Liven up your meals with fruits and vegetables

By Tulalip Tribes SNAP-Ed Program Coordinator, AnneCherise Jensen 

Sadly, fruits and vegetables often get a bad rap. For some, they aren’t the most popular foods on the menu. However they contain extremely high amounts of vitamins and minerals that are essential for good health and immunity. They are low in fat and calories, and contain lots of fiber and other key nutrients. Most Americans should eat more than 3 cups — and for some, up to 6 cups — of vegetables and fruits each day. Vegetables and fruits don’t just add nutrition to meals, they also add color, flavor, and texture, bringing the meal to life. When cooked and paired together properly, fruits and veggies create unique and exquisite flavor combinations.  Here are some fun and creative ways to bring healthy foods to your table. 

Fire up the Grill. Summertime is finally here! Now is the perfect time to fire up the grill to cook vegetables and fruits. Try grilling mushrooms, carrots, peppers, or onions on a kabob skewer. Brush with oil to keep them from drying out. Grilled fruits like peaches, pineapple, or mangoes add great flavor to a cookout. 

Expand Flavor of Casseroles. Mix vegetables such as sautéed onions, peas, garlic, broccoli, spinach, or tomatoes into your favorite dish for that extra flavor. If you dice them up small enough, you can even get away with sneaking them into the dish without anyone knowing. 

Planning something Italian? Add extra vegetables to your pasta dish. Slip some peppers, spinach, onions, mushrooms, zucchini, garlic or cherry tomatoes into your traditional tomato sauce. Vegetables provide texture and low-calorie bulk that satisfies.

Get Creative with Salad. Toss in shredded carrots, strawberries, spinach, watercress, orange segments, or sweet peas for a flavorful, fun salad. With the summer heat upon us, a crisp and refreshing salad is both healthy and satisfying! One of my favorite summer salads is an ‘Apple Walnut Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette’. Check out the recipe provided below!

Substitute Fruit for Dessert. Try a fruit based dessert instead of processed or overly sweetened dessert. Fruit based dessert will provide you with more nutrients while also preventing you from consuming excess calories throughout the day. Options could include a fruit smoothie, berry parfait, fresh whole fruit, or fruit based popsicles. These are great options to satisfy the sweet tooth in the summer heat! 

Get in on the Stir-Frying Fun. Try something new! Stir-fry your veggies — like broccoli, carrots, sugar snap peas, bok choy, peppers, mushrooms, onions or green beans — for a quick-and-easy addition to any meal. Add a lean source of protein and some whole grain rice to make the meal complete! 

Add to Sandwiches. Whether it is a sandwich or wrap, vegetables make great additions to both. Try sliced tomatoes, romaine lettuce, spinach, or avocado on your everyday sandwich or wrap for extra flavor. These are great to bring to lunches for work, hiking, or any other outdoor activity. 

Be Creative with Baked Goods. Add apples, bananas, blueberries, or pears to your favorite muffin recipe for a treat. Doing so gives some extra flavor and nutrients, all while being creative in the kitchen! 

Veggie and Fruit Trays: I’ve learned the best way to get kids to eat fruits and vegetables, is to prepare it in a fun and eye appealing manner. Make some fruit and veggie trays that have a wide variety of options. This is a great way to get individuals to try new foods they may not have originally tried on their own. Some of my favorite summer choices include watermelon, honeydew, cucumbers, carrots, broccoli, cherries, grapes, celery and cherry tomatoes. Add a few healthy dipping options like low fat ranch, hummus or Greek yogurt to compliment the assortment. 

Liven up Breakfast. Boost the color and flavor of your morning omelet or egg scramble with a variety of vegetables. Simply chop, sauté, and add them to the egg as it cooks. Try combining different vegetables, such as mushrooms, spinach, onions, or bell peppers. This is the perfect way to fuel for the day! 

Want local, organic fresh produce delivered to your front door? Check out Klesick farms online produce department at They have a wide variety of produce you and your family would love. 

With Covid-19 on the rise, it is comforting knowing healthy produce can be delivered to your door without having to leave the house. You can create your own assortment of goods, or you can sign up for specific box packages/sizes that include, “Family on the Go” “Harvest Box” “Fruits” or “Veg /Salad” options. If interested, you may also purchase local meats, eggs and grain products. Check out the following steps to get your family signed up for your own Klesick Box of fresh produce! 

**This material was funded by USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – SNAP.  This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

Tulalip weight loss challenge: Determined to lose that “quarantine 15”

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News

*Trigger Warning* The following combination of letters and punctuation depicts a factual desire to make healthier choices, lose body fat, and become better role models for children. In the era of #AllFeelingsMatter, some readers may find this kind of content offensive. 

Heard of the quarantine 15? The phrase started popping up on social media back in March, as people considered how quarantining at home would affect their eating and exercise habits. Like most things on social media, it started mostly as a joke, but three months of shelter-in-place orders later many can attest to gaining a few inches around the waist line. For these folks, the intent to steer clear of coronavirus resulted in an unintended consequence of catching the quarantine 15.

“Wonder why we crave pizza, potato chips, and chocolate during the coronavirus quarantine? When we’re worried or frightened, we’re more likely to seek out sugars, fats, and carbs for a quick energy boost,” explained Psychology Today’s Bryan Robinson, Ph.D. “These comfort foods act like a natural tranquilizer that calms us down in times of peril.

“But what feels like a satisfying solution in the short term grows into a bigger problem in the long run. Comfort eating traps us in a hard-to-break eating cycle that adds to stress levels, resulting in serious health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes, and obesity, as well as emotional problems, such as depression and anxiety.”

Over the past several weeks, states and cities all across the United Sates have gradually loosened their shelter-in-place orders. Locally, Snohomish County is in phase two and will be entering phase three in a matter of days, which means more and more businesses and outdoor recreation activities are available to the public. A group of local mothers look forward to returning to some semblance of normalcy and together they share a desire to make healthier choices, which means shedding that unwelcomed quarantine 15.

Knowing that weight loss alone can be difficult, they are pooling their emotional and physical support in a way that is fun, constructive, and gets the competitive juices flowing. Enter Tulalip’s own weight loss challenge – the mommas gotta get it done edition. The inspired group consists of ten Tulalip tribal members, all women and all mothers.

“We’ve created a Facebook group to motivate each other, share recipes, and support one another through this process,” said Malory Simpson. “We’ve set this up to be a challenge, hoping the completive nature comes out to help us stay motivated, but at the same time we’ll be able to rely on the group for support when it’s needed.”

The group met in person on Monday, June 22, near the stunning overlook of Tulalip Bay to both officially weigh-in and pay the buy-in that ultimately adds a competitive wrinkle to further incentivize living a healthier lifestyle.

“I need all the motivation I can get. Having money on the line just helps to jump start the process for everybody,” shared Michelle Martin. “It’s been rough being stuck at home during this whole quarantine. Especially being a mom of three young boys who never seem to be full. I’m constantly feeding them or giving them snacks, and it’s so easy to snack along with them. Participating in this weight bet will help me hold myself accountable and knowing there are nine other ladies watching me gives me even more drive.”

A change in lifestyle is never easy. Making wholesale changes to your typical grocery list, creating brand new go-to meals, and cutting out sugar-filled beverages like sodas, energy drinks, and those tasty caffeinated drinks from your favorite coffee stand sounds daunting, there’s no doubt about it. But for an entire nation that went into a 3-month long quarantine over fear of catching what some refer to as a largely overhyped virus*, the goal to live a healthy and more active lifestyle is even more substantial. 

Countless reports show overwhelming evidence clearly showing that not only is eating nutritious foods and regular exercise good for you holistically, together they will also mitigate underlying health conditions which are the most emphatic precursors to COVID-19 related deaths. Heart disease, cancer, and diabetes are the leading serial killers in modern day Native communities and remain pervasive threats to our culture. So much so that they are attributed to an estimated 50% of all Native American deaths. 

For the ten moms participating in a weight loss challenge, their courage to go outside their comfort zone and engage in a healthier lifestyle can have tremendous effects not just in the short term, but in the long term as well. By holding themselves accountable, channeling stress in proactive ways, and staying active, each mother will be promoting immeasurable health benefits to not only each other, but their easily influenced children, too.

“It can only be a huge positive for our kids to see us choosing to make good changes and live healthier,” added Malory. “As moms, realizing that what we cook is what our kids will eat only adds a layer of importance. Of course our kids have their own snacks, but by focusing on adding more fruits and vegetables to our daily meals, and cutting out the unhealthy stuff, our entire households will become healthier.”

An opportunity for parents to teach their kids how to be healthy, shutting off the TV, computer and phone screens more often to go outside and enjoy the outdoors, while working together as a family is a win-win-win.  Plus, there are huge bragging rights to whoever comes out the victor of Tulalip’s own weight loss challenge and puts a little extra coin in their pocket. 

The group is set to reconvene on July 22 for another weigh-in. Regardless of what the scale shows, by choosing to be healthier with food selection and engaging in more exercise each determined woman is a winner.

“It’s so important to acknowledge everybody has a different body that will react uniquely to different weight loss methods,” said Courtney Jefferson. “Sharing this information lets us know its ok when a particular type of diet doesn’t work. For example, we hear a lot of talk about the Keto Diet, but it doesn’t work for everyone. Same applies to Paleo, Atkins, and even going vegan. We each have our own nutritional requirements and need to, most of all, be in tune with out body and how it reacts to different foods. 

“There are sure to be some difficulties on this journey, but that’s why we’re doing it together,” she added. “Our support for one another will make it easier to keep moving forward.”

*Snohomish County health department reports 3,814 confirmed cases, with 3,209 of those individuals recovered and 164 deceased (4% mortality rate), as of 6/23/2020. 

Grow your own food

A fun, family activity

By SNAP-Ed Program Coordinator, AnneCherise Jensen 

Spring is here, now is the perfect time to grow your own food! If you want to eat local, know where your food comes from, save money and reap healthy rewards, try starting a home garden. Gardening is a fun physical activity, providing you with great tasting produce and, ultimately, saves you trips to the store. Not to mention there’s a harvest of benefits when you involve kids in the process. 

Research shows children living in a home with a garden eat significantly more vegetables than those without access to a home garden. Gardening as a family is the perfect opportunity to acquire an active hobby, get some fresh air, learn more about plants and become self-sufficient. Gardening can be overwhelming if you haven’t had much experience, so here are 8 simple tips to help get you started.

Calculate your space. Before buying plants or seeds, calculate how much space you have (ground or container) that gets adequate sun. Most vegetable plants require at least six hours of light each day. Some plants require more space than others, such as squash, others require much less space, such as spinach and lettuce. Herbs can also be grown with very little space, even inside. You can purchase plant starters at most garden stores such as Lowes, Home Depot and Walmart. 

Know what grows. When buying your plants, ask what varieties will do best in the conditions you have to work with. For example, several compact tomato plants do particularly well in containers, and some plants are easier to grow, such as potatoes, strawberries and snap peas. If you have friends, family or neighbors who garden, ask them what has grown well in their yard. There are multiple online resources, magazines and books that can help guide you through the details of this process. 

Soil Matters: Soil is the strong foundation to any healthy garden.Good soil provides access to nutrients, water, air, stabilizes plant roots, and assists plants natural resistance to pests and diseases. Before planting your starters or seeds, make sure your soil is ready to support the growth of your plants. Your soil may benefit from added compost or adding specific nutrients depending on what you’d like to grow.  Check out this site for more information about varieties of vegetables that grow well in the Pacific Northwest, and soil nutrients that may be helpful for certain plants.   You can also ask an associate at your local garden center to point you in the direction of the perfect soil products, they are a wealth of knowledge! 

Start Small. Remember, you don’t have to start with an extravagant space when first starting out. The easiest way to become a sufficient gardener is to start small, slowly building in space and knowledge, there is always something new to be learned year after year!  Your new garden can be as simple as a few window boxes of herbs to installing a few garden boxes in the backyard. Think about what produce you and your family will eat the most and try panting those. Salads are a great place to start, plant salad greens, carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, and even berries — all are kid-friendly and easy to grow.  Sunflowers are another fun addition to the garden. They grow quickly and can be dried for the seeds.

Make Kids Part of the Planting and Growing Process. Depending on their age, children take to gardening differently. For example, preschoolers tend to be fascinated with exploring dirt, digging holes, planting seeds and working the garden hose, while older children may be more interested in how a single seed turns into an edible plant. Try a few fun, reliable plants such as carrots, potatoes, squash and lettuce. Ask children which fruits and vegetables they would like to grow. Teach children responsibility by assigning each child a watering, harvesting or weeding task. Allowing children to be involved in every step of the process will get them excited to taste the fruits (and vegetables) of their labor.

Encourage Taste Testing. Gardening exposes us to a variety of fruits and vegetables, and so encourages taste testing straight from the ground (after a quick rinse to remove dirt) and at the dinner table. Show kids how a tomato can taste delicious from the vine or in dishes such as fresh salsa, marinara sauce or tomato soup to bring the experience full circle.

Go Herbal. Herbs are perhaps the easiest plants to grow and can be a good place to start when gardening. Herbs usually grow easily, so you’ll probably have more than enough. Choose a few herbs to start, such as parsley, cilantro, basil and rosemary. Don’t worry if you have too much by summer’s end. An excess of basil can be made into pesto, frozen in ice cube trays and stored in the freezer to use during the fall and winter. And, all herbs can be dried.

Gardening in Small Spaces. No yard? No problem! Try using large pots placed on the patio or porch to grow foods such as tomatoes, salad greens and even cucumbers. Most herbs can grow in small pots on indoor window sills. No matter how much space you have, there is always room for a few, flavorful plants.

If you’d like to learn more, visit Tilth Alliance for Online Gardening Classes, a Gardening Hotline to answer your questions, and other gardening resources for families during this time of social distancing.

Whether you start a small or a large garden, learning about the growing process is a great educational opportunity for you and your family.  Odds are kids and parents alike will enjoy the time they spend together outside while learning something along the way. Gardening is the great opportunity to know where your food comes from, while becoming self-sufficient on your own food supply. If you start now, you’ll be surprised as to how much food you will harvest by the end of the growing season. Not to mention fresh produce and homemade canned goods are the perfect gift for friends and family.  Remember to have fun, be creative, and get a little dirty along the way – it’s all part of the process. 

**This material was funded by USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – SNAP.  This institution is an equal opportunity provider.


Remedy is thriving as cannabis sales skyrocket during coronavirus pandemic

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News

Twenty-one months ago, the Tulalip Tribes took a major risk by venturing into the cannabis industry and opening one of the very first recreational dispensaries operated in Indian Country. After a rocky start, including switching up multiple management styles and sputtering for its place in local consumer loyalty, Remedy has course corrected under Quil Ceda Village leadership and a new manager truly in tune with cannabis culture.

The timing couldn’t have come at a more opportune time either. With so many businesses still shutdown nationally because of the coronavirus pandemic, Remedy is thriving. Industry-wide cannabis sales continue to skyrocket as a result of society doing its best to cope with the uncertain times brought on by COVID-19 and the residual aftereffects of seemingly endless quarantines, isolation, and social distancing.

“As a store, we adapted quickly to meet the needs of our customers. Practically the same day the casinos were shut down under coronavirus restrictions we launched our online menu and ordering system,” explained Remedy manager and Tulalip tribal member, Jennifer Ashman-Bontempo. 

“People love our online system,” she continued. “You can scroll through our entire menu, view the variety of cannabis products we offer, and order based on your personal preferences. After a few short minutes, our staff fills the order and it’s ready for curbside pickup. With this system in place we’ve seen our average ticket price more than double, from an average sale of $30 to now $60-$70.”

Instituting a safe and effective sales system definitely helped Remedy reach new heights as a business. The fact that so many people are left without their usual forms of recreation and entertainment during COVID-19 crisis hasn’t hurt either. It’s become common place to see a line of individuals spaced out 6-feet apart, in accordance with CDC guidelines, wrapping around the store’s front entrance while patiently waiting to pick up their cannabis essentials. 

Remedy has benefited from a huge influx of new customers, too. The Tribe’s flagship cannabis store is averaging 500 customers a day with nearly 60% of them new or first-time patrons. Some customers look to relieve every day ailments associated with aches and pains, some search to simply elevate their mental state, while others hope to calm their nerves and diminish anxiety and tensions brought on by the new normal.

“We are becoming people’s favorite store,” boasted Jennifer about the routine compliments her and fellow staff hear on a daily basis. “The combination of our increasing reputation, COVID and online shopping continues to boost our sales. In fact, April 2020 was our best month ever. We had over $750,000 in total sales, with 4/20 being our #1 sales day on record.

“All of us here at Remedy are so grateful to be deemed essential employees and feel fortunate to come to work every day to a place we love,” added Jennifer while proudly wearing a ‘Plant Manager’ t-shirt. “I have the best staff the Tribe could have hired. Everyone loves what they do and are passionate about our products.”

Remedy has 29 total employees, of which 7 are Tulalip tribal members. Most of the budtenders are self-dubbed “pot nerds”. They take much pride in staying up to date with the latest trends and products in an ever-changing cannabis industry. 

Tribal member Carmen Miller has worked at Remedy since the very beginning and worked his way up the ranks to become a Buyer. He’s in a pressure-filled position to influence sales, ensure the store is keeping up with or exceeding the completion, and most importantly keeping his finger on the pulse of the consumers. 

“From high-THC flower to CBD capsules, from concentrates to an assortment of edibles, we literally have close to everything available in the industry at our store,” said Carmen. “What most people don’t understand is cannabis really is an ever-changing industry. In Washington alone, there are 70 different vendors who each specialize in different products and intake methods.

“From strictly flower to hydroponics to edibles, there are so many types of strains, flavors, and potency levels that can hit the market and become the next best thing,” continued Carmen. “Whatever’s the newest or most popular thing in cannabis, that’s what the people want to try. The newest product we just got in is a super discrete method of intaking cannabis through a micro-dosing inhaler. They have no visual smoke or any smell, so it’s perfect and easy to use for those wanting to maintain their privacy.”

The Tulalip Tribes’ long-term vision with cannabis is bold. Tribal leaders see the promise of cannabis outside of recreational retail, including therapeutic applications of CBDs for the relief of seizures and PTSD, as well as promising research into the possibility of treating many of the health conditions that most affect Native communities, including addiction and diabetes.

Balancing traditional values with the realities of the 21st century means embracing a changing culture that views marijuana and cannabinoids as natural medicines, especially when compared to prescription pharmaceuticals. Pharmaceuticals with countless side-effects and man-made chemicals that receive FDA approval, only to come out later those same chemicals cause a litany of damaging health concerns with possible fatal consequences.

Longtime cannabis connoisseur and Budtender supervisor for Remedy, Juan Martinez has had lots of experience assisting customers who are looking to alleviate a variety of common ailments, from headaches and insomnia to much more life threatening forms of cancer.

“Migraines and cluster headaches are the most common illness our customers want help with, followed by insomnia, those who have trouble sleeping, and pains associated with arthritis,” shared Juan. “There’s even a regular we look forward to seeing every few weeks. He’s an 80-year-old with lung cancer and comes to us for his cannabis treatment plan. According to him, high-dose cannabis intake helps offset his chemo and makes his quality of life much better. Customer stories like this is why I love my job; being able to sell the best products and changing people’s lives for the better.”

There’s a mountain of anecdotal evidence to suggest soothing THC/CBD oils, tinctures, and Indica-based flower can offer tremendous health benefits as an alternative treatments for common physical and neurological disorders. Tulalip’s partnership with the brightest minds at Stanford University resulted in a one-of-kind medical cannabis research project with the ultimate goal being to cure opioid-based addiction. Preliminary results have been encouraging. 

So whether it’s to find a Remedy for a pre-existing medical condition or simply to find rest and relaxation through the COVID crisis, the knowledgeable staff of Tulalip’s own dispensary is here to guide novice and experts cannabis users alike through their wide-range of convenient products. 

Remedy’s current hours of operation are Monday – Saturday, 9:00am – 9:00pm and Sundays 10:00am – 8:00pm. Products can be viewed and orders placed online at Tulalip tribal members receive a 30% discount every Thursday. 

sc̓ədᶻx̌ Nettle berry popsicles

By SNAP-Ed Program Coordinator, AnneCherise Jensen 

Looking for a healthy, fun and creative way to try Nettles this summer? Check out this Nettle Berry Popsicle recipe. It’s the perfect healthy summer snack for kids!  As warmer weather approaches, this is a great way to turn any herbal tea into a crisp, refreshing treat for your friends and family. Since Nettles are in abundance this time of year, this is a great activity for not only in the kitchen, but outside as well. So grab your basket, gloves, and scissors and check your local woods for a nearby Nettle Patch! We have some wild crafted popsicles to make.

Foraging Nettles 

Stinging Nettle, or sc̓ədᶻx̌, has been used as a traditional Coast Salish medicinal plant for thousands of years. This highly valued plant is often found in streambeds, forests and disturbed areas with rich wet soil, usually facing the sun. Stinging Nettles, can be found from the coast to the mountains, and are found in abundance on the lush Tulalip soils. Stinging Nettle, scientifically named Urtica diotica, is a perennial herb with opposite deep green leaves with serrated edges and tiny greenish flowers. The stems are square, and plants grow 3-7 feet tall annually. 

Harvesting season runs March – June each spring. Once the Nettle plant begins to seed in the warmer summer months, the leaves can only be used for drying purposes. If consumed raw past this point, nettles can be toxic to the liver and kidneys. When harvesting Nettles, be sure to wear thick gloves as they will sting you! The stalk and underside of leaves are covered with stinging hairs that rise from a gland containing formic acid. Avoid harvesting in areas that are nearby pollutants, roads, pesticides and other chemicals. Cut off only the first 6 inches in the top of the plant. We do this to protect the plant and make sure it grows back the following year.  Once you have your basket filled, the nettles can then be processed by blanching, drying or simply steaming them. Any of these methods will inhibit the formic acid glands (stingers) from stinging you. In this recipe, we will be using dehydrated nettles to make a sweet Nettle tea.  

Dehydrating Nettles 

When dehydrating Nettles, we want to use only the leaves of the plant. The stems are generally not used for food purposes, but can be used for making nets or are effective in compost. There are a few ways to dehydrate herbs; air-dry, dehydrate or an oven-dried method. All methods work effectively, but vary on resources and preference. I personally like to air-dry my herbs, but it can take up to a week. Either way, whatever way you choose, be sure to rinse your foraged herbs in a colander before drying. This also allows any bugs to escape that may be hiding in your basket.  P.S. don’t forget to wear gloves – this is the prickliest process of all.

Dehydrator/Oven Method: Using heat is the quickest way to dry herbs. The dehydrator method requires a heat of 120-140 degrees F for about 12 hours in your average dehydrator. If you don’t have a dehydrator, you can also use an oven. Place herb leaves on a cookie sheet one inch deep or less. Put herbs in an open oven on low heat, less than 180 degrees F, for 2-4 hours. To see if the herbs are dry, check if leaves crumble easily. Oven-dried herbs will cook a little, removing some of the potency and flavor.

Air-Dry Method: Gather 5-10 branches together and tie with string or a rubber band. The smaller the bundle, the easier and faster they will dry. Put the bundle of herbs, stem-side up and hang them by the stem in a warm, well-ventilated room. You can do this by using string and clothespins, amongst other things. Your herbs may be dried and ready to store in as little as one week. This is personally my favorite method, as it preserves the potency and flavor of the herbs. 

Nutritive Properties 

Nettles are known to be one of the most nutrient dense plants on the Earth and are considered a super food in many cultures throughout the world. They contain a wide range of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that help maintain the body’s function and mobility. Nettles also contain a high amount of amino acids that are highly valuable chemicals used in the pharmaceutical, cosmetic and food industries. Nettles contain extremely high amounts of Vitamin C, vitamin A, Vitamin D, iron, sodium, potassium, phosphorus, calcium (29 times more than spinach), magnesium, silica, trace minerals and protein (more than beans). No wonder they are called a superfood!  If you aren’t already consuming nettles, you should be. (Krohn) 

Medicinal Uses 

Traditionally, Nettles have been used both internally and externally for a wide variety of uses. Nettles have been revered worldwide throughout the ages for food, fiber, and medicine. Many people say Nettles help to alleviate allergies as they contain antihistamine qualities that may be effective for acute allergic reactions. Other well-known uses of Nettles that are still being studied include; the strengthening of teeth, bones and hair, insulin resistance in Type 2 Diabetes, prostate health, blood detoxifier, increased hemoglobin for overall energy, reduced pain, menstrual cramp aid, and asthma. (Foret) 

Other Uses

This plant is so versatile, it’s even been used to make natural dye with shades ranging from yellow to deep green. The nettle fibers/stem makes strong cordage and was used for making rope, fishing line and nets.  Rosemary or horsetail with nettle are made into tea and used as a hair rinse to make the hair glossy and stimulate growth. “Sting yourself on purpose… really? Yes, it is true. People have stung themselves with nettle to ease pain. This is officially called urtication and its roots go deep into history on several continents. 

Both in the Pacific Northwest and in Europe, people have stung themselves to cure arthritic joints and to stay awake and alert during battle or hunting. Traditional knowledge is now validated by scientific research. Compounds including histamine, acetylcholine and formic acid are injected into tissue causing an awakening of cellular responses, lymph flow, and nerve and capillary stimulation”. (Krohn) 

As you can see, Nettles are a highly prized and sacred plant that can help keep you and your family healthy. Now that you’ve learned a little more about Nettles, it’s time to put your foraging skills to the test. Here is the summertime recipe you and your family will love. 

If you are a Tulalip tribal member, and don’t have access to nettles but would like some, please contact AnneCherise Jensen and she will supply you with the dehydrated nettle tea.

Nettle Berry Popsicles 


  • 4 cups purified water
  • ¼ cup Nettle Tea (Dried Nettle Leaves) 
  • ½ cup Fresh or Frozen Berries 
  • 2 -3 Tablespoons Honey or Cane Sugar  


  • Infuse dried nettle leaves in boiling water. Let steep on low heat for about an hour. The longer you allow the Nettle leaves to infuse, the more nutrients the tea will absorb.
  •  Add 2-3 Tbsp of honey or cane sugar to the lukewarm nettle tea. Mix well. 
  • Add the ½ cup of desired fresh or frozen berries to the nettle tea. Stir for a few minutes and allow the berries infuse in the water for about 5-10 minutes. 
  • Pour nettle tea mixture into a Popsicle mold. These can be found online or at Walmart, price ranging from $10- $25. If you don’t have a Popsicle mold, you can also use a small plastic cup and Popsicle sticks.
  • Freeze for 2-3 hours, until firmly frozen. 
  • ENJOY! 

**This material was funded by USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – SNAP.  This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

Sources: / Research provided Elise by Krohn 

The Alchemy of Herbs, Rosalee De La Foret, pg 189 – 194


Harvesting dandelions for a nutritious spring time tea

By SNAP-Ed Program Coordinator, AnneCherise Jensen 

Dandelion plants are often regarded as a common weed or annoyance in one’s yard. They are also known for making special wishes when blowing off their whimsical dried petals in the summertime.  Believe it or not, dandelions are also one of the oldest nutritive and medicinal plants in the world. Dandelion, or the scientific name Taraxacum officianle, first originated in Europe and were brought to the Americas in the early 1600’s.

Though this plant is often overlooked, dandelions contain a wide variety of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. If harvested properly, dandelions can be used for a wide variety of health and wellness purposes. The best part about it, is that it’s FREE! 

One of the most amazing properties about dandelions is the fact all parts of the plant can be used. The flowers are edible, having a semi sweet yet bitter taste. The leaves are also edible, and can be thrown into salads, smoothies and soups. The roots are also frequently used.  Often they are dehydrated and used into a tea, vegetable broth or a tincture. Roasted dandelion roots can also be used as a coffee substitute, tasting very similar to regular coffee beans. 

Foraging Tips 

Harvest in areas that are chemical and pesticide free. When consuming a wild edible, you want to make sure its organic properties are free from any harmful compounds. 

Avoid harvesting by popular trails or parks. Don’t forage in areas where dogs and other animals frequently visit. You don’t want to consume any plants that may have been urinated or defecated on by an animal.

Be sure to bring a basket, pair of gloves, hand shovel and scissors. Bring your phone to take some pictures and share your experience to friends and family online as well. 

Only harvest what you will use and never take more than you need.

Health Benefits 

Dandelions are a great source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. The leaves and root contain high amounts of Vitamins A, C, K and B Vitamins, as well as many minerals including magnesium, zinc, potassium, iron and calcium. Dandelions have a long history of use for problems of the liver, gallbladder, and bile ducts. 

Today, Dandelion is a dietary supplement used as a blood “tonic,” as a diuretic, for minor digestive problems, and other purposes. Other recorded, but not well studied, uses of dandelion include blood sugar and hormone regulation.

During this time of quarantine, now is the perfect opportunity to try something new. The following recipe is a great way to incorporate dandelions into your diet. Try this at home with your family, use up some of those dandelions that are close to your home, and enjoy a refreshing spring time beverage.

Recipe: Dandelion + Honey + Lemon Iced Tea  


  • 2-3 cups fresh or dried dandelion flowers 
  • 2-3 Tablespoons honey 
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (4 lemons) 
  • 1 quart purified water 


  • Harvest approximately 2-3 cups of wild dandelion flowers. Place in a strainer and rinse well with cool water. Remove all dirt debris from the plant. 
  • Boil 1 quart of water. Then pour into a pitcher and add the honey. 
  • Let cool for a few minutes, then add 1 cup of fresh squeezed lemon juice. 
  • Add the clean wild dandelion flowers, mix well. Water should be warm so natural infusion can occur. You may also add in a few lemon slices here for extra zest and appeal. 
  • Place in the refrigerator and let chill for 2-3 hours, until cold. You can strain the dandelion flowers, or you can pour them into your cup. 
  • Enjoy! Use within 36-hours for best taste.

**This material was funded by USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – SNAP.  This institution is an equal opportunity provider.