A Foodie Post for Succulent Lovers

in #food3 months ago

For a very long time I have been collecting, propagating, and growing numerous succulents and aloes, and one of my favorites in my garden is my enormous Portulacaria Afra plants better known as the elephant bush, porkbush or as we call it in Afrikaans the spekboom.

This gorgeous small-leaved succulent with vibrant red stems is a great attribute to any garden that will have it. It is drought and frost resistant and creates a lovely ecosystem for creatures and critters to shelter in during harsh weather conditions. Above that, it is also a very beneficial plant with medicinal properties and contributes greatly to carbon reduction


Little did I know when I started growing spekboom that it would not only become a favorite in my garden but also in my kitchen as well.

I would often add some spekboom leaves to salads, their tart taste and crisp texture add a new dimension to the classic table salad, and eating the leaves straight off the tree while working out in the garden is hardly uncommon for me.

But today I wanted to see if I could take it one step further, and I decided to make a relish with some spekboom leaves incorporated into it. The end result did not disappoint.



200g diced cucumber
100g spekboom leaves
100g diced white onion
50g sweet pepper (Optional)
10g chopped garlic
6 tsp sugar
Half cup brown vinegar
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 teaspoon salt


Firstly I diced my cucumber and onion then hand-selected the spekboom leaves off a few branches that I had picked earlier. Once I had the desired quantities of all of them, I placed them in a dish and sprinkled them with a tsp of salt, and mixed thoroughly. (I wanted to add some sweet peppers, but I forgot) This mixture was then set aside to rest for 30 minutes, then rinsed.

In a saucepan, I combined the garlic, sugar, vinegar, lemon juice, mustard seeds, and fennel seeds and simmered that over medium heat stirring continuously until all the sugar was dissolved then I lowered the heat and added the cucumber, spekboom, and onion mix. I let this cook on low heat for about ten minutes until the onion and spekboom were nice and soft.

Such a quick and simple relish to make, and it tasted divine.


For serving, I used some Pro-Vita crackers and slathered a thick layer of cream cheese on them. I then spooned over the relish, and of my, what a wonderful taste combination.

I think that this relish will also go well on burgers and hotdogs, or even as a side with a juicy steak.
This is definitely a relish that I will make again and again.


So, you see, succulents can be more than just a gorgeous plant. <3


Have a number of spekboom in the garden, enjoy eating them when in the garden (much like you) or in summer salads, never thought about trying in a relish.

This looks tasty and sounds divine, a new way of using something you plant at home.

@tipu curate 2

I love discovering new facets or uses for my plants.
The tart taste of the spekboom in the relish made it really nice, I would reduce the amount of fennel next time though, as it ages that fennel taste grows a bit too strong for my liking. But it was a great pilot run :D

Preferential taste when making something new takes a couple of times to get where you enjoy, have fun adjusting.

I couldn't agree more.
Thank you for stopping by Joan, was lovely seeing you

Take care, hope the farm is managing to be productive after swings with weather of late. Enjoy your homemade relish.

Oh man, I am still waiting for rain LOL The whole of SA seems to be flooding and here it's still bone dry.

Up your way dry and much of Eastern Cape still low on water capacity (drought), hope the clouds reach you soon.

Oh wow, @joanstewart alluded to your post and you jumped ahead of me on this one! Been planning to post my spekbook-purslane chutney for the last week now! Good to know that fellow South Africans use this wonderful plant.

Awesome recipe! It is truly amazing how versatile this plant can be; from salads to relish to chutneys.

Oh wow, that's pretty cool, I look forward to reading your post.
I still want to try and make some purselane (Portulaca oleracea) frittatas at some point too :D

That is awesome yes! I have made some and many others, and any green plant really works well! I love amaranth frittatas the most though!

Very tasty looking food

Thank you

I just learned something today! I will check to see if our local nursery sells this plant as I would love to try this recipe. Natural food from the gardens is the best.

Even if you can just find someone that has some in their garden. It grows super easy from cuttings with minimal effort. It's as easy as sticking it into the ground and watering it every second day for a week or two.