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Nettle seeds

Nettle seeds - All info about the superfood

What matcha is for some, nettle seeds are for us. This super superfood is actually free and can be harvested almost everywhere from August to October - sometimes even November. At this point we would like to thank mother nature for this natural superfood. Unlike many superfood powders, nettle seeds also taste really good. With their slightly nutty flavor, they perfectly fit into green smoothies and many other dishes. Don't miss out on the harvest!

Ingredients and effect of nettle seeds

Since Ovid, the inconspicuous nettle seeds are valued as an aphrodisiac. For this purpose, the poet recommended a spicy combination of nettle seeds and pepper in a ratio of 1:1.
Packed with plant hormones, minerals, vitamins and protein, the small seeds are real vitality boosters used against general fatigue, exhaustion and poor performance. Due to their high protein content, they are recommended for athletes and especially for vegans. In addition, nettle seeds are said to provide strong and shiny hair and naturally support eyesight. Among others, nettle seeds contain:

  • approx. 30 % protein
  • 25 % - 33 % oil
  • 74 % to 83 % linoleic acid
  • approx. 0.9 % linolenic acid
  • Tocopherol (vitamin E): valued as a radical neutralizer
  • Mucilages
  • Carotenoids such as ß-carotene and lutein: both known as active ingredients for preserving vision and preventing macular degeneration.

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Use of nettle seeds

We like to use fresh nettle seeds in green smoothies. This comes withe the advantage of enjoying them raw and preserving all the valuable nutrients. They perfectly fit in raw wild herb pestos as well.
You can also easily dry them (instructions in the next paragraph) and process them into powder with a blender. Nettle seeds are suitable for refining salads, soups, dips or sauces. In a 1:1 mixture with your favorite salt, a brilliant aromatic herb salt is made within no time. Got enough ideas for now, off to the harvest!

Left picture male and right picture female nettle seeds

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Harvest and dry nettle seeds

We didn't know this before either: there are male and female nettles (see photo collage). We prefer to harvest the fruits of the female nettles - they are said to be more nutritious. You can recognize them by the fact that they hang down from the nettles, just like panicles.
It's best to put on gloves for harvesting - that's how we do it! Then simply cut off the seed strands of the upper nettle sprouts and place them in a basket or larger bag for storage.

If you don't want to process the nettle seeds fresh, you can also air dry them and preserve them for about a year. To do this, spread the seeds on a baking sheet with baking paper and let them dry in the sun. If the sun is not shining, just put them in a dry place overnight. The drying process is finished when the seeds separate from the seed strands by themselves. Now sort out the seed strands. You don't need gloves for this anymore, they don't burn. Then pulverize the seeds, preferably with a high-speed blender. If you don't have a blender available, you can also press the seeds through a sieve - but it is much more time-consuming! Now fill the nettle seed powder into airtight jars, preferably protected from light, and store them in a dry place.
Ready is your winter power food!

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Have you ever eaten nettle seeds?

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You can find much more about wild herbs and how to use them in green smoothies in the book: Wilde Grüne Smoothies by Gabriele Leonie Bräutigam.

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15 | Comment(s)

I am also a big fan of the delicious seeds, but would like to know what quantity per day should preferably be consumed so that the body is well supplied with the valuable substances.
Kind Regards
Carla von Grü
Hello Eva,

thank you for your comment and your question.
Unfortunately, I can not give you such a blanket quantity. For me, a teaspoon is added to the soup or over the salad or even a tablespoon in the smoothie, depending on my mood. I also like herbal salt with nettle seeds.
Start with a teaspoon daily and see how you like it.

Best regards,
My husband and I accidentally became aware of nettle seeds. So determined off to the Elbe in the forest and collected what the stuff holds. The sun has done the rest of the drying. It resulted in 6 large jars of seeds and we eat it regularly. Good for the health. That the seeds have so much protein, I would not have thought.
Carla von Grü
Hello Eveline,

thank you very much for your comment. Nettle seeds are not only totally healthy, but also taste totally delicious. I like to sprinkle them over soups or make a fine nettle seed salt on top with rock salt.
Best regards,
Thank you for the tips. I have a question: how do I know when the nettle seeds are ripe? Once it says harvest only when they are brown. But the purchased ones are clearly green ... And: why should the seeds be powdered? I can put them in the muesli or smoothie - so I do it with the purchased seeds. Thanks for the answer and best regards - Monika
Carla von Grü
Dear Monika,

thank you for your comment and your question.
Well, I feel the same as you - sometimes it is said that you should harvest the seeds only when they are brown - others harvest already in the green stage. One reason for the brown female seeds is that they are then even more nutritious. I have not investigated this, plus I also harvest them green
I powder the dried nettle seeds, because I find them so simply finer and tastier.

Kind regards,
Why should the seeds in the blender, at least for people who have over-functioning teeth? The resulting powder oxidizes, a pity for the ingredients.
Carla von Grü
Hello Susanne,

I powder the nettle seeds because I find them tastier that way. Especially when I sprinkle the seeds over soups or salads or make a salt with it.
This can be done very easily à la minute - then also nothing oxidizes.

Kind regards,
Hello! Today I dared to harvest the nettle seeds for the first time
Carla von Grü
Hello Michaela,

glad to hear you have started collecting nettle seeds!


Carla von Grü
Thank you, the first to mention how to get the bugs from the seeds.
Bernd Wiesel
Carla von Grü