Cooking Sweet Potato Leaves

Yes indeed, as those of you who have seen us recently at the farmstand or market know, you can indeed eat Sweet Potato leaves!  And per the notes in this week’s Stories from the Farm, they are also super nutritious.  Here are some tips for cooking them!

Prepare sweet potato leaves by boiling, steaming or stir­ frying to preserve nutrients. While cooking vegetables leads to slight nutrient losses, heat also helps activate some plant enzymes, vitamins and antioxidants. Get the most from your sweet potato leaves by storing them properly and cooking them for short periods of time while reserving cooking liquids for later use.

Storage: Use a plastic bag with holes for ventilation, and refrigerate in the crisper drawer.  But use them as soon as possible for best results as the leaves also lose vitamins to air.


Cooking Options


Rinse and chop sweet potato leaves into chunks before cooking.  You can chop stems separately and in general if sauteing we put the stems in a few moments before the leaves.

Heat oil in a saucepan over medium­ high heat.  Add some onion or garlic if you like and cook for a few minutes then add the stems and tehn the greens and stir to coat with oil to prevent sticking. Add a small amount of water or stock if necessary to fully steam the greens.  Cook just until the leaves wilt, just a few minutes.  Then serve as a side dish, mix into pasta, add to eggs.  You can use them just like you would spinach with the benefit that they don’t shrink quite as much and without oxalic acid they don’t leave an aftertaste in your mouth.


Our other main use of the sweet potato leaves has been chopping them and adding them to a soup.  Like with other tender green we add them to the soup at the end of the cooking process or when reheating it.


The stems are particularly nice and crunchy raw in salads.