After some great advice from my friend Pat about what food could be great to continue me on my skin cleanse journey I decided to go foraging for nettles.
When I have thought of foraging I have always imagined some great long adventure where you find all the magic wild food treats in the forest. Turns out really … when it comes to nettles … it just means walking round the back of my house to the field and picking some from anywhere. Nettles are everywhere right now. Literally everywhere. So I decided to head over to the Cross o’ Cliff public orchard to get my nettles, hoping to find some as free from pollution as possible in a city.
I have always associated nettles with the thing that stung you all over your body as a kid when you fall out of a tree… but it’s so amazing to find something so in abundance and totally free everywhere right now that you can also eat and has so many health benefits. I wish I had put two and two together sooner. Nettles’ have the ability to help to detox the body, and among so many other health benefits, can help to heal the skin. This is something I am in need of. Nettles can also will help to boost your immune system, tackle inflammation (great for flare ups of arthritis), ease cramps and bloating during menstruation and boost circulation. So trying to incorporate it into your diet, especially during spring when it is new and fresh and everywhere, is a great idea. Even if that just involves making a nettle tonic or tea to start your day.
This skin cleanse I have been attempting, see my blog post My Eczema diaries, has definitely opened my eyes to the amount of junk I was/ am eating. Once I really looked at everything with critical eyes I saw how often I craved sugar, or crisps or bread, and it has honestly been a real battle to cut out as much as possible. Although I can do so much more I feel these last few weeks have been a chance to open my eyes and start to make small changes. If I want to try to rid my body from chronic eczema this is something I am going to have to make a lifestyle change rather than a months cleanse. So far over the last 3 weeks it has been going great and I can see improvements in the health of my skin, but this is really just the beginning! It will take a lot longer than 3 weeks for my skin to fully heal and repair all the damage caused.
So rather than focus of everything I have cut out of my diet, here are some of the things I have incorporated in over the last few weeks.
- Every morning before anything else I have a shot of Organic Apple Cider Vinegar (with the ‘Mother’,), followed every quickly by a huge glass of water as it tastes absolutely disgusting!
- Drinking hot water with a slice of fresh lemon to replace milky tea.
- Have fresh green/ vegetable juices everyday with lots of fresh turmeric and ginger
- Making sure I remember to make smoothies with lots of blueberries and Spirulina to take to work with me
- Drinking as much water as possible!!! And preferably with a slice of lemon , lime and a few chia seeds. This one needs more focus but is arguably on of the most important
These are little measures but as I add more and more of these into my daily life it will become easier and more natural. It will become less conscious and an effort to remember but will simply be part of my daily routine and something I can fit around working full-time easily.
So here is for my Nettle Soup recipe. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
- Half a carrier bag of nettle tops (about 200g)
- 1 tsp cold pressed rapeseed oil
- 1 large onion, sliced
- 2 cloves of garlic, sliced
- 2 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped
- 1 carrot, chopped,
- 1 litre vegetable stock
- 1/2 can coconut milk
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a large crock pot or large stock pot heat the oil on a medium heat and add the onions. Cook slowly for 5 -7 minutes until softened.
- Add the garlic, potatoes and carrot and stir, cooking for a couple more minutes before adding the vegetable stock
- Once the stock is added, heat until simmering and add the nettles into the pot.
- The nettles will be overflowing out of your pan, but as they cook they will start to reduce and you will be able to mix them into the stock. Simmer gently for 20 minute, until the potatoes are soft
- Blend soup with either and immersion blender or in a blender or food processor until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste
- Serve with a swirl of coconut milk on the top and enjoy.
Yields 4 portions