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Cooking Sweet Potato Leaves

Updated on November 12, 2016
Sweet potato leaves - delicious with your favorite meat dish and steamed rice. Image by Erwin Cabucos
Sweet potato leaves - delicious with your favorite meat dish and steamed rice. Image by Erwin Cabucos

Nutrients of sweet potato leaves

Not as popular as spinach or kale but the humble sweet potato leaves quietly await to be discovered by quaint, health-conscious chefs. This cheap, easy-to-grow and nutritious leaves are packed with goodness cooks and food lovers should really disappoint themselves for not trying them earlier on.

The United States Department of Agriculture discloses the abundant vitamins and minerals found in a hundred grams of these leaves,making them super food, appropriate to respond to today's world hunger in nutrition and sustenance.

The US National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference has recently released a report of the nutrients of sweet potato leaves before cooking, report date September 30, 2015. In 100 grams of sweet potato leaves, there are:

  • 2.45g of protein
  • 5.3g of fiber
  • 78.0mg of calcium
  • 0.97g of iron
  • 70.0mg of magnesium
  • 81.0mg of phosphorous
  • 508mg of potassium
  • 11.0mg of Vitamin c
  • 0.156mg of Thiamin
  • 0.345mg of Riboflavin
  • 1.130mg of Niacin
  • 0.190mg of Vitamin B6
  • 3778IU of Vitamin A

source: US Department of Agriculture National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, sweet potato leaves, 2015. https://ndb.nal.usbd.gov/nd/foods/

Sweet potato leaves are easy to grow. Image by SayaEducation
Sweet potato leaves are easy to grow. Image by SayaEducation

How to grow sweet potato leaves

With enough sunlight, water and soil, a small cutting of sweet potato stem will grow like a wild vine. Simply bury a stem of 5 to 6 inches long in the soil and water it regularly until shoots appear in the base of the old leaves. Alternatively, place a mature sweet potato on a dish with sufficient moisture and wait until germination begins by the appearance of young plants around the tuber. Similarly, plant the shoots along with the tuber and enjoy the leaves all year round.

Sweet potato plants are known to have grown in temperate, subtropical and tropical climates provided that sunlight, water and soil nutrients are absorbed by the plant. The more you cut the leaves, the more they grow. In about six months, sweet potato root crops can be harvested from the ground, for everyone to enjoy alongside roast or potato-based recipes.

Sweet potatoes can grow in pots, in the garden or in wide plantations. Although they grow as climbers or vines, they do not necessarily require support. They can be let grown on the ground or hanging on a pot.

If gardening is not your cup of tea, you can buy a bunch of this wonderful leaves from some Asian stores of by order from any of the nearby farms. Big grocery stores seem to be still oblivious, if not, ignorant, to the commercial feasibility of this great vegetable. The price can range from being free to $2.00 a bunch.

Saya sweet potato greens recipe

Sweet potato leaves may be prepared in a number of ways. It could be blanched in a hot water and seasoned with olive oil, salt and pepper. They may also be blended, mixed with ground meat, seasoned and formed into a patty. The most recommended recipe in this site is proven to be a stunner as a side dish or a wholesome vegetarian dish to enjoy: the Saya Sweet Potato Greens.

Ingredients: amounts can be varied as desired

  • Main ingredints: 2 bunch of sweet potato leaves
  • Oil for cooking: Olive Oil
  • Spices: Garlic, onion, tomatoes, chili
  • Seasoning: salt, pepper, Knorr liquid seasoning
  • For distinctive taste: Sesame oil and roasted sesame seeds
  • To protect greens texture: corn flour mixed with cold water

Cooking procedures:

  1. Separate soft leaves and tops.
  2. In a hot wok, heat olive oil and brown crushed garlic, sliced onions and diced tomatoes.
  3. Add sweet potato greens.
  4. While the leaves are cooking, create a mixture of corn flour, water, salt and pepper. Then pour mixture into the leaves.
  5. Season with Knorr liquid seasoning.
  6. Add some sesame oil, about a teaspoon.
  7. Serve onto a plate, then sprinkle with roasted sesame seeds.
  8. Enjoy as a side dish or as a stand alone vegetarian dish with steamed rice or some beverage.


How to cook sweet potato leaves

First, separate hard stem from soft leaves and shoots.  Image by SayaEducation
First, separate hard stem from soft leaves and shoots. Image by SayaEducation
Ingredients you need: sweet potato leaves, olive oil, garlic, onion, tomatoes, salt, pepper, chili (optional), knorr liquid seasoning, sesame oil, roasted sesame, corn flour, water.  Photo by SayaEducation
Ingredients you need: sweet potato leaves, olive oil, garlic, onion, tomatoes, salt, pepper, chili (optional), knorr liquid seasoning, sesame oil, roasted sesame, corn flour, water. Photo by SayaEducation
In a hot wok, brown garlic, onion, tomatoes and chili. Then add the sweet potato greens. Photo by SayaEducation
In a hot wok, brown garlic, onion, tomatoes and chili. Then add the sweet potato greens. Photo by SayaEducation
Pour in mixture of corn flour, water, salt and pepper. Then season leaves with Knorr liquid seasoning. Photo by SayaEducation
Pour in mixture of corn flour, water, salt and pepper. Then season leaves with Knorr liquid seasoning. Photo by SayaEducation
Add sesame oil. Photo by SayaEducation
Add sesame oil. Photo by SayaEducation
Sprinkle with roasted sesame. Photo by SayaEducation
Sprinkle with roasted sesame. Photo by SayaEducation
Enjoy with your favorite dish with steamed rice. Photo by SayaEducation
Enjoy with your favorite dish with steamed rice. Photo by SayaEducation
Or with a beverage. Photo by SayaEducation
Or with a beverage. Photo by SayaEducation

Comments

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    • zizogamal profile image

      zizo gamal 

      2 years ago from zizoooo

    • SayaEducation profile imageAUTHOR

      Saya Education 

      2 years ago from Brisbane, Australia

      They are a beautiful type of greens. They have been part of the diet in South America, including the Philippines and other Asian countries. I had them last night for dinner, with a glass of wine!

    • Happy Moment profile image

      James 

      2 years ago from The Eastern Bypass

      I never knew that the leaves of sweet potatoes are edible.

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