nice and simple to make.

 

I am expecting the cordial to keep pretty well, due to the citric acid and amount of sugar. I am storing it in the fridge, and will come back and update the post if that turns out not to be the case. I love the thickness of this cordial, and will be using this method to make both elder-flower and meadowsweet cordial as soon as they flower. I also managed to think up a use for the leftover nettles that I strained out of the cordial - you can check out our recipe for Stinging Nettle, Apple and Pear Fruit Leather here.

Google the health benefits of stinging nettles, and you will find the most incredible list of diseases and complaints that this plant has been attributed to helping with. Here we show you how to make Stinging Nettle Cordial. This recipe tastes delicious and is nice and simple to make.

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33 Comments

  • Reply Rebecca Nugent

    Just made it and waiting for a week to pass. How did it keep?

    May 1, 2018 at 11:09 pm
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

      I’m so please you’ve made it Rebecca, I’m sure you will love it. We keep ours in the fridge and although I’ve never had a batch go off I’ve always aimed to use it up in about 6 weeks. Let me know what you think when yours is ready!

      May 2, 2018 at 9:57 am
  • Reply Paige

    Hi can you use fresh nettles without having to make the cordal ,?

    April 10, 2018 at 9:01 pm
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

      Yes you can Paige. You can use them much in the same was as spinach. They have a fresh, unique taste and are well worth eating 🙂

      May 2, 2018 at 10:00 am
  • Reply How To Use Up Nettles (Recipe Roundup Series) – One World Herbal Community

    […] – Stinging Nettle Cordial from Craft […]

    May 19, 2017 at 7:33 pm
  • Reply Courtney

    About how much ‘finished product’ did this make? I can’t wait to give it a try!

    May 12, 2017 at 3:09 pm
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

      It really is delicious Courtney. With this recipe you end up with about a litre of cordial. Let us know how you get on if you make it 🙂

      May 12, 2017 at 5:56 pm
  • Reply Jenny - Monkey and Mouse

    Wow! Look at the colour it turns out and it sounds like an interesting, but delicious taste too. I was eyeing up some nettles beside our allotment today and thinking I should have brought gloves to make something yummy! Thanks so much for linking up to #HowtoSunday :)x
    Jenny – Monkey and Mouse recently posted…Alpha and Omega: Dino Digs CompetitionMy Profile

    May 28, 2016 at 9:33 pm
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

      It’s really delicious Jenny – did you see we made fruit leather with nettles too? The kids absolutely love it!

      May 30, 2016 at 12:32 am
  • Reply Laurie

    This is wonderful! My husband would love this, so I’ll be sure to share it with him. I had no idea nettle could be used this way!

    May 25, 2016 at 5:04 am
  • Reply Nikki Frank-Hamilton

    You are really amazing. I always love coming here, I know it’s going to be an adventure! We had nettles all over when we were kids, we lived in a woods. I remember what it was like to come home and have nettle bites all over our legs and arms. Boy did it hurt! Amazing to think that these plants are so good for us!
    Nikki Frank-Hamilton recently posted…#WAYWOW 50 What are you up to? Inspire me!My Profile

    May 25, 2016 at 4:08 am
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

      It’s amazing how they appear so different to us now we have some recipes for them Nikki, we are much less fearful of them now 🙂

      May 30, 2016 at 12:08 am
  • Reply lorraine Williamson

    thank you always interested in findiing out about homeopathic remedies allergic to alot of medicines so very interested thanks for sharing have a great week
    lorraine Williamson recently posted…Dutch Oven Chicken CacciatoreMy Profile

    May 24, 2016 at 5:55 pm
  • Reply Becky, Cuddle Fairy

    What a fab idea! I love your advice for not getting stung – that was my first thought when I read the title. It’s great how people are cooking with nettles! The cordial sounds delish. Thanks so much for linking up with #BloggerClubUK x
    Becky, Cuddle Fairy recently posted…Our Subscription Box from BookawooMy Profile

    May 23, 2016 at 5:34 pm
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

      I didn’t get stung once Becky, and am in fact much more confident around nettles now – things seem so much more appealing once you know you can eat them lol

      May 24, 2016 at 2:28 pm
  • Reply Angela / Only Crumbs Remain

    What a great idea Sarah, both yours and your husband#’s descriptions of the cordial flavour (peaches with a hint of elder-flower and lychees and sherbet) sounds great to me. #HowtoSundays
    Angela x
    Angela / Only Crumbs Remain recently posted…Ava’s Mint Choc-Chip Daisy CupcakesMy Profile

    May 23, 2016 at 11:40 am
  • Reply ema

    Love this idea! Never thought of making a cordial with it! Thanks so much – popping over to follow you on social media too 🙂

    May 22, 2016 at 4:54 pm
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

      Thanks Ema, was really surprised at how florally it tastes considering its just made from green leaves 🙂

      May 24, 2016 at 2:21 pm
  • Reply Midgie

    Oooh definitely going to try this – love making things out of foraged ingredients!

    May 22, 2016 at 3:53 pm
  • Reply Kim (sisterkin)

    Yum! There are loads of nettles near our house and this recipe sounds so tasty (peaches and sherbet!) that i might risk getting stung. #bloggerclubuk

    May 20, 2016 at 1:20 pm
  • Reply Millie

    neat! i did a cordial but used a base of rum. I like this better, all from scratch! no pun intended 🙂

    May 20, 2016 at 2:25 am
  • Reply The Tale of Mummyhood

    I’ve had nettle tea and enjoyed it, so this is something I would definitely like to try. Great recipe, thanks for sharing 🙂

    #BloggerClubUk

    May 19, 2016 at 8:35 pm
  • Reply Mary-the boondocks blog

    Sarah you’re gonna laugh at me but I had to look up the word nettle because I recognized the picture but could not believe that it was actually the stinging plant. I look at them and run away. I had no idea they had health benefits. They are plentiful everywhere. I will definitely give this a try! I hope you can join us tomorrow for our new link party, Sweet Inspiration.
    Mary-the boondocks blog recently posted…Upcycling the Milk Crate Table – Ανανεώνοντας  το Τραπεζάκι από Κιβώτια ΓάλατοςMy Profile

    May 19, 2016 at 5:29 pm
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

      They are ridiculously good for you Mary. Let me know what you think when you try it 🙂 I will definitely link up tomorrow – good luck with it xx

      May 19, 2016 at 6:25 pm
  • Reply Juliet Wilson

    this sounds great! I sometimes drink nettle tea.

    May 19, 2016 at 4:35 pm
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

      It’s got a lovely flavour Juliet, let me know what you think if you try it 🙂

      May 19, 2016 at 6:23 pm

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