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Moringa leaves are small in size and oval to obovate, or tear-drop shaped, with leaflets averaging 1-2 centimeters in length and .5-1 centimeters in width. The vibrant green feathery leaflets are smooth, thick, and firm, and grow in a tripinnate structure. Moringa leaves offer a slightly bitter flavor with grass-like undertones and can often have a horseradish-like heat. During the cooking process, they release a distinct grassy aroma. Moringa leaves grow on a tree with drooping branches and are also known for their hanging fruits which contain dark brown, round seeds.
Moringa leaves are available year-round.
Moringa leaves, botanically classified as Moringa oleifera, grow on the deciduous moringa tree that can reach up to twelve meters in height and belongs to the Moringaceae, or horseradish tree family. Also known as the Drumstick tree, Ben Oil tree, Horseradish tree, and Benzoil tree, moringa trees have over four hundred different names around the world and thrive in tropical and subtropical climates. Moringa trees have been nicknamed the miracle tree due to its extremely high nutritional content. It is commonly grown in home gardens and used as living fences in India and Thailand. All parts of the tree including the roots, flowers, leaves, bark, and seeds can be consumed, and the leaves are often considered the most nutritious part of the plant.
Moringa leaves are considered a superfood and are an excellent source of beta-carotene, calcium, protein, vitamins C, B6, A, and E, potassium, and amino acids.
Moringa leaves can be consumed raw or in cooked applications such as sautéing and boiling. They can be used like spinach and incorporated into curries, stews, dals, sambars, chutneys, and clear broth-based soups. Moringa leaves can also be sliced or chopped and used in salads or as a garnish for dishes. In addition to using fresh, Moringa leaves are dried and made into a supplemental powder or used in teas. In the Philippines, Moringa leaves are boiled with lemongrass to make a detoxifying, healing tea. Moringa leaves pair well with chilies, turmeric, garlic, onions, ginger, curry leaves, tomatoes, potatoes, shrimp paste, anchovies or sardines, coconut milk, fish, pork, chicken, and pigeon. Moringa leaves will keep up to one week when stored unwashed in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.
Moringa leaves are highly nutritious and are widely used in traditional medicines because of their anti-inflammatory and tissue protecting properties. In Nicaragua, the leaves are crushed or boiled and used to reduce symptoms of aches, pains, and to help with sores. They are also used to improve digestion. In Africa and India, Moringa leaves have been used to help battle malnutrition. In Senegal, the Alternative Action for African Development found that children tested in nutritional studies with Moringa leaves maintained or increased their weight and experienced improved overall health.
The moringa tree is believed to have originated in northern India, and use of the tree in traditional medicines has been documented as far back as 5,000 years ago. Today Moringa leaves can be found in fresh markets and specialty grocers in Africa, Asia, Southeast Asia, Europe, Central and South America, the Caribbean, North America, and Oceania.
Recipes that include Moringa Leaves. One is easiest, three is harder.
|Eating Club Vancouver||Munggo Malunggay (Mung Bean and Moringo Mush)|
|Raksha's Kitchen||Moringa Leaves Stir Fry|
|Moringa Matters||Moringa Pizza|