Moringa oleifera, or, the Moringa tree, is a tree that has been around for thousands of years. Many people have used various parts of the Moringa tree for its many health benefits, but only recently are these benefits becoming known around the world.
The Moringa tree is indigenous to India, in the foothills of the Himalayas. The Moringa tree is also called the drumstick tree, due to its wide trunk but small, narrow branches.
The leaves of the Moringa tree are very rich in protein and vitamins A, B, and C, as well as minerals. One hundred grams of fresh moringa leaves contains:
● 9.3 grams of protein
● 434 mg of calcium
● 404 mg of potassium
● 738 μg (micrograms) of vitamin C
The seeds of the moringa tree are high in protein, and contain 30-40% oil. The oil in the molinga seeds is high in oleic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid that can lower blood pressure, protect cells from free radicals and increase brain myelin (the connections in the brain).
Even more good news about moringa is that it has a very strong, unique flavor. There are plenty of recipes out there that call for moringa, giving you the opportunity to make food that’s delicious, exotic and super healthy. Here are the top 8 recipes we’ve found for moringa.
1) Shrimp Suam Moringa– A delicious combination of moringa, shrimp, garlic, onions and ginger.
2) Moringa drink– Add moringa powder to your daily milkshake, orange juice or tea in the morning. If you find the taste is too strong for you, add a little honey. It will mask the flavor some.
3) Salad–Moringa powder sprinkled over a salad gives you the nutritional benefits of moringa without being overpowered by the taste of it.
4) Moringa leaf sauce– Combine moringa leaves with peanut butter, oil, salt and pepper and red pepper flakes to create a unique moringa leaf sauce. Serve over rice or couscous.
5) Moringa soup– Moringa soup is a tasty exotic soup, made with chicken (or pork), garlic, tomato and ginger root.
6) Moringa scrambled eggs– It’s as simple as it sounds! A great way to take a simple breakfast and elevate it to a new level of healthiness.
7) Moringa portobello tower– Start with a whole grain bun, add a portobello mushroom, a fresh slice of tomato, thick onion slice and grated mozzarella. Add moringa leaves on top, drizzle with olive oil and enjoy.
8) Moringa leaves with corn and onions– Another simple, delicious dish with the added health benefits of the moringa tree.
One things to keep in mind when cooking with moringa, is that you should add the leaves or powder at the last second. The less heat applied to the moringa leaves, the more nutrients they retain.
Moringa leaves are a great way to add a boost of vitamins A, B, and C, as well as an omega-3 fatty acid, potassium and protein into your diet. It has a great number of health benefits and give an exotic flair to your food. Try moringa leaves with your next meal.
Photo credit: Rui Ornelas / iW / CC BY