Victoria recipes for moringa tea, smoothies and soup
Moringa leaves can be cooked any way you would prepare spinach or collards or kale. One easy way to cook them is to steam 2 cups freshly picked leaves for just a few minutes in one cup water, seasoned with onion, vegan butter and sea salt. Vary or add other seasons according to your taste. You can also parboil them for just a few minutes, then take them out and cool them down with cold water, squeeze the water out with your hands and toss them with some fresh cut tomatoes and soy sauce for a salad. Then pour a cup of moringa tea using the water you parboiled them in.
Try our Moringa Leaves recipes:
Young moringa oleifera tree pods are edible whole, with a delicate flavor like asparagus.
They can be used from the time they emerge from the flower cluster until they become too pulpy/woody to snap easily. The largest ones usable will probably be 12 to 15 inches long and 1/4 inch in diameter. At this stage of growth they can be prepared in many ways. Here are a few:
1. Cut the pods into one-inch lengths. Add onion, vegan butter and salt. Boil for ten minutes or until tender.
2. Steam the pods without seasonings, then marinade in a mixture of oil, vinegar, sea salt,pepper, garlic and parsley.
3. An acceptable "mock asparagus" soup can be made by boiling the cut pods until tender, seasoned with onion. Add vegan milk (soy, rice, almond), thicken and season to taste.
Even if the pods pass the stage where they snap easily they can still be used. You can cut them into three-inch lengths, boil until tender (about 15 minutes), and eat as you would artichokes. Or you can scrape the pods to remove the woody outer fibers before cooking.
Seeds, or "peas," can be used from the time they begin to form until they begin to turn yellow and their shells begin to harden. Only experience can tell you at what stage to harvest the pods for their peas.
To open the pod, take it in both hands and twist. With your thumbnail slit open the pod along the line that appears. Remove the peas with their soft winged shells intact and as much soft white flesh as you can by scraping the inside of the pod with the side of a spoon. Place the peas and flesh in a strainer and wash well to remove the sticky, bitter film that coats them. (Or better still, blanch them for a few minutes, then pour off the water before boiling again in fresh water). Now they are ready to use in any recipe you would use for green peas. They can be boiled as they are, seasoned with onion, vegan butter and sea salt, much the same as the leaves and young pods. They can be cooked with rice as you would any bean. The more mature the seeds, the more potent they are so you wouldn't want to eat too many at a time at their more mature stages.
In India the peas are prepared similar to this:
12-15 moringa tree pods 1 medium onion, diced
4 cups grated coconut 2 vegan bouillon cubes
2 inches ginger root 4 Tblsp. oil
1 clove garlic
salt, pepper to taste
Blanch both peas and pods flesh, drain. Remove milk from 2 1/2 cups grated coconut by squeezing water through it two or three times. Crush ginger root and garlic, save half for later. Mix peas, flesh, coconut milk, ginger and garlic together with onion, bouillon cubes (or 1 tsp miso paste), oil, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and cook until the peas are soft, about 20 minutes. Fry remaining coconut until brown. Fry remaining half of crushed ginger root and garlic in 2 Tblsp. oil. Add coconut, ginger, garlic to first mixture, heat through. Serves six.
Caution: Moringa flowers can act as an abortifacient so do not use in pregnancy. The flower buds and blossoms should be cooked before consuming. They can be made into a tea, as well as fried by themselves or battered and fried. To make a tea, boil water, then place a cluster of flowers to steep in it for about 5 minutes. Add a little sugar or stevia as desired. The flowers can be used as a natural pesticide, as insects and other pests are repelled by the flower essence.
The 9-Tray Excalibur Dehydrator is the dehydrator we use to dry our moringa for making moringa teas and powder. I love it because it has a fan and thermostat so it dries the leaves fast and at a controlled temperature (I always set it at 110 F) so it retains as many nutrients as possible through the drying process. I prefer drying leaves inside a dehydrator over air drying outside to prevent dust and bugs from getting on the leaves during the drying process. If you do dry them outside, make sure to do so in the shade. With the Excalibur Dehydrator, I am able to wash, dehydrate and package the dried leaves within 12 hours of them being harvested, to ensure the highest quality dried Moringa.
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