Another budget food recipe: Try Sweet Potato leaves as part of your diet
In this challenging economic condition where rent has increased and cost of living is also increasing, try growing some veggies at home. Take this gardening exercise as your hobby. It's a great source of morning sunshine plus going outdoors and gardening actually help with *improving your patience* - pssst this is first-hand knowledge from our experience :)
Today we recommend you to grow Sweet Potato leaves. In our last blog we shared growing spinach. Why these 2 leaves? Because you only need to grow them once and they will keep propagating (provided there's no huge frost in your area). They may stay dormant in winter but they will go crazy once they get full sun and rain.
Nutrients in Sweet Potato Leaves
Sweet potatoes can be compared to spinach in terms of nutrients. They are high in calcium, iron and zinc. Sweet potatoes are also a good source of carotene. The leaves contain the vitamins C, E and K, as well as riboflavin, thiamine, folic acid and niacin. Like spinach, they do contain oxalic acid, but in much lower quantities, which is why they can be used as raw food as well as cooked food.
Sweet potato leaves can be substituted for other leafy greens. Try them sautéed in a little olive oil or butter with some onions. Cook them in boiling water until just wilted, then cover in a sauce such as hollandaise. Chopped leaves can be added to soups, stews and casseroles. Finely sliced leaves are a good addition to salads or can be made into vegetable fritters.
Sambal Sweet Potato Leaves Recipe
First prepare some Sambal Tumis. Check out Sambal Tumis recipe here. You can prepare Sambal Tumis with or without dried anchovies and without onions.
Sambal Tumis or Fried Chilli Paste lights up the fire in your belly!
Mention Sambal Tumis or Fried Chilli Paste and inevitably the heart starts pounding and the mouth starts to water. It's a fiery dance of spices. This Malaysian chilli paste (commonly known as Sambal Tumis), is one of many, much-loved sauces by all Malaysians and beyond. Make a large sambal batch and keep them in several jars for future use. Use Sambal with Sweet Potato Leaves, Kang Kong (water spinach), snake beans or simply Sambal anything..........
Ingredients (Serves 3-4) 400g sweet potato leaves
3 chillies sliced 3-4 garlic cloves, minced 3 tbsp oil 3 tbsp sambal belacan (use Sambal Tumis recipe) Salt (to taste)
1. Pluck off the sweet potato leaves (optional) and remove the skin off the stems. Keeping only the more tender parts, cut the stems into 2-inch strands. Wash and drain the leaves and stems. 2. Preheat a skillet/wok on medium-high heat. Pour in the oil and stir-fry the garlic and Sambal belacan until it turns fragrant—or pungent, depending on personal definition. 3. Add the sweet potato leaves, stirring them to make sure they are coated evenly with sambal belacan. Cover the lid to cook the leaves until soft. Toss in the chillies and give it a quick stir. Add a pinch of salt if the dish isn’t salty enough. 4. Transfer to a serving dish. Viola.......... best on warm rice.
We have 3 types of Sweet Potato leaves in our farm. The triangular-looking leaves will give you sweet potatoes (leaves a bit coarser to eat), the purple ones and the Taiwanese Sweet Potato leaves where you will only get sweet leaves. Our kangaroos love the Taiwanese Sweet Potato leaves so much, not much left for us..... hahaha....
Sweet potatoes can be grown primarily for their tubers or for their ornamental leaves. Plants grown for food generally have greenish-yellow or green leaves, and some have purple pigmentation. A few have purple leaves when young and green mature leaves.
The Shape of the Sweet Potato Leaf
Sweet potato leaves come in different shapes, depending on the variety. Leaves grow in a spiral around the stem. Leaves may be lobed or nearly divided and may have smooth or serrated edges. Leaves are slightly hairy to the touch. They may be:
Cordate – shaped like a heart
Hastate – shaped like a spear
Reniform or kidney-shaped
Tips - You can stir-fry sweet potato leaves with lots of garlic slices and add Chinese cooking wine (Shaoxing wine) or rice wine with slices of chillies to give it a bit of punch - it's simple and yummy! We sometimes add it to our soups or add it to any noodle dish - tastes just as nice.
Or just add some leaves to your salads.........
Sweet potato leaves are largely used as a vegetable in the islands of the Pacific Ocean and in Asian and African countries. In folk remedies, sweet potato leaves are used to treat irritations of the mouth and throat and can be crushed and used in ointments to help treat skin conditions such as rashes. In Brazil, a hot water decoction of sweet potato leaves was historically used to help reduce appetite and symptoms of metabolic issues
It's so easy to propagate Sweet Potato leaves
Get ready some jars or vases with warm water.
Take a cutting below a leaf node. Stem cuttings (aka slips) are a very reliable way to expand a single plant into many, and they can be rooted in either water or soil. Pinch off lower leaves.
Place the stems in fresh, warm water. Replace the water every few days.
When roots are at least 3 inches long, plant in potting mix.