Cooking With Moringa: The Dos And Don’ts

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Moringa is one of the foods that really deserves the superfood label. Many consider it to be among the best resources for ending malnutrition and hunger around the world. You can eat all parts of the moringa plant, including its leaves and seed pods. The seeds are also edible. If you are considering cooking with moringa, be sure to follow the tips below. 

Do cook moringa leaves fully

You will have a hard time digesting moringa leaves unless they are very tender. Cook moringa leaves fully before you serve them. Cooking fresh moringa leaves involves boiling them until they are easy to chew in the same way that you would prepare collard greens. 

Do use moringa leaves like other greens

Use moringa leaves as substitutes for more traditional leafy greens like spinach or kale. They work well in dishes like lasagna and soups. 

Do add acid or a sweetener to moringa leaves

Moringa leaves are somewhat bitter and may seem especially bitter if you have are not accustomed to leafy greens. Along with the bitterness, they have a slight spiciness akin to the heat from horseradish. Add a note of acid or sweetness to your cooked moringa leaves as a way to tame some of its bitterness. Options include mango powder and lime juice for their acidity, or honey or sugar for the sweetness. 

Do use moringa to help with lactation

Researchers have found that moringa in the diet of nursing mothers can help them to produce more breast milk. Along with the increased quantity, there is evidence that the breast milk is also more nutritious.

Do bake with moringa powder

Moringa powder has a mildly nutty flavor that is subtle enough to work in many standard recipes for baked goods without throwing off the flavor profile too much. If you decide to use moringa powder, keep its color in mind. It is green and will give that color to paler items. Reserve it for green baked goods or use it in darker ones where the color won’t matter as much. 

Do store moringa properly

Store moringa in a cool, dry place away from light. You can store it in the refrigerator and that might extend the shelf life, but refrigeration is not a necessity. 

Don’t replace other foods in your diet with moringa

Moringa is a nutritious food, but the notion that it is more nutritious than other more readily available foods may not be correct. Consider the fact that moringa powder — like most dried foods — is a concentrated form of the herb. Moringa powder is usually compared to whole foods, which are mostly water. In other words, moringa concentrated nutrition is being compared to foods with diluted nutrients.

If you were to compare fresh moringa with fresh foods or dried moringa with dried foods, a more accurate picture emerges. For example, moringa is said to contain more calcium than milk and more protein than legumes. When you compare moringa powder to powdered milk, you will find that it has about a third of the calcium provided by an equivalent serving of milk. Similarly, moringa powder has much less protein than most legumes. 

Don’t use moringa in excess

Moringa makes a great addition to your diet when you use it in moderation. In excess, it can have a laxative effect. When starting out, it is probably safest to start out at a relatively low dose to see what effects it has on your digestion.