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Friday, February 26, 2010

The Magic of Talbos ng Kamote (Sweet Potato Leaves)

Took a different route going home this morning after my errands today and I passed by this Filipino store and noticed they were selling some vegetables. At first glance, I thought it was Kangkong but I noticed color in the leaves and I realized it must be Talbos ng Kamote..and it was! I bought a bunch for only $1.50 and since it's Friday today, I decided that this will go well with our Flounder Fish which I planned to cook for dinner.

Talbos ng Kamote, also known as Sweet Potato Leaves or Camote Tops (scientific name Ipomoea Batatas) is another one of my favorite vegetables but I never get to eat them all the time as they are not always available in Asian Markets or Filipino Stores here. Other than buying them from markets, sometimes friends give them to us straight from their garden.

I love Talbos ng Kamote for its health benefits:

(a) Excellent sources of antioxidative compounds, mainly polyphenolics, which may protect the human body from oxidative stress that is associated with many diseases including cancer and cardiovascular diseases. source

(b) High in iron. I grew up being anemic for a long time and part of my doctor's suggested diet then was to eat lots of ampalaya, liver steak and talbos ng kamote so my mother made sure we had a steady supply of all these.

(c) Good source of vitamins A, B and C, calcium and phosphorus. source

I love Talbos ng Kamote because it's so easy to cook. Just boil in hot water for a few minutes, transfer to a bowl, squeeze lemon or calamansi on top and serve. Then magic happens as the acidity of the lemon/calamansi will make the soup turn red. That's why I call them my magic vegetables because they turn red with just a few drops of lemon and magic too because it does make my blood healthier.

You can also make Camote Tops Salad. Blanch leaves in boiling water and drain. Add cherry tomatoes and feta cheese. Then pour a few teaspoons of Vinaigratte dressing.

Tonight, I cooked them the old-fashion way (by just boiling) and dipped in Bagoong (shrimp paste).

I hope one day, when we have a house, I'd get to grow some Camote Tops in our own garden so I would always have a fresh supply of this wonderful magic vegetables.