Shared from Jennifer Aikman of Cordial Wildcrafted Consumables!
Anything spinach can do, nettles can do better! Truer words were never spake. However, keep in mind that while stinging nettle's stronger flavour profile matches spinach cup for cup in savoury dishes, it's a different story when it comes to confections. Trust me. After a batch of disturbingly toady looking, super vegetative tasting nettle cakes, I know whereof I speak. Mind you, they weren't disgusting, but definitely for the true nettle lovers out there. And yes, spinach is totally used in baking sweets. Just Google the gorgeous Ispanakli Kek and feast your eyes upon thousands of photos of this glorious green Turkish cake.
This recipe is also dead easy to make and the main ingredient is free if you harvest it yourself. Nettles can be found growing in rich soil, disturbed habitats, moist woodlands, thickets, along rivers, and along partially shaded trails. They're plentiful in the spring, so find yourself a nice clean patch and pinch or snip off the top 4-6 leaves of the plant. Wear gloves if you're the type opposed to stings and rashes. Me? I actually don't mind the nettle bite and it's great for getting the blood flowing.
And although nettles are considered a noxious weed, they still deserve your respect. Be a considerate wild food harvester. Take what you need and leave enough for the next animal and to allow the plant to seed. My rule of thumb is to pluck from every third plant, unless it's a patch you're familiar with and you know it can withstand more enthusiastic foraging. Your urban wilds will thank you for it!