FAST Blog: Family Homestead

Permaculture, Preparedness, Homesteading & Survival

Thursday, 7 April 2016

I'm Cheating, or am I? Wild Food Recipe

Today for the first time I'm linking up with Mama Kat for her Writer's Workshop, and my prompt is

3. Create a recipe that incorporates mint.

Being a natural rule breaker, I thought I'd break the rules with a natural recipe but I won't be using mint per-say

I'll be using Dead-nettle, a common weed that is a member of the mint family. 

Dead-nettle's name is due to the fact that it does not sting. Even though Dead-nettle is not an aromatic herb like some of its other family members, it is edible.

Dead-nettle can be identified by Pink-purple flowers clustered amongst leaves towards the top of the plant. The leaves are hairy, heart shaped and has toothed edges. Some leaves near the top of the plant take on a purple tint. This plant can be mistaken for Henbit dead-nettle which has similar flowers. (Don't worry, Henbit is also completely edible and can be used in the same manner as dead-nettle)

 One thing to note before you make anything using wild greens and plants – be sure of what you are picking before eating! This silly video serves as a fun reminder whilst foraging wild edibles.

The young leaves, flowers and shoots are tender enough to eat raw. You can steam or lightly cook the leaves and eat as a green, or you can add the leaves to soups, salads, stir-fry or pesto. Stinging nettles are also good to eat, but you want to pick them when they are young and tender. These greens are both rich in vitamins, minerals and iron, and high in antioxidants.

A great lazy way to eat dead-nettle is to make it into a green smoothie; chuck a good handful of dead-nettle, a handful of dandelion leaves , a banana and a mango in to the blender with two cups of hemp milk or almond milk (you can use milk if that's what you normally use)

If you'd rather get a little more creative, try lightly sautéing a bowl full of dead-nettle in a knob of butter with a finely chopped smoke garlic clove and some red onion and serve with a squeeze of lime juice, olive oil,salt & pepper

Hope you enjoyed my take on the "mint" recipe, If you add some regular mint to the recipe it makes an excellent side dish to have with lamb. If it's something people are interested in then I'll do some more wild edible posts soon :)

EDIT: for those wondering the difference between Purple Deadnettles and henbit, please see the picture below:



  1. Nasturtiums leaves & flowers are great in salads... will have to give dead nettle a try as have never tasted them before x

  2. Nasturtiums leaves & flowers are great in salads... will have to give dead nettle a try as have never tasted them before x

  3. Looks good enough to eat, there is a lot to said for eating wild food, We often do a nettle soup in the spring from young nettles, its good to be able to identify wild food sources as you never know when you might need them :-)
    I love mint sauce on omelettes sounds strange but I love it, one of those things that carried over from pregnancy :-)

  4. Now I'm wondering if I have deadnettle or henbit all over my yard...

    1. they are quite easy to tell apart once you know what you're looking for, but both are totally edible so nothing to worry about when picking. here is an image that shows the difference between the two:

  5. Wow! I've never heard of using deadnettle in food. Great twist on the "mint" prompt. :)

  6. I think that is just what she "Mint."

  7. I don' think I can get that adventurous, I'm not the one that does the cooking in my family, but I did want to welcome you to the Workshop, it's lots of fun!

  8. This is a great twist on the prompt. It looks scrumptious! I'll have to go look in my yard now I'm a newbie to mamakat's too. Been writing here for a few weeks. In the 2 spot.

  9. Looks appealing and now I'm interested. I'll have to find a dead nettle.

  10. First I thought I have seen that plant, but didn't know what it was---or that it had value. Then the photo at the end confused me. I am going to have to scour my yard later to see just what it is that pops up out there! As similar as they are, it is a good thing neither will harm you.


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