Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Pumpkin Leaves

One of my mottos as Elastic Mom is USE IT - DON'T LOSE IT. So I am thrilled when I can learn new ways to stretch the use of my resources to their limit rather than wasting them. One such tip came from the beautiful Blantina. This lovely lady hails from Zimbabwe and when she saw the enormous pumpkins growing in my veggie patch, she decided to educate me in their traditional use of their leaves. 

If you like spinach, then read on, because pumpkin leaves are WAY more delicious.

Pick a handful of hand-sized, young pumpkin leaves.
Strip the tough vein fibers down the stalk and off the back of each leaf.
Wash the leaves very well so that they are not gritty. I use salty water for this.
Chop the leaves like shredded spinach and cook them in a closed pot until they have wilted and released liquid.
Drain them well, pressing all the liquid out.

Melt a knob of butter in the same pot and gently fry a chopped onion and two to three tomatoes.
Once these are soft, add the drained pumpkin leaves and gently cook altogether.
Season to taste with salt and serve.

This savoury dish is so delicious, my mouth is watering as I type and remember the taste. It is traditionally served on a maize porridge, mieliemeel. I like to serve it as a side dish on it's own.

Apparently it is also good with a couple of tablespoons of peanut butter stirred in.

So there you have it, another way to make the most of the whole pumpkin plant, rather than just the fruit.


  1. I knew it is edible same as cucumber. Tried it once. But it is interesting to see how different culture enjoy them.

    1. Wow, I didn't know that cucumber leaves were edible. How would you cook them? Are they tasty too?

  2. Now you learn something new everyday,have to try this.

    1. Let me know what you think of it when you do.

  3. I had heard about this but always thought that they would be "gritty" like you said.

    1. Give it a try. They are so delicious, not gritty at all.