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Food of the Month: Moringa

IMG_4254Never heard of it before? Neither had I until my husband went to Costco one day and discovered this treasure! It is a fantastic way to increase your intake of greens which we all need to do. The best part about this amazing find is that it is 100% pure, no additives or other crazy ingredients to adulterate the goodness that comes from this vegetable. Compared to kale it contains 2 times more protein, 3 times more calcium, 4 times more iron and 2 1/2 times more fiber per tablespoon of Moringa powder. That's pretty amazing in my book!

 

What is it?

Moringa comes in the form of trees or shrubs. The whole plant can be used including the bark, leaves, roots, seed pods, flowers and tubers. The leaves can be eaten fresh or dried and ground into a powder. Oil can be extracted from the seeds leaving sweet oil that resists rancidity. The cake from the seed can be used to purify drinking water and the seeds can also be eaten green or dried and ground into a powder for steeping in tea. Moringa is grown in India, Ethiopia, the Philippines, Sudan, parts of Africa, tropical Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean, Florida and the Pacific Islands.

Health Benefits:

According to the Food and Agriculture Association of the United Nations, Morgina "leaves are rich in protein, vitamins A, B and C, and minerals. Moringa products have antibiotic, antitrypanosomal, hypotensive, antispasmodic, antiulcer, antiinflammatory, hypo-cholesterolemic, and hypoglycemic properties."

How to Store:

If using fresh leaves, remove the leaves from the stem and wash thoroughly. Dry the leaves on a paper towel until all the moisture is gone. Leave the leaves until they are dry enough to crumble easily. Place the ground leaves in an airtight container.
If using a powder then all the work is done for you. Simply store in a cool, dry place.

How to Use:

Moringa powder can be blended into smoothie or sprinkled into sauces or soups. Moringa powder can be found at Costco for the moment but if your Costco does not carry it then it is available online at Amazon.

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