Nettle syrup

The first few entries into India, many more entries would follow, I liked it very much that at the end of a meal a little bowl with fennel- and anise seeds would be presented.

Often the bill would lay in the bowl with colorful sugar-coated fennel seeds, and paper money and coins would be transferred from customer to owner as well, all into that little bowl. Such standard of hygiene makes the body strong. And according to herbalists, fennel seed is an effective aid to digestion. It can help the smooth muscles of the gastrointestinal system relax and reduce gas, bloating, and stomach cramps.

Use only nettle tops which are not blooming, read here how to distinguish the nettle tops.

Ingredients

Recipe from Rachel Lambert from Wildwalks Southwest UK

  • 800 ml water, says the original recipe but I used double as the nettle tops seemed not able to soak
  • 3 tbsp fennel seeds, freshly ground or crushed (optional)
  • 200 g nettle tops (washed)
  • 800 g soft brown or cane sugar
  • 1–2 tbsp lemon juice (if not using immediately)

Put the water, fennel seeds and nettle tops in a medium saucepan, bring to the boil and simmer for 40 minutes. Take off the heat and strain through a fine sieve or muslin cloth, using a wooden spoon to help squeeze all the liquid out.

Measure the liquid, and for every milliliter add one gram of sugar (500 gram of sugar for 500 ml of liquid). Place the nettle liquid and sugar back in the saucepan, bring almost to the boil (the liquid should be steaming), reduce the heat and leave on the heat for half an hour, stirring occasionally. Do not allow it to boil. If using the syrup immediately, siphon off the amount you need. For the rest, add one tablespoon of lemon juice for every 200 ml of liquid, allow to cool and store in sterilized bottles.

Note: the syrup is delicious yet personally the sugar amount is too much for my likings.

Uses of nettle syrup

  • As a cool drink with fizzy water
  • In recipes such as the nettle sweet energy balls above
  • In cakes, cookies and pastries

Nettle leaf powder and how to prepare nettle sweet energy balls


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I stumbled upon sumac without knowing what it was. Sumac, to me, is an ornamental tree with big reddish velvet looking tops sticking up at the end of each branch. Branches are thick, few and each is strong and sturdy. They’re also high and I could not reach them.


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