We are all aware of the supernatural benefits Moringa has for our health. Moringa Oleiera leaf can be used in number of ways. It can be used as a raw leaf, in the form of processed dried powder and can be inculcated as an everyday food item in different ways. Moringa juices, salads, breads, fritters, pasta, soups and other forms of readymade food are very popular.
Here are a number of ways in which you can use Moringa powder;
1. Taking fresh Moringa leaves
Moringa leaves can be consumed raw. In fact, moringa is said to provide 7 times more vitamin C than oranges, 10 times more vitamin A than carrots, 17 times more calcium than milk, 9 times more protein than yogurt, 15 times more potassium than bananas and 25 times more iron than spinach.
To retain the freshness of the Moringa leaves, they should be stored in air tight jars and kept well protected from heat, light and humidity. Although the Moringa is a sun loving tree, the harvested leaves should be kept away from the sunlight. To get the best nutrient potential out of the leaves, it is advised to consume them when they are freshly harvested and young. You can even cook the leaves for a few minutes and then consume them.
2. Using Moringa tree leaves as a powder
Moringa leaves can be dried and pressed into fine powder and then consumed. This makes them both easier to store and to use at any time. For optimum nutrient retention of the leaf powder, it must be ensured that the water content in the plant is not less than 7%. The drying time should not be prolonged and should be kept short. The temperature at which the Moringa leaves are dried should not be greater than 50 to 55 degrees Celsius. It is possible that during the drying and storage procedure a large amount of vitamins are lost, but the plus side is that the Moringa leaf itself retains a large supplement of nutrition even after drying.
To prevent microbial contamination and retain the freshness of the powdered Moringa, it must be stored within one week after it has been freshly pressed.
3. Cooked Moringa leaves
Although Moringa leaves can be eaten raw, some people prefer to have them cooked. But due to the exposure to heat during cooking, some vitamins are destroyed. This is why it’s important to cook Moringa leaves the right way, in order to retain optimum amount of nutrients. It is advised to cook them for a short time and keeping them with the water they were cooked in.
4. Moringa as water soluble and fat soluble vitamins
Moringa leaves are enriched with Vitamins C and B, which are water soluble. Other vitamins found in this superfood are soluble in fat, like vitamin A (ß-carotene) and E (a-tocopherol). While you are cooking or drying the Moringa leaves, make sure to retain the water. The water is infused with Vitamins B and C, which are highly soluble in water. To attain the fat soluble vitamins A and B, the Moringa leaves should be cooked in oil or other sources of fat. The ideal way attain both water and fat soluble Moringa minerals is to boil the Moringa leaves in a small quantity of water and then add both the leaves and the water to a sources of fat.