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(Shoko; African spinach) Delicious leafy vegetable of Africa, where the tender young stems and older leaves are popular in sauces and soups, and as cooked greens. It is one of the most beautiful vegetables you can grow, with spectacular green and maroon leaves and showy fuchsia and white flower spikes. Humorously it is locally known in the Yoruba-speaking areas of Nigeria as
which means "makes husbands fat and happy". And why not, it is rich in iron, protein and healthful antioxidants vitamins C and E, and beta-carotenoid. Many rave that its flavour and texture are heads above true spinach. Try it in soups, curry, pasta, dips, pizza. Grows in most soils, in sun or part shade, and withstands drought, but needs summer heat to really thrive. Can be started indoors and transplanted out in late spring or, in warm areas, sown direct to the garden in spring.
Like true spinach, Lagos spinach is high in oxalates. For those on low oxalate diets, straining boiled leaves and discarding the water helps to reduce oxalates.
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Copyright © 1997-2023 Otto Richter and Sons Limited. All rights reserved.