Saturday, 29 April 2017

Passionfruit leaves are edible too!



Passionfruit leaves are edible too - raw and cooked! How revolutionary! 

The beautiful, vigorous vines of the passionfruit (Passiflora edulis) have abundant leaves. Having recently found this out, passionfruit leaves have joined my list of amazingly abundant greens growing freely in the garden - adding to the list of sweet potato leaves (not at all like the inedible potato leaves), pumpkin leaves, cranberry hibiscus, Surinam spinach, Brazilian spinach that I discuss in the film below.


(NB: Don't eat ornamental passionfruit varieties.)

Knowing that passionfruit leaves are edible changes again the amount of food I see in my garden - abundant gardening can sometimes happen simply through a shift in perception. 

I have a passionfruit vine growing wildly up my verandah post and the passionfruit are gradually forming. Another is scrambling along a fence below our compost bays.

No more waiting for the passionfruit to form, I can be eating the leaf too, and of course the flower (but obviously that takes away from the amount of fruit that forms).

History

Passionfruit comes from the Amazon rainforest near Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay. The leaves were used by the indigenous peoples of this region to relieve pain and as a sedative. They also used it as a poultice for cuts and bruises. In the 1800s, it was used in southern US for headaches, pain, colic, epilepsy and convulsions.  By the 20th century this plant had spread around the world

Where can passionfruit grow?

The passionfruit vine is a vigorous, evergreen climber but is generally short lived (5-7 years). It likes full sun, except in really hot summers. Here in the Queensland subtropics, mine is flourishing with some shade.

It prefers warmer climates, but can be grown in a greenhouse or even indoors. It needs a strong trellis or structure to grow on. 

For a good fruit crop, passionfruit needs lots of sun, plenty of food, well drained soil, lots of water and thick mulch. The fruits start forming after about 18 months.


How to use the leaves?

Young tender passionfruit leaves can be used as a raw leafy green in salads or as a spinach-type cooked green in quiches, curries, stir fries, soups or pastas. They contain vitamin A and niacin. 

The dried leaves are used for calming teas and herbal remedies. 

I've only just started experimenting. I remove the stems, roll up the leaves and then very finely slice. They make a great sambal - with coconut, onion, lime juice and chillies.

Do you have any recipes?


8 comments:

  1. things like this help make the garden more productive from the same space
    thank you

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  2. I have often wondered if you could eat them as my chickens and possoms eat them. I will give it a go.

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  3. My mom makes sambals with tender passion fruit leaves. Also she cooks finely chopped leaves with freshly grated coconut, shallots, turmeric and salt.
    I'm growing passion fruit vines in pots, and am waiting until its big enough to use leaves for sambals. :)

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  4. Passion fruit and passionflower are not the same species
    It's passiflora incarnata that was used in the southern USA

    I would be very cautious of eating raw or without the knowledge of processing the leaves of any of this genus incl P edulis and P flavicarpa

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    Replies
    1. Passionfruit leaves are very safe to eat. I have been eating them for years without any problems.

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  5. Wow, thanks Morag! Such good and useful info. Looking forward to trying it. Having a perennial easy
    source of greens makes foodgardening so much easier.

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  6. oh wow i have 22 passionfruit vines!! if anyone wants some leaves to try come and get them! I'm at Banyo!! thanks so much for this info!! i so want mine to be the right type.... sharan joy hall on facebook..

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