When I discovered Malabar Spinach (see post here) I thought I had found the ultimate summer green. Boy was I wrong. I am pleased to announce that I have actually, no kidding found the ultimate green to enjoy all summer. Well, if you live in the south. Just as the spring spinach, kale and Swiss chard were giving up to the summer heat in comes sweet potato greens and they are sweet indeed! See how I grow my sweet potatoes here. I first started growing sweet potato greens(the viney tops above ground) for my rabbits. I thought to make my homestead more sustainable. Then my sweet friend from Africa stopped by and remarked, “You know the top of the sweet potato makes a very tasty green to cook and eat.” I wish you could hear his accent. I love it when someone from a different part of the world helps me think outside of my American box! Well, except when he introduced me to the bitter plant. No kidding, they call it that! When I tasted it several questions whirled through my mind at once; Do I just spit it out in front of him? Do I swallow? How fast can I get to the hose? And the time he recommended a plant, but then added, ” You have to be careful because if you don’t prepare it right, it can be toxic.” I thought, Really, did I just hear him right? Toxic as in stomach ache or die? Neither one being my preference. Maybe that is a little too far out of the box for me! Any hoo, I have eaten lots of sweet potato greens and they are fantastic. Saute them in anything. My favorite is in eggs for breakfast with a little coconut milk to add a nutty sweetness. Because nutty sweetness is always good for breakfast. Well, I have breakfast with my hubby for that, but those of you who have a more sane/serious partner can go with coconut milk. I have to say having greens added to my breakfast has given me a steady sustainable energy throughout the afternoon. Try it and skip that afternoon slump.
My go to green is just starting to fade as is expected with the southern light waning. That by the way is how you know your sweet potatoes are ready. When the tops start to turn yellow. Time to stop watering. We haven’t had rain in weeks so that is REALLY not a problem for me. This week end I will dig up the potatoes and see what I’ve got. I will let you know. Just as my favorite green is fading in comes the cool season stars: Swiss chard, kale, and spinach. Don’t worry I will remind you of how wonderful sweet potato greens are in the spring and you can get some started right along with me. In the meantime enjoy Fall!!!!