Author Topic: Best fake spinach for FL summer  (Read 3341 times)

Julie

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Best fake spinach for FL summer
« on: April 11, 2021, 01:21:17 AM »
Which perennial greens are the best tasting? For example Malabar spinach, sisso spinach, etc (there are many). Thank you for your help!

RodneyS

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Re: Best fake spinach for FL summer
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2021, 12:57:54 PM »
Katuk - has a nut/peanut taste
Toona Sinensis - supposedly has a umami flavor that tastes like beef & onions (I bought a few small seedlings.  Haven't tried them,, yet)
Okinawan spinach
Longevity spinach
New Zealand spinach
Bele

Galatians522

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Re: Best fake spinach for FL summer
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2021, 03:35:05 PM »
For cooked spinach, taro leaves are hard to beat, but they can't be eaten raw. Sweetpotato greens are also good.

odin.9

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Re: Best fake spinach for FL summer
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2021, 12:40:14 PM »
i second sweet potato greens. they grow really well in hot humid FL.

spencerw

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Re: Best fake spinach for FL summer
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2021, 12:51:14 PM »
my two favorites are sissoo and okinawa spinach. sissoo is a bit more work processing because you dont use the stems, however okinawa spinach if you just use the fresh growth tips the shoots are quite pleasant. and taro leaves are incredible, but finding favorable leaf varieties can be difficult and non ideal cultivars can take hours to cook out the itch. check out my blog for other options as well!

https://tropicalselfsufficiency.com/

Julie

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Re: Best fake spinach for FL summer
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2021, 12:13:23 AM »
Great website spencer!  Thank you!
Thanks to everyone who replied.  Will try a few cultivars this summer still feeling very overwhelmed.  I have sweet potatoes growing and the leaf tasted OK to me I will try it in cooking.

Pokeweed

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Re: Best fake spinach for FL summer
« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2021, 07:30:31 AM »
How do you tell which varieties of taro are for greens and which are for the tubers? I bought some small tubers at the grocery store a couple of years ago and have a bunch of plants now. I assume these are not for greens based on how they were sold, but how would I know without risking a thousand needles in my throat? Thanks, D

spencerw

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Re: Best fake spinach for FL summer
« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2021, 02:25:59 PM »
as long as you have taro (colocasia esculenta) they all can be cooked, it just varies by cook time. the bun-long Chinese taro is known here in hawaii as one of the most favorable with the shortest cook times. can be fully edible in 20 minutes of boiling. about two months ago i was desiring leaves. i went out to some of my plants and harvested a large pot full of leaves. we cooked them for 4 hours and it still had some slight itch. we cooked it another two hours the second day and still had some light itch. nothing horrible, but enough to notice. ive decided not to eat that one anymore. most of the small sized taro corms sold in stores/farmers markets here is the bun-long variety.
if youre up on your botany you can figure out what variety you have. but being on the mainland im not sure what other cultivars you have. we can narrow things down pretty quickly here in hawaii by assuming most are local varieties plus only a few commercial non-hawaiian cultivars. heres the best site ive found for information.
http://bentut.github.io/kupunakalo/index.php/kalo_varieties/detail/bun-long/index.html
id prefer to collect a specimen from a known cultivator and be sure about variety rather than messing around with unknown varieties. but ive yet to come across for sure known edible leaf varieties. ive found other taro relatives for short cook times, but for some reason taro is a hard one for me to find. even here in the apex of ancient taro cultivation

Pokeweed

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Re: Best fake spinach for FL summer
« Reply #8 on: April 29, 2021, 06:51:33 AM »
Thanks Spencer. That's a lot of good info. Is there any nutrition left after such a long cook time? I tend to think the ones I have are just for tubers. I'll probably just use them that way, but watch for other varieties. D

spencerw

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Re: Best fake spinach for FL summer
« Reply #9 on: April 29, 2021, 01:35:31 PM »
thats a good question! my body knows it wants to be eating taro greens. once you smell the leaves cooking you just want to consume them. so im assuming the nutrients are still in there!

Pokeweed

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Re: Best fake spinach for FL summer
« Reply #10 on: April 30, 2021, 07:39:02 AM »
Then I guess I'll have to try the greens! Thanks, D

Galatians522

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Re: Best fake spinach for FL summer
« Reply #11 on: April 30, 2021, 05:42:19 PM »
I have eaten the greens from taro corns I bought at Publix (after boiling for 15 min) with no issues/itchyness. It is not Bun Long because it lacks the purple fibers, but it is in the same family (Dasheen type taro).

Julie

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Re: Best fake spinach for FL summer
« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2021, 01:02:06 AM »
Iíve heard that echo nursery has a variety of taro specifically for leaves. Hope to go there soon when Iím traveling in that direction.

Galatians522

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Re: Best fake spinach for FL summer
« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2021, 10:31:52 PM »
It is well worth the trip. You might call ahead and ask them if they have (or when they might have) a specific plant available. I think the plant you are refering to is Belembe (Xanthosoma brasilliense). At least, that is the one they mention in their compendium of warm climate fruits and vegetables. Apparently, Dr. Martin calls it the "Queen of Spinach." It does have to be cooked.

Rex Begonias

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Re: Best fake spinach for FL summer
« Reply #14 on: May 18, 2021, 02:05:17 PM »
Nothing does as well in my dry/shady yard as longevity spinach and okinawa spinach in close second as they must be very closely related.

Of all the kinds I've tried though, new zealand spinach tasted best to me, though it has yet to grow very well.  I'll keep trying it, sometimes it just takes a bit or experimenting with the conditions.

Bele I've been growing are a bit too tough of a texture for me, but maybe I've gotta get some better new growth or something.

Malabar seem to need more water than I have here.

I've got the sissoo/brazilian spinach going as well, and I had a leaf once that tasted great, but most of it since has been too tough and bitter, so maybe that one would be good in the right conditions/timing.

I love your title "best fake spinach," lol.

Julie

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Re: Best fake spinach for FL summer
« Reply #15 on: May 27, 2021, 03:03:14 PM »
Thanks everyone! Iím working on it slowly, free time is so limited for me these days.

Galatians522

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Re: Best fake spinach for FL summer
« Reply #16 on: February 26, 2023, 09:29:42 PM »
Thought I would resurect this post by adding a quotation from an article I was reading about upland taro production. If you plan to grow taro for leaves, you should start eith one of the listed varieties. This is from:
"Growing Upland Taro"
By Glenn I. Teves, County Extension Agent, University of Hawaii.

"Leaf production and corm production
are different Ďanimalsí and should not be
mixed or integrated. In leaf production,
there are different cultivars used, with
Bun Long Woo as the dominant variety.
However, there are many other varieties
that could be utilized including Palauan
and Hawaiian varieties. Hawaiian
varieties utilized for leaf production have
included Lehua, Mana, Piko, and
Apuwai."

Flgarden

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Re: Best fake spinach for FL summer
« Reply #17 on: February 26, 2023, 10:48:20 PM »
I found tatsoi to be a great spinach replacement. Grows in florida great and was the last to bloom when got hot.
Ana

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Re: Best fake spinach for FL summer
« Reply #18 on: February 27, 2023, 02:02:06 AM »
what about amaranth?  the red variety is pretty high on my list of edible ornamentals.

Vegan Potato Man

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Re: Best fake spinach for FL summer
« Reply #19 on: February 27, 2023, 12:07:10 PM »
As a vegan, I take great affront to the term "fake spinach"

Anyway we like the sissoo spinach, and our tree kale has been going off, though it isnt very spinach-y


I tried the bele but it was super slimy and pretty bitter. Will try again in a soup or something.

Galatians522

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Re: Best fake spinach for FL summer
« Reply #20 on: February 27, 2023, 09:07:23 PM »
I found tatsoi to be a great spinach replacement. Grows in florida great and was the last to bloom when got hot.

I have not tried it, but I have heard people call it "vitamin green." I guess its actually suposed to be better for you than spinach. Its on the mustard side of the barissica genus with Bok/Pok Choy. Is it pungent like mustard greens or mild like choy?

Flgarden

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Re: Best fake spinach for FL summer
« Reply #21 on: February 28, 2023, 12:09:16 AM »
I found tatsoi to be a great spinach replacement. Grows in florida great and was the last to bloom when got hot.

I have not tried it, but I have heard people call it "vitamin green." I guess its actually suposed to be better for you than spinach. Its on the mustard side of the barissica genus with Bok/Pok Choy. Is it pungent like mustard greens or mild like choy?
When the weather was cooler, it had no specific taste like spinach. Then it got older or hot weather, it started getting mustard greens taste. It still the closest taste  to spinach i tried.


Ana

JCorte

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Re: Best fake spinach for FL summer
« Reply #22 on: February 28, 2023, 10:09:34 AM »
Chaya is an excellent spinach substitute.  You have to boil the leaves for several minutes, but after it's boiled and drained, it's really good.  Texture is good with very neutral flavor.  Grows abundantly and needs no special care, plus it's perennial and can easily be propagated from cuttings. 

Cody Cove Farm in Florida has a couple different varieties of Chaya as well as other spinach substitutes.  Josh Jamison was the garden manager at Heart Village and has started his own farm and nursery.

https://codycovefarm.com/product-category/leaf-crops/

Janet
« Last Edit: February 28, 2023, 10:13:24 AM by JCorte »

Pokeweed

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Re: Best fake spinach for FL summer
« Reply #23 on: March 02, 2023, 07:19:59 AM »
Codycove doesn't ship outside of Florida. They have good material, but if you are outside Fl, you'll have to wait.

JCorte

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Re: Best fake spinach for FL summer
« Reply #24 on: March 02, 2023, 12:19:51 PM »
Pete Kanaris sells the marobou and a couple others from his nursery Greendreamsfl.

Or you can make friends in Florida to get cuttings for you.  If youíre a patreon supporter you get first access to Cody Cove offerings.  ;D

Iíll be propagating my plants as much as possible this year and may be a source as well in the future.

Janet

 

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