Not only are sweet potato leaves edible (unlike the leaves of Irish potatoes which are poisonous), but they’re also nutrient dense, containing as many vitamins, minerals and other nutrients as spinach. For more information on their nutritional value (along with their antioxidant and antimutagenic qualities, anti-diabetic effect, and antibacterial activity), Shahidul Islam, Associate Professor of Plant Science at the University of Arkansas, has a great paper titled “The Medicinal and Nutritional Qualities of Sweetpotato Tops and Leaves” which you can find HERE.
Now that you know how healthy the leaves of sweet potatoes are, here’s a recipe to try:
Sweet Potato Leaves – a quick salad
- 1 bunch sweet potato leaves, stems removed and cleaned
- 3 medium tomatoes, sliced
- 1 thumb ginger, shredded
- 1 medium red onion, sliced
- 6 tablespoons sugar cane vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon white sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 cups water
- Rinse sweet potato leaves and remove stems.
- Place water in a cooking pot and let boil.
- Blanch the sweet potato leaves by putting the leaves in boiling water for 20 to 30 seconds. Remove leaves from boiling water and submerge in a bowl of cold water for 30 seconds.
- Drain the water and combine sweet potato leaves, tomatoes, ginger, onion, sugar, salt, pepper, and vinegar in a large bowl. Gently toss and serve!