Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Sweet Potato Greens (Camote Tops) Salad
Many people are familiar with sweet potatoes - the tuber we use for cooking, baking or making desserts. But do you know that the leaves of the sweet potato plant can be eaten as well? The leaves are not only edible but nutritious as well. Its nutritional content is said to be comparable to the spinach. Sweet potato leaves contain dietary fiber, lipid, and essential minerals and nutrients such as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, potassium, sulfur, iron, copper, zinc, manganese, aluminum and boron. They are also important sources of vitamin A, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin and ascorbic acid. The leaves are high in protein - making it a perfect dish for vegetarians.
Sweet potato tops are excellent sources of antioxidants, mainly polyphenolics, which may protect the human body from many diseases including cancer and cardiovascular diseases. There are also many anecdotal testimonies that the sweet potato tops are the cure for dengue fever (infammatory, hemmoragic fever caused by a specie of mosquito common in Asia). Information here.
Here in the Philippines, we call the leaves Talbos ng Camote or Camote Tops. Camote is the Tagalog word for sweet potatoes, and Tops, well, because the leaves grown on top! We usually use the leaves for soups and salad. It is an easy plant to grow. It can be harvested several times a year. It is also abundant in all markets and groceries.
1 bunch (around 300 gms) Sweet potato (Camote) Tops, washed, cut into bite sized pieces
4 large tomatoes, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1/3 C rice vinegar (I used brown rice vinegar)
1 T sugar (or more if you prefer a bit sweeter taste)
salt and pepper to taste
1. Blanch the leaves in boiling water. Drain. Immerse in cold water bath. Drain again.
2. Mix the rice vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper together.
3. Arrange the sweet potato leaves on a platter. Top with tomatoes and onions. Drizzle with the vinegar-sugar mixture.
This is the basic salad recipe. For variation, we can add fruits such as mangoes, avocadoes or watermelon cubes.
This highly nutritious, absolutely yummy, totally vegetarian dish is my entry to the Healthy Cooking foodie event. Head over to Mansi's Fun and Food blog to learn more healthy and yummy recipes. After all, we have to eat well in order to live well.