Stinging Nettle-Ade Recipe (2024)

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Do you have foraged stinging nettle that you’ve dried or recently collected? Make this stinging nettle-ade! It’s a refreshing sugar free lemonade recipe that’s easy to make and sugar free. It’s the perfect foraged drink recipe.

Stinging Nettle-Ade Recipe (1)

Wildcrafting Weeds

If you want to learn more about the edible and medicinal weeds that surround us and how to use them, check out my eBook: Wildcrafting Weeds: 20 Easy to Forage Edible and Medicinal Plants (that might be growing in your backyard)!

Gather & Root Online Foraging Course

My online foraging course is a great way to learn about wild edible and medicinal plants! Learn more about the gather + root online foraging course here.

Stinging Nettle Benefits

Many people know about stinging nettle, but it is much more well-known for its painful sting than its edible and medicinal qualities.

If prepared the right way, stinging nettles are delicious and nutritious! So many edible wild “weeds” are brushed off as being a nuisance, when they are actually quite tasty, and often have medicinal value as well.

Stinging nettle is a very nutritious superfood. It has a large amount of many vitamins and minerals, but is particularly high in vitamins A and C, iron, potassium, manganese, and calcium.

Related: 40+ Stinging Nettle Recipes (without the sting!)

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Nettle is also a potent medicinal plant. It is commonly used for kidney and bladder problems, including urinary tract infections.

Stinging nettle is known as an all around tonic for women’s reproductive system, and is often used when trying to conceive, as well as throughout pregnancy (check with your doctor or midwife before using it during pregnancy).

Because of its high concentration of minerals, nettle is also commonly used for bone ailments such as arthritis and osteoporosis.

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Stinging Nettle-Ade Recipe

The book by Mia Wasilevich titled Ugly Little Greens tells us how to cook these overlooked plants in delightful ways! That is where I got this recipe for Nettle-Ade that I’m going to share with you today.

If you don’t have any dried nettles on hand for this recipe, you can always purchase them from Mountain Rose Herbs, my favorite place to buy high quality, organic herbs.

First, steep the dried nettles. Place the nettles in a teapot or a nonreactive pot and pour the boiling water over them. Let the nettles steep for 15 minutes, then strain them from the water.

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Add ice to a tall glass and muddle the honey with the preserved lemon. Pour in ½ cup (120 ml) of the strong nettle tea and finish with the sparkling water.

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Photo credit: Mia Wasilevich

This Nettle-Ade recipe is surprisingly delicious!

Slightly sweet from the honey, and a pleasant tartness from the lemon make it really wonderful. It is super refreshing on a hot day!

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It’s nice to know how healthy it is, too.

Nettle infusion is something that we could all use a little more of, and this is the perfect way to make it more enticing.

I’m pretty sure I’ll be making this nettle-ade all summer long with my stash of foraged dried stinging nettle!

Ugly Little Greens Book

I really love the book Ugly Little Greens by Mia Wasilevich!

She takes underutilized wild plants like dandelions, mustards, nettles, plantain, cattail, thistles, lambs quarters, mallow, watercress, and elderberries and turns them into gourmet recipes such as:

  • Plantain and Purslane Poke
  • Cattail Pollen Madeleines
  • Nettles Benedict
  • Salted Dandelion and Plantain Two Ways
  • Lambsquarters Marbled Bread
  • Elderflower Sangria with Summer Fruit

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Both this wonderful book and this amazing Stinging Nettle-Ade recipe are highly recommended!

It’s always so much fun to actually make awesome recipes from foraged and wildcrafted ingredients. Mia’s book will help you with some of the best recipes I’ve seen for these wild edible weeds!

What is your favorite way to prepare stinging nettles?

Stinging Nettle-Ade Recipe (8)

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5 from 2 votes


Make this refreshing Nettle-Ade with foraged stinging nettles!

Course Drinks

Cuisine American

Prep Time 5 minutes minutes

Cook Time 5 minutes minutes

Steeping Time 5 minutes minutes

Total Time 20 minutes minutes

Servings 8 servings

Calories 16kcal

Author Colleen @ Grow Forage Cook Ferment


US Customary - Metric

  • Dried nettle leaves and stems as needed (see note)
  • Boiling water as needed (see note)
  • Ice as needed
  • 1 tbsp honey per serving
  • preserved lemon or a ½-inch chunk per serving
  • 1 cup sparkling water per serving


  • To steep the dried nettles, place the nettles in a teapot or a nonreactive pot and pour the boiling water over them. Let the nettles steep for 15 minutes, then strain them from the water.

  • Add ice to a tall glass and muddle the honey with the preserved lemon. Pour in ½ cup (120 ml) of the strong nettle tea and finish with the sparkling water.


This recipe is from the bookUgly Little Greensby Mia Wasilevich, Page Street Publishing Co. 2017

A general rule of thumb is to use 1 tablespoon (1 g) dried nettles per 1 cup (240 ml) water. But I like to make this strong so I can enjoy it with ice and sparkling water, so I use 2 tablespoons (2 g) dried nettles per 1 cup (240 ml) water. For example, to make 4 servings, use 8 tablespoons (6 g) nettles and 4 cups (960 ml) water. It’s OK to eyeball this, as dried nettles weigh practically nothing and you won’t get a significant measurement by weight.


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 16kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Sodium: 8mg | Potassium: 8mg | Calcium: 10mg

Stinging Nettle-Ade Recipe (2024)


How do you make stinging nettles safe to eat? ›

Safe gathering practices can protect you from stings. Dry or blanch nettles before use to make them safe to eat. Wear long sleeves, long pants and long rubber kitchen gloves when gathering nettles. Use sharp scissors to clip stems and leaves.

How do you infuse stinging nettle? ›

Simple Herbal Infusion
  1. Boil water in a jug then let sit for 1-2 minutes to cool slightly.
  2. Place the herb into your chosen vessel.
  3. Pour the boiling water over the dried nettle.
  4. Cover with a lid or saucer.
  5. Leave to infuse for 10 - 15 minutes. ...
  6. Strain and drink warm, or pour over ice.

What can I mix with stinging nettle? ›

Stinging nettle recipes (9)
  • Stinging Nettle Mash & Beans# 4 weeks challenge # ...
  • Stinging Nettle Banana stew. ...
  • Uji Porridge Flour Kenya Wimbi Millet Sorghum Baby Adult Healthy Flour (Nairobi) by Zawadi. ...
  • Irio/mukimo and mincemeat stew #author marathon. ...
  • Vegetable pilau served with french beans. ...
  • Mukimo. ...
  • Sautéed stinging nettles.

When should you not eat stinging nettles? ›

It is not wise to eat nettles when flowering between June and October as they have a laxative effect and the plant will then contain cystolith crystals that can upset the urinary tract. The fresh growth from nettles that grow after being cut back is fine though.

Who should avoid stinging nettle? ›

It is important to be careful when handling the nettle plant because touching it can cause an allergic rash. Stinging nettle should never be applied to an open wound. Because nettle can alter the menstrual cycle and may contribute to miscarriage, pregnant women should not use nettle.

What is the best way to prepare nettle? ›

At this point, it's best to think of stinging nettles in a similar fashion to spinach in terms of cooking the leaves. Quickly blanching them in a pot of boiling water will deaden the sting. But leave them for too long and - like spinach - the leaves will wilt too far, and start to lose flavour, texture and goodness.

What is the difference between nettle tea and nettle infusion? ›

Herbal teas steep for a shorter period of time (usually 5 minutes) and use smaller amounts of herbs. Herbal infusions steep for several hours and use a higher volume of herbs. Therefore, they're more nutrient-dense. By infusing the nettles, you develop a deeper flavor and a much higher micronutrient content.

What does nettle infusion taste like? ›

Nettle leaf tea tastes quite similar to green tea. It features a mellow body with rich grassy and earthy flavors. The tea boasts a hay-like flavor that can be evened out with the addition of a dash of honey or agave.

Does nettle cleanse the liver? ›

Packed with a variety of polyphenolic compounds and pigments, nettle leaf detox drinks reduce liver inflammation. A regular cleanse with nettle leaf detox drinks can help lower blood pressure and improve the heart's antioxidant defenses.

Is it OK to drink nettle tea everyday? ›

Whether you forage for your own leaves or buy it in a more convenient teabag form, having a cup of nettle tea every day offers a range of health and nutritional benefits, from reducing blood pressure to offering protective anti-inflammatories and antioxidants.

Does stinging nettle increase estrogen? ›

Urtica dioica is thought to bind to sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) via its polar extracts and cause elevated serum estrogen levels. The local estrogen bioactivity in breast tissue may subsequently lead to gynecomastia or galactorrhea [2].

Why do people eat stinging nettle? ›

Young leaves can be used to make curries, herb soups, and sour soups. The root of the stinging nettle is used to treat mictional difficulties associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia, while the leaves are used to treat arthritis, rheumatism, and allergic rhinitis.

Can you eat nettle leaf raw? ›

It might seem a bit scary, but fresh nettles can be eaten raw. But be cautious and be sure to neutralize the formic acid that can sting you.

What does cooked stinging nettle taste like? ›

What Does Nettle Taste Like? Nettle tastes like spinach, but a bit punchier. "It's a distinctive taste, characteristic of edible wild plants in general: a bright green note that makes you sit up and pay attention, with a peppery zing.

Is it safe to eat stinging nettle raw? ›

It's the simplest way of getting nettle into your body, but you can also cook it into larger dishes or even apply it topically if you have a skin irritation. Because the stings have to remain firm to cause the irritation, cooking the leaf instantly makes them safe – don't try to eat the leaf raw in a salad or anything.

Can you eat stinging nettle raw? ›

Scroll up to blog post to see everything you need to know about where to find nettles plus step-by-step instructions with photos! A word of caution: Do NOT eat stinging nettles raw. They will sting your skin and the inside of your mouth. The stingers must be deactivated before eating.

Can you become immune to stinging nettles? ›

A 'sting' is when the nettle's acid filled barb penetrates the skin, and breaks off, releasing the acid that causes the pain. You can't become immune to this kind of injury any more that becoming immune to the pain of a cut.

What happens if you eat stinging nettle? ›

Studies suggest that it may reduce inflammation, hay fever symptoms, blood pressure and blood sugar levels — among other benefits. While fresh stinging nettle may cause irritation, cooked, dried or freeze-dried stinging nettle is generally safe to consume.

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