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Sweet Potato Leaves Are Edible Raw!

 
Pamela Melcher
Posts: 299
Location: Portland, Oregon Maritime, temperate, zone 7-8.
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Sweet potato leaves are edible raw!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=okZ4jB113C8

A good hot weather green. The vines really put out a lot of leaves fast.

I just stuck Sweet Potatoes half way in the ground in the shade and waited. A critter ate the Garnet Yam (actually all yams that they sell or grow in the US are sweet potatoes - weird, but true) so I tried again, burying the whole thing. Jewel Yams and Garnet Yams and Asian Sweet Potatoes produced leaves fastest for me. The plain old pale Sweet Potato was very slow. I am not going to try that again.

I started them in pots and will transplant. It seemed like the best thing to do since I started this experiment in the heat of August, and doubted that they would be happy rooting in that heat.

I have eaten the leaves raw, and they are definitely OK. A little bland, with a little spicyness. They are a little mucilaginous, but not bad.

I hope this is useful information.

Pamela Melcher
 
Alder Burns
pollinator
Posts: 1321
Location: northern California
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I did not know sweet potato greens were edible till I lived in Bangladesh. They eat the greens of all sorts of stuff there...squashes, gourds, luffas, cowpeas, jute....I found out you can pick up to 20% of the greens and not inhibit the yield of the roots. However, I never got into eating them raw...just a bit too bitter for my taste most likely. There is a related plant, Kangkong or water spinach (Ipomoea aquatica) which is definitely a bland salad green, and is a major cooking green in much of SE Asia. In Georgia where I lived for years, both of these provided much of my greens through the long hot summers when not many other greens would grow.....
 
Pamela Melcher
Posts: 299
Location: Portland, Oregon Maritime, temperate, zone 7-8.
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Thanks, Alder,

I want to learn about many hot weather salad greens, preferably perennials.

 
Ashley Handy
Posts: 107
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To add to this knowledge, check out this article: http://www.eattheweeds.com/ipomoea-water-land-see-in-gardens/

Between that site and this one I have learned SO MUCH. Anytime I can't identify a plant, these are the two sites I use
 
Pamela Melcher
Posts: 299
Location: Portland, Oregon Maritime, temperate, zone 7-8.
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Ashley,

Wow, thanks for referring me to that website. What a treasure trove!
 
Judith Browning
Pie
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Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
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I really like all kinds of greens both domestic and wild including poke and perilla and different flavors, bitters, but I am not findig the taste of my sweet potato vine pleasent or even interesting...pretty much not palatable for us, both cooked and raw. I am wondering if everyone is eatting the heart shaped leafed varieties. Mine is an old variety...I don't know the name...with a deeply cut leaf. Maybe that's why it doesnt taste all that good.
 
Steve Flanagan
gardener
Posts: 324
Location: North Fork, CA. USDA Zone 9a, Heat Zone 8, 37 degrees North, Sunset 7/9, elevation 2600 feet
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I tried Sweet Potato leaves recently. They are not bad, not great either. I tasted them in the raw, maybe they will be better cook.
 
Ashley Handy
Posts: 107
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It might be one of those things where it is all in the flavoring. I personally don't like cooked greens unless they have some sort of distinct flavor. I used an Emeril recipe I found online to cook kale, worried that I wouldn't like it once I got it cooked. It was the most fabulous thing I've ever eaten!

This is the recipe:

http://recipes.howstuffworks.com/emerils-sauteed-tuscan-kale-recipe.htm

Sometimes I make it with the beans, sometimes I don't. I think it is that lemon juice that really makes it sing
 
Jeanine Gurley
pollinator
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Location: Midlands, South Carolina Zone 7b/8a
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Great recipe Ashley. I will probably try that today.

I eat the tender tips of the sweet potato vine. I just saute any and all greens lightly until just wilted. Tougher greens get sliced into ribbons or minced to keep from having to cook them very long.

I picked up an awful cold at work so I'm thinking a big plate of fresh greens and garlic from the garden would be just the thing today.
 
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