Nettle contains twice as much vitamin C as lemon, as well as iodine, iron and other trace elements. It is used in cooking, cosmetology and folk medicine. Collection and storage of nettles is carried out in the first two weeks of May. For this, it is better to go to the forest or to the park, as far as possible from the roadway. Young shoots have juicier leaves, and they are also not as prickly as mature ones. The top leaves are considered the most valuable. In this article, we will tell you how to store nettles correctly.
How to store fresh nettles
Plucked young May nettles should be kept fresh in a dark, cool place. Suitable for this:
Another way to keep nettles fresh for several hours is to place them in a container of ice water or ice.
It is important that the temperature during storage is not higher than 10 °C. Plucked plants will quickly wither, so you should start harvesting them as soon as possible.
In order not to damage the shoots, you need to pour boiling water over them or boil them for 2 minutes.
How to save for the winter
The best ways to prepare nettles for the winter are freezing, canning and salting. Fresh nettles can also be dried.
How to freeze
For nettle soup, it is better to store nettles in the freezer. Washed, dried and finely chopped leaves should be laid out for delivery and put in the freezer. Keep at a temperature of -18 °C for 3 hours. Then divide into packages in portions, you can store until the next season.
The second method: pour boiling water over fresh nettles, let the liquid drain, cut them, divide them into portions and freeze them.
Such blanks are also ideal for borscht and other first dishes.
How to dry
Drying should be carried out in a well-ventilated, dry place, necessarily in the shade.
For this, the leaves are washed, cut and laid out on a baking sheet or other container in one layer on parchment. Then it is covered with gauze so that insects do not sit down, and, stirring periodically, it is dried.
Pour the dried nettle into a glass or plastic container with a lid. It can be stored for up to 1 year at home in a dark place, for example, in a kitchen cupboard. It is important that the temperature in the room is not higher than room temperature, with a relative humidity of 70%.
How to salt
Harvesting nettles for the winter in salted form allows you to preserve the vitamins in it as much as possible. To do this, add 100 grams of salt to 1 kilogram of fresh chopped leaves. Stir, pack tightly into sterile, dry glass jars.
Nettles should be stored in the refrigerator in this form on the top shelf at a temperature of 5 °C for no longer than 1 year.
How to preserve
For this, fresh leaves need to be soaked for 1 hour in cold water. Then dry, cut into pieces and blanch in salted water for 5 minutes, at the rate of 3 parts of nettle to 1 part of water. Spread into half-liter jars and sterilize for 30 minutes.
You can also make a mix of nettle, sorrel and parsley.