Wild plum. Photo: Mervin Wallace

Sweet Potato Cookies with Wild Plum Jam

Nadia in a field with yellow flowers blooming

By Nadia Navarrete-Tindall

Nadia does Outreach and Education at Lincoln University and owns Native Plants and More, a consultation business. She lives in Columbia, MO and is originally from El Salvador.


Shrub or a small tree. It spreads from roots and may form thickets. Suckers can be controlled with fire or mowing. The fragrant flowers are in clusters with five white petals. The leaves are alternate, ovate, with long-pointed tips. The fruit is red to yellow and ball-shaped (1” diameter). It grows in full to partial sunlight on fertile loamy soil to marginal soils. It can be found along wooded areas, fence rows and pastures. It can be propagated from seed or cuttings.

Wild plum provides food and cover for wildlife. It is consumed by quail and many other songbirds and mammals.

It is used to produce superb jellies and other preserves.

The edible fruit matures from July to September. It can be consumed raw or cooked. 

For more wild plum growing information, visit the Grow Native! Native Plant Database.


A basket of American plum by Nadia
Sweet Potato Cookies
1 cup yogurt, Greek style
1 teaspoon butter
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 cups sweet potato, peeled, boiled and mashed (can substitute with 1 cup persimmon pulp and 1 cup mashed sweet potato)
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup native non-hybrid pecans
1/4 teaspoon minced crystallized ginger (optional)
1/4 cup wild plum jam 
1. Preheat oven to 350oF. Grease cookie sheets with Canola oil.
2. Mix dry ingredients in a bowl. In a separate bowl, mix sugar, butter, yogurt, eggs and sweet potato. Add dry ingredients to this mix. Fold in crystallized nuts and ginger.
3. Drop dough by teaspoonfuls, one inch apart, onto cookie sheet. Drop 1/4 teaspoonful of wild plum jam on top of each cookie.
4. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes.
Number of servings: eight dozen (96) small cookies.
Cookies can be kept frozen in air-tight containers.


Recipe for Wild Plum Jam
4 cups of wild plum pulp
4 cups of sugar
2 cinnamon sticks
1. Boil plums in water to loosen skin. Get the pulp using a tomato juicer.
2. Boil wild plum pulp with sugar and cinnamon sticks. Lower the temperature and let it simmer for an hour or so. Stir and check mixture constantly to avoid burning. Jam is ready when it sticks to wooden spoon.
A plate of tan/orange cookies with deep purple jam in the center

Photo by Nadia Navarrete-Tindall. 

Nadia and MPF’s Grow Native! program recommend purchasing native edible plants from Grow Native! professional members and planting and gathering native edibles from your own personal property. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider if you have concerns about consuming any native edibles. Native edible recipes provided by MPF or MPF’s Grow Native! program are for informational purposes only.
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