Food from nettles
People have eaten the nettle for many centuries and at one point would have been relished as springtime treat! Pepys wrote in his diary of having eaten ...some nettle porridge, which was very good.
Nutritionally the nettle is an excellent source of calcium, magnesium, iron and numerous trace elements as well as a range of vitamins. The young shoots can be used in soups and stews and in place of spinach. The Northumberland Cheese Company even produces a nettle cheese!
Why not treat yourself to Lady Ridley's Nettle Soup?
Not only humans have benefited from the consumption of the nettle. When dried and turned into a hay the nettle loses its sting and becomes palatable to livestock. In Sweden the nettle is sometimes cultivated for this purpose and fed to milk cattle because of the increased milk production that results.
Horse breeders have often added nettle seeds to horse feeds to give the animals a sleek coat.