Its Market Season!

The farmers markets have begun and the fresh produce and goodies abound! Although some may have the impression that the pickings are slim at the markets this time of year, after having been to the PSU market these past two weekends, I would have to disagree.

Highlights this week included tons of leafy green vegetables such as the beautiful swiss chard in the picture, wild mushrooms and nettles. For those of you whom may not be familiar nettles are a leafy green, most often known as stinging nettle. You will know why if you have ever accidentally touched one of these voracious plants. The deal is though, once you get past this part, nettles are incredibly nutritious and for those of you whom suffer from seasonal allergies, nettles can be your best friend in defense. So I mention them, as they do not tend to be top on the grocery list. Freeze-dried are helpful in providing anti-inflammatory relief, dried in tea can help clear the sinuses and fresh give you a strong antioxidant boost.

So tips for nettle preparation–really don’t touch fresh nettles, use gloves. The nettle either needs to be boiled for a few seconds, sauteed or thrown into a food processor to relieve you of the stinging element.

Okay so how to use them? Like an other green, as a side, in a pesto or I made them into tasty herbed nettle pancakes as suggested by the Portland Farmers Market.

http://portlandfarmersmarket.files.wordpress.com/2011/04/herbed-nettle-pancakes.pdf

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