Spekboom recipes for the soul

Posted on 13 September 2019

Spekboom is South Africa’s endemic wonder plant. This shrub is packed with Vitamin C and the succulent leaves are pro photosynthesisers, the process of making plant food from sunlight. This produces oxygen as a by-product, and we all know how important that is.

Spekbom or pork bush, is more effective than the Amazon rainforest at sucking carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. Specifically, spekboom can sequester over 4 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year per hectare planted.

As well as fighting global warming, spekboom is also edible and is an ingenious way to make a dish truly South African. Here are three ways to incorporate the wonder plant into your next meal.


1. Cyprian spekboom salad for the family


320g halloumi

1 red onion

3-4 tomatoes (any will do)

1 cucumber

250g freshly picked spekboom leafs

Kalamata olives

Lemon juice

Olive oil

Balsamic vinegar


– Slice your block of halloumi into 10-12 slices and brush both sides with olive oil and fry

– Remove halloumi when golden and crisp on either side, sprinkle salt and crush black pepper over

– Chop your tomatoes and cucumber in thick, chunky slices

– Finely slice the red onion

– Add the spekboom, tomatoes, cucumber, olives and onion into your salad bowl and mix together

– Drizzle olive oil and add a splash of balsamic vinegar

– Place your halloumi slices on top, with a squeeze of lemon juice to top it off

– Sprinkle salt and pepper as a finishing touch


2. Spekboom and cape gooseberry pickle for pork belly 


1 cup vinegar, such as white, apple cider, or rice

1 cup water

1 tablespoon salt or 2 teaspoons pickling salt

1 tablespoon granulated sugar (optional)

3 baby onions (peeled and thinly sliced)

250g cape gooseberries

400g freshly picked spekboom leafs


Place the vinegar, water, salt, and sugar (if using) in a small saucepan over high heat.

Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the salt and sugar.

Place spekboom and gooseberries in bowl

Pour the brine over the spekboom and cape gooseberries

Cover the bowl and allow the mixture to cool

Using a mason jar or two, divide the mixture and refrigerate


3. Spekboom and blueberry smoothie

2 and a half frozen bananas

Half cup frozen blueberries

1/4 cup spekboom

1 cup water

1 cup alo vera juice

1/2 tsp fresh ginger, skinned


Blend thoroughly and enjoy over ice

Spekboom is prolific in Addo.


Image source: Getaway Magazine

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