Elevate your homemade tortillas with nettle, the little stinging plant with a big personality! You may not want to get up close and personal with nettle on hikes, but here’s a nettle tortilla recipe that’ll change your mind. Nettle tortillas are easy to make and delicious.
And the best part? They can be stuffed with everyone’s favorite filling, from classic pulled meat and beans to taco-style tempeh with lettuce and even banana and peanut butter!
Nettle’s nutritional benefits
Beneath stinging nettle’s (Urtica dioica) or burning nettle’s (Urtica urens) stinging hairs lies a powerhouse of herbal nutrition.
Nettle is known for its high mineral content (with calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron and silica in particular), and vitamins C, B2, B5, K and E. This makes it an ally for those with heavy menstruation or who are at risk of anemia. Nathalie Babazadeh, herbalist, acupuncturist and co-founder of Artemis Therapeutics, also shares that nettles are beneficial for the hair and skin, thanks to their high iron, silica and vitamin content.
Nettles are also known for their purifying properties. “They are a liver herb, an alterative, and are helpful to alleviate seasonal allergies”, says Babazadeh, who formulated Lucidia, Artemis Therapeutics’ best-selling anti-allergy capsule specifically with this herb. Nettle is hence often used in herbalism for gentle detoxification, and for liver, kidney and blood concerns.
Therefore it is hardly surprising that nettle is part of the traditional pharmacopoeia in many places around the world. Its use dates back to the ancient Egyptians and Greeks – if not even further back in time. They used nettle as a diuretic and for respiratory ailments.
In Ayurveda and Chinese Traditional Medicine, nettle is also prescribed for its detoxifying and tonic actions, as well as for respiratory, kidney, liver, prostate and skin issues.
Nettle in the kitchen
Food is medicine!
This is why nettle is also at the heart of many recipes. Usually cooked like spinach, nettle tickles the taste buds in cream of nettle soup, Armenian nettle soup, savory pies and pastries, nettle pesto and more!
One of my favorite ways of consuming nettle is the humble and grounding nettle tea! I love its earthy and green taste.
However, kids don’t just live off witch’s herbal teas (or do they?). So I had to find another way for them to eat their prickly veggie. And I am delighted to share with you today’s Nettle Tortilla recipe! My kids love the process (and the end result). They roll the dough balls, squish them in the tortilla press, and fill the tortillas with what they fancy. Win!
(They work well without kids involved too)
Nettle Tortilla Recipe
Take your regular tortillas to the next level with dried nettle.
– 300g or 3 cups of flour of your choice: masa harina (masa flour, traditional tortilla corn flour), wheat flour, or your own mix of corn-wheat or other flour
– 300 ml or 1 cup of warm water
– 1 teaspoon of baking powder
– 1 teaspoon of salt
– 100ml or 1/3 cup of olive oil
– 2 tablespoons dried nettle crushed / powder
Nettle Tortilla Recipe: method
- Combine flour, baking powder, salt and dried nettle
- Add olive oil and lukewarm water. Mix
- Form 16 or so small dough balls:
- Leave to rest for around 30 minutes
- Form the tortillas. I use a tortilla press, but the good old floured rolling pin works just fine.
Using baking paper helps the keep the tortillas from sticking to the press or the rolling pin.
- Cook the tortillas in a pan, a few minutes on each side.
- Keep them warm on a plate covered with a clean cloth.
- Enjoy rolled up with your favorite garnish: minced meat, finely sliced chicken or crumbled tempeh, red or black beans, cheese, diced tomatoes, avocado, guacamole, spicy sauce, ham, lettuce, fresh cream, onions…!
Note: if you are using fresh nettle, handle with gloves and boil or blanch the nettle in boiling water for under a minute to neutralize the sting. Reduce the quantity of water in the recipe, as the blanched nettles are not dried!
Who’s the sting(k)ing good chef? Tis you, and nettle of course!