A super simple recipe that makes use of sweet potato greens! This healthy side dish starts with olive oil and garlic and is finished off with maple syrup and red wine vinegar.1

When I walked into the barn at Stick and Stone Farm last Wednesday eve, the mood was beyond cheerful. It was downright merry, and it seeped into my bones. I swear it was on account of the sweet potato greens. The farmers and farmhands were giggling and chattering like squirrels praising the Indian Summer, blessed with one more day to collect acorns for winter storage.

Sara, the superwoman who organizes the weekly farm-share (community supported agriculture), asked me “so what will you do with the sweet potato greens this week?” I racked my brain…

“Sweet potato greens? You mean, the leaves that grow on top of the sweet potatoes?” Farmer Lucy chuckled and confirmed with a big grin and a proud “yes!”

I snatched a spade-shaped leaf from the box and shoveled it into my mouth. My palate reeled with a surprise: this was a wholly new and unexpected flavor! A new ingredient entirely. I had never tasted anything like it before.

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What Do Sweet Potato Leaves Taste Like?

Sweet potato greens are crisp and fresh, but snappier than spinach. They have a punch that’s floral beyond belief and reminds me of the taste I sometimes catch in my mouth when I walk by an overly perfumed body. Except this wasn’t distasteful at all. I couldn’t wait to get into the kitchen!

holding a sweet potato with greens attached

Sweet Potato Leaves Health Benefits

Sweet potato leaves and stems are full to the brim with micronutrients! Here are just a few of them:

  • Antioxidants: protects your cells and keeps them healthy
  • Vitamin A: great for immune system support
  • Vitamin C: supports skin, vein, and bone health
  • Riboflavin: helps the body breakdown and absorb nutrients
  • Fiber: excellent for digestion!
  • Calcium: important for strong healthy bones
  • Magnesium: supports muscle and nerve function
  • Iron: helps out body story and use oxygen

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How to Cook Sweet Potato Leaves

When cooking sweet potato greens, they resemble spinach more brightly, with crunchier and more substantial stems.

  1. Raw: Add them to your salads with a sweet dressing to balance out their bitterness.
  2. Sautéed: When in doubt, simply sautée with butter, garlic, and a little salt. You can’t go wrong!
  3. Boiled: Add them to a soup for pops of green color and added nutrients.

sautéed sweet potato leaves with garlic recipe

Recipe Ideas for Sweet Potato Leaves

Treat sweet potato leaves just like you would spinach. They’re insanely versatile for everyday cooking. Here are a few ideas:

  • An omelet add-in
  • Toss into your pasta
  • Stir into stews or curries
  • Blend into your morning smoothie
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Maple-Sauteed Sweet Potato Greens

Sautéed Sweet Potato Greens with Maple Syrup Recipe

This simple recipe is a must-try for the sweet-potato-green-newbie, like me! There are few quick meals more satisfying to me than popping a runny yolk over a bowl of heaping greens. Consider topping yours with a poached egg, or sunny side up!

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
Scale

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 1 large bunch sweet potato greens
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1.5 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Instructions

  1. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the olive oil. 
  2. Once the oil is hot, add the garlic and sauté just until the edges begin to brown.
  3. Add the greens and cover the pan with a lid. Steam until the leaves start to wilt, about 2-3 minutes.
  4. Stir in the maple syrup, red wine vinegar, and salt. Cover again.
  5. When the greens are completely wilted, like spinach, remove them from the heat.
  6. Serve warm, or cold the next day for a refreshing salad.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 6-8

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