A cold tea featuring a weed may sound about as enticing as a grass clipping spritzer, but don’t fear. Honeydew melon, boiled to extract its sweetness, makes this tea as easy on the tongue as it is on the tummy. Plus, any leftover nettles can be boiled and eaten in place of spinach in just about any dish.
Members of the mint family fight bloating and indigestion, and once you use boiling water to take the bite out of stinging nettle, you’ll find this weed has a lot to offer. It’s been used to treat joint and muscle pain and is full of vitamin A and calcium.
Be sure any plants you grow or harvest from the wild have been identified correctly and haven’t been sprayed with pesticides or exposed to pollutants such as car exhaust.
1/4 cup (60 mL) fresh mint leaves, tightly packed, plus extra for ice cubes
1/4 cup (60 mL) stinging nettle leaves, loosely packed (be sure to handle uncooked nettles with gloves)
1 heaping cup (250 mL) honeydew melon, peeled and cubed
Place mint and nettle in jug or jar that holds at least 4 cups (1 L).
In covered medium pot, bring 4 2/3 cups (1.16 L) water and melon to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-high and simmer covered for 5 minutes. Turn off heat and allow to sit for 2 minutes.
Pour up to 4 cups (1 L) liquid and melon pieces over mint and nettle leaves; reserve leftover melon water. Steep tea for 10 minutes.
Strain out solids and return tea to jar. Chill in refrigerator for 3 to 8 hours.
While tea is chilling, prepare ice cubes by pouring leftover melon water into ice cube trays, adding mint leaves, and freezing.
Serve chilled tea over ice and sweeten to taste with stevia if desired.