One of the great things about having so many staff from all around the world is that we’re always sharing new ways of eating food, and new things to eat!
We’ve grown sweet potato since we began the farm, as we know that it’s a real crowd-pleaser among our veg box customers. The sweet potato grows underground in the summer months and spreads a sprawling, leafy vine that covers the ground around the growing patch.
Every autumn when the sweet potato bulks up and starts breaking the surface, we used to do what all Australian growers do; harvest the roots and discard the root (composting them of course).
But after a couple of years of this process Emmanuel, our former support worker, educated me about how amazing sweet potato leaf is as a nutritious green vegetable! It turns out that in a lot of parts of the world, it is grown just as much for the leaf as it is for the root. This insight has now given me a completely different perspective about what we grow, and a whole new understanding of ‘leaf to root’ eating. We’ve since found that sweet potato leaves and vines are among the pig’s favorite food as well, so they play a large role in their diet.
With the rain this week, the sweet potato leaves are bursting with life, so we hope you enjoy them!
Green Connect Farm Manager
What’s that in my box?
Sweet Potato Leaves. Also called Yam Leaves or Camote tops are like most leafy greens packed with nutrients and antioxidants, and contain high levels of Vitamin A, C and K and provides high levels of fiber, calcium, magnesium, zinc, copper, potassium and iron. These leaves are used in most of Asia, Africa but also in Spain and Latin America. It’s a great substitute for spinach and chard and works great in soups, stir-fries or mixed it in with your pesto or Green Smoothie.
Sweet Potato Greens in Coconut Cream
1 large bunch sweet potato greens
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 shallots, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger root (from a 1/2-inch piece)
2 teaspoons grated fresh turmeric root, or 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 red thai chili, finely sliced
2-inch lemongrass stalk, trimmed and finely sliced
1 to 2 teaspoons soy sauce, or to taste
1 cup coconut cream plus 1 cup water (or substitute 2 cups light or regular coconut milk)
2 to 3 teaspoons raw or brown sugar, or to taste
Salt and pepper, to taste
Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Trim off any thick stems from greens. Add to boiling water and blanch for 60 seconds, then immediately transfer greens to a bowl filled with ice water to stop the cooking. Drain.
Heat oil in a large pan or wok over medium heat. Add shallots, garlic, ginger, turmeric, chilli, and lemongrass and stir until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in soy sauce.
Add coconut cream and water (or coconut milk) and bring to a simmer. Add blanched greens and return to a boil; reduce heat to low and simmer for 2 minutes. Add sugar and season with salt and pepper to taste. Spoon into bowls and serve with rice. https://www.loveandoliveoil.com/2012/09/sweet-potato-greens-in-coconut-cream.html
I also have to share this recipe of pancakes that I came across the other week and it was a hit in my son’s lunch box. It was so easy to make that I made it in the morning before school. ( we get up early in my house).
Oat and Zucchini Pancakes. This recipe is inspired by Little Green Kitchen cookbook.
1 Banana, peeled and roughly chopped.
100 g rolled oats
2 tbsp milk of your choice (I use oat milk)
½ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon (optional)
1/2 tsp vanilla essence (optional)
½ zucchini, grated coarsely.
Coconut or butter for frying.
Crack the eggs into a blender. Add the rest of the ingredients, except the zucchini and oil. Mix until completely smooth. Stir in the zucchini through the batter. Heat a little oil in a large non-stick pan, over medium heat. Pour in a few tbsp of batter for each pancake, fry until golden underneath and bubbles start to appear in the batter. Flip over and fry for another minute. Once cooked set aside to cool. I added the cinnamon and vanilla to give it a little natural sweetness, and just packed with some fresh berries and cottage cheese for the kids. But you can obliviously use what every topping you like.
Kristin Watson – Fair food Coordinator