What Edible Leaves Do Africans Eat?
Africans like and love to eat lots of different types of leaves, leaves such as bitter leaves, bologie and krain-krain. Many west African sauce dishes and stews combine leaves, they can be steamed like spinach, sauteed in some olive oil with garlic and salt, or used in stir frys and stews.
Top Ten Leaves Africans Eat?
Leaves can be eaten fresh or dried. Here is a list of the many different types of leaves eaten by the people of West Africa together with some recipes:
- Potato leaves
- Cassava leaves
- Bitter leaves. Ndolé leaves also called bitter leaves
- Coco yam, Cocoyam leaves Nkontomire or Kontomire
- Partminger (leaves)
- Sour sour leaves or Sawasawa
- Crain Crain or Krain Krain
Other Leaves Used In African Cooking
- Pumpkin leaves
- Moringa leaves
- Uziza leaves
- Cilantro (leaves)
- Efirin leaves
- Basil leaves
- Bay leaves
- Mint (leaves)
- Thyme (for flavour)
Bitter leaves (cook them several times to make them lose their bitterness).
What foods do west Africans like to eat? Read about this at cooking West African food, recipes and meals.
Benefits Of Eating Leaves
Many of the leaves contain a healthy amount of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, calcium, and iron, as well as folate, potassium, and some of the B-vitamins. Leaves like spinage are packed with fibre and protein the other main nutritional elements are carbohydrate with and without sugar.
Recipes With Leaves As An Ingredient
Both Bitters and Bologie (Saturday Plasas), Bologie and Bitters are cooked with bitter leaves which as mentioned above you need to wash before cooking, Potato Leaves Plasas, Palava, Potato Leaves Sauce Jolabeiteh, Fried Potato Leaves, Cassava Leaves, Cassava Leaves Sauce Zakitumboi, Palava Sauce, Pemahun Potato Leaf One Pot, Krain Krain Plasas, Watchi or Wakye or Waakeye, Senegalese Summer Rolls, Sawasawa wate-sawa, Crain Crain Draw Soup, Palm Oil Fish Stew, Crab Yam and Pepper Soup, Superkanja from Gambia and Pork Rice.
These recipes can be vegan by adding your choice of vegatable in the place of the meats or fish.
Some of the spellings are different but are the same leaves. The following are two examples.
Commonly known in Nigeria as “ugwu/ ugu”, pumpkin leaves are eaten all over Africa and form a common part of the diet when available. Nkontomire or Kontomire is the name given to Cocoyam leaves or taro in Ghana.