Made from dried nettle leaves, this superfood green powder is packed with nutrients and has great benefits for skin and hair.
I like to turn wild herbs into powders as they are easy to store and very versatile in use. Whether rosehip powder, elderberry or beetroot, powders, in general, are my favorite way of preserving herbs.
Knowing the nutritional values of nettle, I wondered why its green leaves cannot be turned into green superfood powder.
This study confirms that nettle powder is nutrient density food. It contains 33.6% protein which is three times the protein level as compared to the traditional source of cereal proteins (such as rice, wheat, and barley). In addition, Nettle powder has one of the richest sources of crude fiber (9.1%) which is more than 9 times higher as compared to wheat and barley flour. And Stinging Nettle is also rich in minerals such as calcium, potassium, magnesium, and iron which made it probably one of the richest sources of minerals among plant foods.
What is green powder?
Green powders are made of dried vegetable leaves that are ground into powder. You can powder any green leaves like spinach, kale, collards or parsley. You can also powder herbs such as basil, echinacea, astralagus or other vegetable like brocolli, cauliflower or tomatoes. The choices are endless.
nettle leaf powder benefits
The nettle powder is unique as nettle grows abundantly, you don’t need even to have a garden to forage nettle.
Moreover, nettle is exceptionally nutritious. Low in calories and high in minerals and vitamins nettle powder is superfood you want to include on you plate. It tastes little bit grassy but since you usually add it to meals you can easily adjust its taste with vinegar, lemon, garlic or other spices. Making it into powder will allow you to sneak some nutritious veggies into the food. In the powder form you hardly notice it.
Rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants nettle is a universal cleanser that helps cleanse the body. Its high amount of chlorophyll accelerates detoxification, fight bloating and promotes cells regeneration (study)
This research shows that 100 g of nettle can supply our body with 90-100% of a daily dose of vitamin A ( (including vitamin A as β-carotene). Moreover, nettle is a good source of protein, calcium and iron even when the nettle is dry.
However, the most nutritious part of the nettle is hidden in its seeds.
Uses of nettle powder
- I like to add one or two teaspoons to my morning porridge or granola
- Spring it over your ham & eggs
- Make superfood smoothies with this nettle powder
- To add them daily into food like the tomato powder, mix them with salt and use it in dressings or on salads
- You can add it to cooked sauces or gravies but just at the end of cooking. As high temperature destroys its nutritional value.
- I like to add it to raw cakes and protein balls
- Nettle leaf flour has been incorporated in many recipes, for example, bread, pasta, and noodles dough that suggest it could be used as a protein‐rich supplement in starchy diets associated with poor and undernourished population like Nepal.
- Use the nettle powder to Make a nettle tea
Nettle powder for hair
Nettle belong to one of the most nutritious herbs with many benefits for our body, skin and hair. Rich in minerals, vitamins and proteins, stinging nettle powder can boost hair growth and enhance hair quality.
Use this powder and essential oils to make a hair mask that you can apply directly on the scalp to enhance your thin hair or to grow your hair back.
In a bowl mix 2 tablespoons of nettle powder with 2 drops of Rosemary essential oil. Add enough jojoba oil to make a paste. Apply to scalp and gently massage.
This nettle extract enhances blood circulation that helps hair roots to get a sufficient supply of nutrients. It also contributes to hair regrowth and leaves your hair healthier and shinier.
Nettle powder for skin
nettle possesses healing properties and helps with burns and sunburns – steep nettle powder in water and make a topical poultice for your sore spots. It is great to use for burns or sunburns
Anriinflamatory properties of nettle powder may ease skin conditions such as eczema, dermatitis or psoriasis. It also contain histamine and chlorophyll that ease itchy skin
Nettle powder as a colorant
Nettle powder has beautiful green color that can bright up any homemade soap or other bath and body products.
How to make this superfood green powder
First step: Foraging nettle
To achieve the most nutritious powder one should collect the nettle leaves before the plant start blooming which is in spring and early summer.
When you go forage the nettle leaves you can collect leaves one by one, which is time consuming. What I do instead is to cut their stem 5 cm above the ground which encourages new growth. Then I remove the leaves from the stems, using gloves. You might find these tools handy when you go foraging for nettle leaves – a pair of garden gloves, garden knife, suitable clothing with long sleeves, thick pants and closed toe shoes. A basket, a cartoon box or paper bag are also handy.
Second step: Washing nettle
Before using nettle in the kitchen, Wash the leaves in a salad spinner and let them dry. You will still need to wear gloves until the leaves are are completely dried or dehydrated. That will make them lose their stinging ability.
Third step: Drying the nettles
If you are not in a hurry you can chose air-drying method where you place the leaves on parchment paper, baking tray or cooling racks and let them dry for 3-4 days
Hang them to dry with a stem tied with a string just make sure they don’t lose their green color during the drying process as they might turn brown or black and this is not desirable.
Spread the leaves on the dehydrator’s drying trays and set the dehydrator to the lowest temperature setting or around 95F. Allow drying about 12-15 hours
check if they are dry enough so they crumble easily when rubbed. Be careful as they still can sting at this stage.
Fourth step: Grinding the nettle
Use herb (avoid using a coffee grinder as it will affect its taste) high power blender and grind them into the finest bright green powder.
Once powdered they won’t sting anymore, just transfer the powder to the sterilized jar and store it.