Frozen Pumpkin Leaves

Pumpkin leaves are good raw or cooked. Young leaves were used in salads by American colonists. In Africa, pumpkin leaves are called ‘Ugu’, and are used in soups and main dishes. In India, they are used in the popular ‘saag’ dishes in place of spinach. Pumpkin leaves are good steamed or sauteed, and go well with olive oil and garlic. They can be used on coconut-based curries, and can be used as replacements in any recipe that calls for a winter green. Older, tougher leaves may be used as a wrap, the way grape leaves are. Pumpkin leaves must be peeled before use, as they often feature prickly spines on both the leaves and stems. To remove these spines, hold the leaf by its stem. Then, cut the tip of the stem and peel downwards to remove the top layer of the leaf, thus stripping it of the spines. Then, chop the leaves and cook them as desired. Store fresh Pumpkin leaves in a plastic bag in the refrigerator, where they will be good for around three days.