Foraging for Wild Edibles - Purple Dead Nettles
It’s March now, but in another month or two, you should be seeing this EVERYWHERE in the US Northeast. Dead nettles are a common edible and medicinal”weed” for humans and an important source of food for bees in the early spring.
The plant is supposedly high in iron, vitamins, and fiber. Studies have found that purple dead nettles is a rich source of antibacterial essential oils, so freshly bruised leaves can be applied to external cuts. It can be eaten raw or cooked. Here, I tested three methods:
- simple garlic and oil sautee
- scrambled with eggs
- folded in with a cup of a ramen as a camping food experiment.
It doesn’t taste bad…kinda of like spinach, but I didn’t like the texture. The leaves have this a mossy and furry texture that is so odd in my mouth. I’d eat it in a survival situation, but think I’ll leave this for the bees and my chickens.
My tiny daughter ate one of these in the garden this morning. Maybe she knew.