Hey guys! You’ve probably been hearing all the rave about moringa oleiferia– this super duper “tree of life” that bears these highly nutritious leaves, pods, flowers & seeds!
The moringa tree is native of the sub-Himalayan areas of India and also presents the benefits of being a fast growing, drought resistant tree.
Here in Jamaica, you’ll likely come across dried up seeds & leaves- commonly consumed amongst the Rasta community especially. And rightfully so- they’re really good for you! I’ve also had friends tell me they use it for their hair- mixed with oils.
Moringa has also been extensively used in other parts of the world: namely in India & the Philippines where they have been cooking the leaves & young pods for years!
In Mexico, moringa is also used in natural remedies- and the oil for skin/hair applications.
Bali is also another place where moringa has been used for decades- in curries, teas, etc.
Moringa seeds have also been used to purify water– in certain parts of the world.
You can read about the health benefits of Moringa online- and below sums up what makes this plant so amazing!
Anyway- so I’ve started to cook with the leaves a lot more, lately, and I wanted to show you how easy it is to integrate into your dishes!
The leaves taste a little like spinach– and it takes a lot of leaves to get anything decent! So you’ll need a bit of patience- but well worth it 🙂
Be sure to choose leaves that are not too young and not too mature. They should be “just ripe”. Rinse them at least twice before cooking them.
Here I cooked them up with some ackee- making for a great breakfast and start to the day!
Recipe for Moringa Ackee
- 2 cups of moringa leaves- washed
- 1 dozen ackee, prepared & boiled
- 1 onion, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, finely sliced
- 2 plummy tomatoes, chopped
- 1 small green bell pepper, chopped
- Salt & Black Pepper
- Scotch Bonnet (optional)
- Coconut oil
- In a large pan, drizzle some coconut oil- and add the onions & garlic. Cook until transluscent.
- At that time, add thyme and cook for a little more. This helps release the oils of the thyme and intensifies the flavour 🙂
- Then add the scotch bonnet, tomatoes & green bell peppers- cook until soft.
- Add the moringa leaves- they will cook very quickly, in about 2 minutes!
- Finally, add the ackee. Season with salt & pepper. Mix everything well and cook for another short 5 minutes. Enjoy!
Feel free to add other aromatics like ginger or turmeric in here too!