Harvest the stinging nettle plants carefully with gloved hands. You can either clean them and use them immediately, or let them wilt overnight to reduce the sting factor while working with them.
Rinse the nettle plants under running water or soak in the sink. Once clean, remove excess water. (I use a salad spinner to dry the leaves.) If using a larger plant, remove any large stems.
Blend the smoothie
Add the coconut milk to the blender, followed by the clean nettles leaves. Finish by adding the fruit chunks and blending all of the ingredients together. Make sure to blend long enough to end up with a smooth mixture. (Once they are well blended, the nettle plants will no longer sting.)
Nutritional information is based on using all of the above ingredients in one smoothie. The calorie count can be brought down significantly by using a lighter coconut milk (homemade coconut milk is normally much lighter) and by not adding the avocado. You can also use slightly less pineapple and more cucumber. Nettle plants will become fibrous when they flower, so it's best to choose young plants. Smaller, younger plants are sweeter and more tender. I usually only choose the top leaves of nettle plants before they flower, and remove all large stems.A simple tropical smoothie can be made with just pineapple chunks, coconut milk, and nettles. Adding other optional ingredients can change the flavor, texture, and nutritional profile:
For a lower sugar, less sweet smoothie, add peeled cucumber chunks. Cucumber adds bulk to the smoothie which fills you up without adding much sugar or calories. I usually add half of a cucumber.
Avocado adds healthy fats and makes for a creamier smoothie. I recommend adding half of an avocado.
To sweeten the smoothie, add ripe banana. Using half of a banana will slightly sweeten it. Adding a full banana sweetens even more.
Mango is another delicious fruit that can add a bit of sweetness and tropical flair.
To thicken the smoothie, either use less liquid or us frozen fruit chunks. Frozen pineapple and/or banana chunks work well here. If you don't have frozen fruit ready, add ice cubes instead. Blend thoroughly to ensure a creamy smoothie.