Moringa is a miracle tree. Seriously, though—it’s dubbed as “The Tree of Life” since almost all its parts offer unparalleled health benefits. Moringa oleifera, also known as malunggay, horseradish tree, ben oil tree, or drumstick tree, is native to India, Pakistan and Nepal. It has been a staple of traditional medicine for over 4,000 years and Ayurvedic medicine raves about its ability to cure over 300 diseases.
A recent study shows that moringa leaves provide 7 times more vitamin C than oranges, 10 times more vitamin A than carrots, 17 times more calcium than milk, 9 times more protein than yoghurt, 15 times more potassium than bananas and 25 times more iron than spinach. Another study revealed that moringa leaves and bark possess anti-cancer agents that can help prevent and treat breast and colorectal cancers.
Whether the leaves are fresh, dried or ground into powder, moringa provides excellent nourishment all-year round. You can find it at your local farmer’s market or in your own backyard (yes, chances are it’s probably there without you even knowing). The leaf has become most popular but the bark, sap, roots, flowers, seeds, and fruits are also edible.
There are a number of ways to consume moringa; tea being the favoured way. But the lemony, peppery flavoured leaves go way beyond that. Imagine all the ways you can cook with spinach—moringa can be applied in the same manner. Here are a few other creative ways for you to maximise your moringa intake.
Boil carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, and onions in water to make vegetable stock. At the very end, drop a handful of whole (fresh or dried) drumstick leaves into the pot but make sure it’s doesn’t cook for too long after since moringa leaves lose a bit of its nutritional value in high heat.
2. SCRAMBLED EGGS
If you love the addition of spinach in your scrambled eggs, then adding moringa leaves, buds or blossoms to the mix would be just as delightful—if not more. Steam the leaves or saute them in a separate pan and then add them to your eggs, so it would be soft and cooked through.
Chop moringa leaves very, very finely and knead them into your buss-up-shut for a green leafy side to curry.
If you have the powder, mix with fresh juices or blend into smoothies and the capsules are perfect to take when you’re on the go.
5. SPRING ROLL
Get creative with the ingredients you put inside your spring roll and it will completely change how you roll.
Moringa leaves are perfect for stir-fry since they wilt in few minutes. Saute with whole mustard seeds, onions, garlic and coconut flakes. You can season it up with staple Indian spices like curry, turmeric, cumin, coriander, cardamom or chilli.
When making homemade pizza, simply add moringa leaves closer to the end of its cooking time, or put them on top of the pizza sauce underneath your mound of cheese.
Both the leaves and long seed pods referred to as drumsticks can be curried with eggplant, tomatoes, curry powder, red chili powder and ginger-garlic paste. Obviously, eat with steamed rice or dhalpuri.
Pesto is made up of three things: nuts, leafy greens, and oil. Use moringa leaves as a substitute for the plain ol’ basil and mint for a nutrient-packed, supercharged pesto.