Friday, August 7, 2015

What is Malabar Spinach?

Gardening in Central Florida is not always an easy endeavor.  So when you find ways to make it work you get pretty excited about it.  That's why I want to bring up Malabar Spinach.  This vine is grown in India and other tropical places.  It thrives in Hot, Humid, and above 90 degree conditions.  Well that's Central Florida in the summer for sure! This summer I have been experimenting a lot with it and here's what I have learned.  

  • Not a true spinach but a terrific replacement for summer when most greens especially salad and spinach won't stand a chance.

  • It germinates great from seed even when I just toss them in the ground in mid July and water somewhat regularly.  

  • The leaves are thick and juicy and have a very mild flavor with hints of citrus and pepper.

  • Malabar Spinach well vertically so you cangrow it up a trellis, or grow it in a container with something to climb on or keep it trimmed like a bush.

  • It is a good source of vitamin A, C, calcium and iron.

  • You can toss it in a salad, soup, stir fry, frittata, or cook it like spinach. 

  • All this being said it is not an amazing flavor you will rave about, what it is, is a summer source of home grown healthiness, we have a saying you "feed your body not just your mouth,"at our home.  We like our foods to taste great but we also like to eat nutrient dense homegrown foods to take care of our bodies.  So add this to your hot summer gardening possibilities. (Okra, eggplant, sweet potatoes, hot peppers, and Malabar Spinach are all thriving right now in our Hot Humid Florida garden)

easy to grow in a pot, great for kids because its so easy!

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