These don't sting, though. Lovely green pancakes that can be eaten both sweet and savory. Nettles are vitamin-packed, and this is a great way to get more greens in your diet.
These are Finnish-style crepe-like thin pancakes. You can fry these in a regular nonstick pan, a cast iron pan, or Muurikka, as we often do outdoors.
In Finland, these are kids' favorites, like spinach pancakes. I got my enthusiasm for nettles from my mum. We would always pick nettles together in the spring. She would blanch a big batch and freeze nettles in small portions for the wintertime.
- Milk. Make milk-free pancakes with plant-based milk
- All-purpose wheat flour. You can replace some with barley flour or whole wheat flour. Especially if you eat these as a savory treat.
- Eggs. For a vegan version you can make it without eggs, just add more flour if needed.
- Blanched nettles.
- Sugar. It can be left out or replaced with maple syrup or a pinch of stevia.
- Spices. If you eat these as savory ones, you can add a pinch of white pepper.
Tip: If you want more fluffy pancakes, you can add 1 teaspoon of baking powder to the batter.
- Rinse the nettles or let them rest in a big bowl filled with water overnight. Boil water in a big pot and boil the nettles for one minute.
- Lift in a sieve, rinse with cold water and press out the excess water.
- Put the milk, eggs, sugar, salt, and blanched nettles in your blender and make a batter. Add in your flour and pulse for some seconds, so everything mixes. Some nettle parts can be visible.
- Let the batter rest for 10-15 minutes. This way, the flour can swell.
- Fry your pancakes in a medium-sized pan. Your pan can be on medium heat or a little higher. Fry your pancakes in butter to get a nice lace pattern.
- Turn the pancake when it has color on the other side, and the top is firm.
One more tip: If you let your nettles rest in water to remove insects and small trash, you can save the water and water your plants. Especially tomatoes love it.
This batter is made with a blender. Blender makes the batter very smooth, and it can be fried quite shortly after making.
A hand stick mixer also makes a nice smooth batter, but if you use one, you need to cut the nettles a bit with scissors since otherwise, they can jam the blade. This happened with my Bamix mixer.
You can make the batter without special electric appliances and chop the nettles small with a knife. When you whisk the batter together, you might get some flour clumps, but don't worry. They usually even out when the batter rests and the flour swells; give it a good whisk again before frying.
What to serve with nettle pancakes?
- Lingonberry jam. This is very traditional with nettle pancakes. You can make your own, buy at IKEA, or order at suomikauppa or Amazon. This can be hard to find in regular stores. It is often with the Swedish name lingonsylt.
- Cottage cheese. This very mild-tasting cheese goes well with jams and adds extra protein to the dish.
- Strawberry jam. This goes well with the pancakes; you can eat them as dessert or snack.
- Salmon filling. Filled nettle pancakes can be made with a filling of smoked salmon, sour cream, dill, and red onion.
- Fried asparagus and parmesan cheese. This is also a nice savory add-on.
If you serve these as dessert, make this nettle soup as the main course.
Store your pancakes in the fridge covered for 3-4 days. The pancakes can be frozen for up to 3 months, but not if you used frozen, thawed nettles in the batter.
It is best to pick the leaves or tops. When the nettles are small, you can use the stems. When the nettles grow bigger, the branches become more chewy and fibrous and are not pleasant to eat.
It is best to pick them up with leather gloves so they won't sting you. Use, for example, scissors for picking. Also, wear thick clothes since they can sting through the thin fabric.
Please don't pick them where the soil is nutritious because they gather nitrates from the ground, so avoid, for example, near cowsheds. Also, avoid picking near road banks.
Other pancake recipes
- Spinach pancakes
- Carrot pancakes
- Oatmeal pancakes
- Finnish oven pancake
- Vegan nordic pancakes
- Gluten-free nordic pancakes
- Blender or hand mixer
- 2 cups milk or plant-based milk
- 1 cup flour
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup blanched nettles (3 cups fresh)
- 2 teaspoon sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoon butter for frying
- Rinse the nettles or let them rest in a big bowl filled with water overnight.
- Boil water in a big pot and boil the nettles for one minute. Lift them in a sieve, rinse with cold water and press out the excess water.
- Put the milk, eggs, sugar, salt, and blanched nettles in your blender and make a batter, some nettle parts can be visible.
- Add in your flour and pulse for some seconds so everything mixes.
- Let the batter rest for 10-15 minutes. This way the flour can swell.
- Fry your pancakes in a medium-sized pan. Your pan can be on medium heat or a little higher. Fry your pancakes in butter to get a nice lace pattern. Turn the pancake when it has color on the other side and the top is firm.