Leaves can be dried, crushed into a powder and stored for use as a nutritional additive to soups, sauces, etc. Although some of the nutritional content is lost in the drying process, the powder remains an excellent source of vitamin A. Harvest leaves, wash and let dry in an airy place out of direct sunlight (sunlight can destroy vitamin A). Rub the dried leaves over a wire screen to produce a powder. Vitamin A retention over long periods may be enhanced if leaves are blanched before drying.
As a nutritional additive, add two or three spoonfuls of powder to rice, soups and sauces just before serving. Small amounts of leaf powder will not have a marked effect on the taste of the sauce.
BINGA “POWER” PORRIDGE
Finely mix together:
60g maize meal.
30g roasted bean meal (cowpea or any other bean can be used).
10g roasted groundnut meal.
Moringa leaf powder.
(Meal can be obtained by running the seeds through a maize mill).
BINGA “POWER” BISCUITS
60g maize meal.
30g roasted bean meal.
10g roasted groundnut meal.
20ml cooking oil.
1/4 teaspoon salt.
1/2 teaspoon baking powder.
20g (2.5 heaped tablespoons) Moringa leaf powder.
Mix and knead all ingredients until a cohesive mass is obtained. Add more water if needed. Oil a baking tin of about 20x20cm and press the dough into the tin. (10g of roughly crushed groundnuts or sesame seeds can be pressed into the surface of the dough). Cut dough into sections using a sharp knife. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 170 C. for 20 minutes, or until done. Store biscuits in an airtight container.
1kg groundnut meal
Milk (powdered, fresh, or condensed)
Moringa leaf powder.
Wash fonio carefully to remove any foreign matter. Boil in water for 5 minutes. Add groundnut meal and boil for an additional 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add salt and Moringa leaf powder towards the end of the boiling process. Remove pot from the fire and allow contents to cool. Eat with sugar and milk.
GROUNDNUT AND MILLET PORRIDGE
Milk (powdered, fresh or condensed)
Moringa leaf powder
Mix groundnut meal with water until a uniform paste is achieved. Put paste into a pot of boiling water (amount of water depends on whether a liquid or semi-liquid porridge is desired). Cover and boil for 15 minutes. Mix millet flour with water until a uniform paste is achieved (use a ratio of 3 parts millet flour to 1 part groundnut meal). Slowly add this mix to the pot, stirring constantly. Cover and boil for 15-20 minutes more. Add lemon and Moringa leaf powder towards the end of the cooking process. Remove pot from fire and allow to cool, then add milk and sugar to taste.
Fish (de-boned) or hamburger
Crushed red pepper
Moringa leaf powder
Mix flour with water until a dough is formed. Roll dough onto a flat surface and cut into squares. Combine onions, fish or hamburger, red pepper and leaf powder together. Put a spoonful of this sauce onto the middle of each square of dough. Fold the dough to enclose the sauce, using a fork to seal the edges. Cook in hot oil until brown. (A simple doughnut can be made by mixing flour and Moringa leaf powder together, then adding water to make a dough).
Add a spoonful of more Moringa leaf powder to a liter of water, add sugar to taste. Stir together. Store juice in a refrigerator.
Use entire Moringa seedlings or young leaves and growing tips from mature trees. Older leaves need to be stripped from their tough and wiry central twig. In preparing leaf sauces, dried leaf powder may be used in place of fresh leaves. Cooking time can be reduced if leaf powder is left to steep in water overnight.
MORINGA LEAF PUREE
It has been reported that in the Philippines, Moringa leaves are occasionally ground into a mash, boiled and then spoon-fed to infants.
BASIC MORINGA LEAF SAUCE
Steam two cups of fresh leaves for a few minutes in one cup of water. Add chopped onions, salt, butter and any other seasonings according to taste.
MORINGA LEAF OMELET
Wash, then fry a bowl of leaves for five minutes with sliced onions, garlic and salt. While this cooks, lightly fry minced onion and tomatoes and add this to the fried Moringa. Stir together half a cup of this mix, two eggs and a spoonful of any bouillon soup mix and cook.
SENEGALESE MORINGA LEAF SAUCE WITH RICE
Collect Moringa leaves, wash, then pound them into a mash using a mortar and pestle. Boil leaf mash in water until cooked (leaves turn a brownish color). Add some palm oil, meat or fish (dried or smoked), and other desired vegetables and spices (onion, red pepper, Maggi cube). Simmer until cooked. Serve over rice.
SENEGALESE MORINGA LEAF SAUCE WITH MILLET COUSCOUS
Collect Moringa leaves, wash, then pound them into a mash using a mortar and pestle. Boil leaf mash in water until cooked (leaves turn a brownish color). Pound raw groundnuts (peanuts) into a paste, add to Moringa sauce. Add meat, vegetables and spices (onions, red pepper, Maggi cube). Simmer until cooked. Serve over millet couscous. (In Wolof, this dish is known as “Mboum” and among the Diola of the Casamance, “Etojay”).
SENEGALESE “AKO NEBEDAYE” LEAF SAUCE
This sauce is eaten as a soup or poured over rice or millet couscous.
500g fresh Moringa leaves.
500g raw groundnut powder.
1 small dried fish.
5 small fresh fish (yaboyes) or two pieces of any large fish.
100g of dried fish meal (kétiakhe).
1 medium onion (crushed).
1 red pepper (crushed).
3 cloves garlic (crushed).
1 Maggi cube.
Boil leaves, discard water, add fresh water. Add both fresh and dried fish, add salt to taste and boil again for 10-15 minutes. Remove and de-bone the fresh fish. Add all other ingredients to the pot and bring sauce to a boil, stirring occasionally. Return the fish to the pot and simmer the sauce for another 10-15 minutes.
Flowers, a good source of calcium and potassium, must be cooked before being consumed. Fried, alone or with a batter, they have a taste reminiscent of mushrooms. Moringa flowers can be mixed with any of the leaf recipes.
MORINGA FLOWER TEA
Place flowers in hot water and let steep for five minutes. Add sugar to taste. This tea is reportedly used in Haiti as a cold remedy.
MORINGA FLOWER SALAD
Steam flowers, then add normal salad seasonings, oil and vinegar.
When still very young and pliable, the entire pod can be prepared and eaten in the same manner as green beans. Older pods develop a tough exterior, but their pulp and immature seeds remain edible until shortly before the ripening process begins. The taste of young pods has been compared to asparagus.
With young pods:
1. Cut pods into 3cm lengths, add onion, butter and salt, boil in water for ten minutes.
2. Steam the pods, then marinade in a mixture of oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, garlic and parsley.
3. Make “mock asparagus soup” by boiling the pods until tender, seasoned with onion. Add milk, thicken and season to taste.
With older pods:
4. Slice open the pods, boil in water until soft, then scrape out the seeds and white flesh. Discard the rinds. The flesh may be eaten as is (add spices for flavor) or returned to the water to make a soup. Add onions, salt and pepper for flavor, flour to thicken.
5. A soup popular in India is made by slicing pods into 5cm lengths and boiling in water along with lentils. Only the inside of the pod sections is eaten.
6. Slice open the pods and scrape out the flesh, keeping the flesh intact (lightly boiling the pods beforehand will make this job easier). Strips of flesh can be steamed and mixed with onions and spices; strips can be fried in oil; or strips can be added to other recipes
Harvest the immature seeds while they are still white in color. Twist the pod, then with your thumbnail slit open the pod along the line. Scrape the inside of the pod with a spoon to remove the seeds with the winged shells intact and as much of the soft white flesh as possible. Place peas and flesh in a strainer and wash well to remove the sticky, bitter film. At this point the seeds can be prepared in the same way as green peas, mixed with rice in the same manner as beans, or roasted or fried in oil to give a taste like sweet groundnuts.
INDIAN MORINGA PEAS
Blanch peas and flesh, drain. Remove milk from 2 1/2 cups grated coconut by squeezing water through it 2 or 3 times. Crush 5 cm ginger root and 1 clove garlic, divide into two portions. Mix peas, flesh, coconut milk and one portion ginger/garlic mix with 2 bouillon cubes, 1 diced medium onion, 4 tablespoons oil and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and cook about 20 minutes, or until peas are soft. Fry additional 1 1/2 cups coconut until brown. Fry remaining portion ginger/garlic in 2 tablespoons oil. Dice 2 boiled eggs. Mix everything together, heat through and serve.
The Moringa tree has been called the “horseradish tree” because a similar-tasting condiment can be made with from its pungent roots. Even when the plant is only 60cm tall, it can be pulled up and the roots harvested. The root bark (which contains two alkaloids as well as the toxic moringinine) must be scraped off. The interior flesh is pounded, then mixed with salt and vinegar.
However, it can be dangerous to consume the roots too often or in large amounts. Even though the toxic root bark is removed, the flesh has been found to contain the alkaloid spirochin, a nerve paralyzant.
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