In 2014, I wrote about the time-consuming drudgery of washing bitterleaf. In that post, I expressed hope that a machine will be invented for that purpose.
It’s October 2019 and to my knowledge, there’s still no commercially available machine dedicated for washing bitterleaf. But there are indications people are working on it. For example, recently I got an email from a student in a U.S. university saying they were working on designing a bitterleaf washing machine. There was also news a few years ago of two brothers in Nigeria who came up with a rather crude one. I commend the brothers’ ingenuity and hope that soon they will get resources to help them refine their invention and make it commercially available.
While we wait for that to happen, I will share with you two machines people are already adapting to wash bitter leaves.
Who knew? To wash bitterleaf with a food processor, I recommend this $45 Amazon Choice processor. First, boil the bitterleaf for about eight minutes. If you have ever washed bitterleaf manually, you know that boiling bitterleaf is always a backup plan for improperly washed bitterleaf as it takes away the last traces of bitterness. For the food processor method, boiling comes first. After boiling the leaves, attach the dough blade, instead of the knife blade, to prevent shredding. Then put the bitterleaf in the processor bowl, add just enough water to cover the leaves, and turn the knob to max. Watch the processor do its thing. Bring out the leaves when you think it’s done and rinse. And you have your perfectly washed leaves. This video from Dooney’s Kitchen will make it clearer.
Portable Washing Machine
I will vouch for this method because I have eaten bitterleaf washed with a portable washing machine and in my opinion, it came out perfectly fine. I will recommend this $70 Costway mini portable machine similar to the one I was gifted. The only recommendation is to to use the machine’s delicate wash setting and only do the rinse and spin cycle to reduce shredding. Do as many cycles as you feel necessary and since we are being creative anyway, it may not hurt to boil the leaf first to reduce the washing time.
The above methods reduce the stress of washing bitterleaf by at least 80%. Do give them a try and let me know what you think.
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