Malabar Spinach in the Edible Landscape
by Cheryl L. McClure
Malabar Spinach Basel alba "Rubra" is an edible perennial vine in the family Basellaceae. This is the one I have. It's stem and seeds are reddish purple.
I like the idea of having an edible landscape and there are several places around the house that would typically be landscaped with shrubs but here, you will find tomato plants, peppers and Malabar. I took the pot home and planted it next to the patio where it was able to grow on a trellis. Being so late in the season I was surprised how well it grew and how easy it was to establish.
This is an ideal plant to have on a fence where it can grow to its heart's content, providing leaves that are readily available for your cuisine! It looks very pretty too. From what I can tell it is relatively pest free - I don't want to jinx myself, but it seems to have been less affected than anything else we have and we don't use chemical fertilizers or pesticides. So there you go. Who could ask for a better plant than one that grows easily, it's beautiful and doesn't have to be babied because of bugs?
I have it growing next to the patio and also next to the house in a flower bed. It loves to climb so if you want to grow this, be sure to have a trellis or something for it to climb on.
It likes full sun but I also have it in a shady area. It likes sandy loam with rich organic matter. I had no problem propagating with either cuttings or after seed had ripened and fallen.
In the winter I cut it back and put mulch on top.
The leaves and stems can be eaten raw or cooked and are used in a variety of dishes prepared in many ways. It is used in various Asian, Chinese, Philippine and Latin American dishes. I am anxious to learn of other ways to prepare it because so far, I have LOVED my Malabar on sandwiches, in my frittata and in soups!
I like to use the frozen Malabar in my frittata and in a smoothie! For a smoothie, you can add it just like you would kale or any other green vegetable. I like mine with a frozen banana and Pure Protein Complete meal shake mix with coconut milk.
There's no hard fast rule to this. That's what makes it so easy! Here's the basic recipe for 2 servings.
- 2 slices bacon, fried and chopped
- 3 scallions or green onions, chopped
- 1 banana pepper or 1/2 bell pepper, chopped
- 2 chicken eggs and 1 duck egg (or 3 chicken eggs)
- 1/8 cup of milk
- 1 tsp Juvaspice
- 1 drop Black Pepper Vitality™
- 1 Handful of Malabar spinach, chopped in quarter size pieces
- After bacon is done (drain grease), chop and add onions and peppers. Cook till carmelized.
- Add Malabar and stir until wilted.
- Whisk eggs, milk and seasonings together and pour on top of vegetables.
- Cook till done, minimally turning until light and fluffy.
Serve with rye toast and fruit.
I hope you try this and get back with me and tell me how you liked it! If you try something different I would love to know what it was.
Cheryl @ Pickle Creek Ranch
Young Living Independent Distributor 1176855