Categories
Article

Recipe: Grilled Portobello Mushrooms with Moringa Crumbs and Sundried Tomato

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cooking Time: 2o Minutes

Servings: 4-6

Ingredients

  • 6 portobello mushrooms
  • 6 tsp Olive oil
  • For the Crumbs:
    • 60g almond flour
    • 1 tbsp quinoa
    • 1 tsp garlic flakes
    • 1 tsp onion powder
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1 tsp dried basil
    • 2 tsp dried parsley
    • 2 tsp Origin Moringa Powder
    • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 60-80g Sundried tomatoes
  • For the sauce:
    • 1 tbs honey
    • 1 tbs tamari soya sauce
  • Fresh Basil

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 200°C
  2. Prepare baking tray with non-stick spray
  3. Place mushrooms on baking tray
  4. Drizzle each one with 1 tsp of olive oil
  5. Top with sundried tomatoes
  6. Mix the almond flour, garlic flakes, onion powder, salt, garlic, basil, parsley, moringa and lemon zest together with fingertips till a crumb-like texture is formed
  7. Sprinkle mixture on top of every mushroom
  8. Bake for 15 minutes
  9. Remove from the oven and put oven on grill
  10. Mix the honey and the tamari soya sauce in a cup and drizzle over each mushroom.
  11. Place back in the oven and grill for 5 minutes.

Garnish with fresh basil and enjoy!

Categories
Article

Recipe: Moringa Chocolate Flapjacks

Prep time: 10min

Cooking time: 10min

Makes: 4 flapjacks

Ingredients

  • 280ml egg whites (8 egg whites, or can make use of 4 whole eggs)
  • 2 heaped table spoons ground flax seeds
  • 1 heaped table spoon almond flour
  • 1 heaped table spoon raw cacao
  • 1 teaspoon Origin Moringa
  • 1 teaspoon caramel essence
  • 1g salt
  • 1 table spoon raw honey

Toppings

  • Almond butter
  • Raw honey
  • Sliced banana
  • Almond flakes
  • Cacao powder

Instructions

  1. Place all ingredients in a shaker with a whisk ball and shake well for 60 seconds, one can also make use of an electric beater on medium speed.
  2. Prepare crepe pan with non stick spray
  3. Pre-heat over medium heat
  4. With a table spoon scoop batter into the pan, use 1/4 of the mix for 1 Flapjack
  5. Finish off by spreading the flapjacks with some almond butter, then topping it with sliced banana, raw honey, almond flakes and cacao, or any other topping of your choice.

Serve to enjoy!

Categories
Article

Recipe: Oven Roasted Moringa Chickpeas

The perfect snack on its own, or can be added to a salad as a wow alternative for croutons! 

Prep time: 5min
Cooking time: 15-25min
Servings: 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans of chickpeas, washed, drained and patted dry
  • 1 tbsp olive oil 
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp moringa
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp dried parsley

Instructions:

  • Pre heat oven to 220’C
  • Drain the chickpeas, pat dry with paper towel 
  • In a medium size mixing bowl, drizzle the chickpeas with olive oil and honey, and add the salt, moringa, sesame seeds and dried parsley.
  • Mix well till all Chickpeas are covered with the dry ingredients.
  • Prepare a baking tray with non-stick spray, spread chickpeas on the tray and bake for 15min-25 minutes till desired crispness.
Categories
Article

Moringa: superfood for the hungry

A KZN husband and wife team are growing and distributing the highly nutritious Moringa tree amongst the poorest of the poor.

Little could have prepared Brian and Jenny Scott for the hard work that would follow their retirement from their respective corporate jobs. The two had envisaged a fairly relaxed lifestyle, using their new-found freedom to conduct Christian outreach to the many impoverished residents of KwaZulu-Natal’s Valley of a Thousand Hills.
However, this idea was quickly turned on its head after the Scotts learned about the Moringa tree (Moringa oleifera) from their Margate-based daughter, Sue Nagel.

“About four years ago, Lifestyle Ministries of Canada donated a crop production tunnel to Sue for growing Moringa saplings for sale as part of a poverty alleviation project,” explains Brian. “She then facilitated the donation of a similar 10m x 4m tunnel to us.

“Our intention was to use the tunnel to run a vegetables and flowers project, but Keith Davies of Lifestyle Ministries encouraged us to grow Moringa saplings instead.”

Comprehensive research
There is extensive documentation on the nutritional benefits of the Moringa tree. Research has found that gram for gram, the Moringa provides the human body with seven times more vitamin C than oranges, four times the vitamin A of carrots, four times more calcium than milk, three times more potassium than bananas, and twice the protein of yoghurt.

Furthermore, all parts of the tree are edible. They can be consumed fresh, or dried and powdered to lock in the health benefits and concentrate the beneficial nutrients.

The origins of moringa 5000
Brian and Jenny recall that when the tunnel arrived, they had nowhere to erect it. The problem was solved when Dave and Jennifer Rigby offered part of their farm in Assagay for the purpose. “Keith suggested that we aim to plant and distribute 10 000 trees in the Valley of a Thousand Hills,” continues Brian, who was initially sceptical of being able to achieve this. Eventually, however, he drafted a project plan for producing 5 000 trees. Brian and Jenny called the project Moringa 5000.

Funding 
To acquire funding for the propagation and distribution of saplings, the Scotts approached the Hillcrest Presbyterian Family Church (HPFC), where Moringa 5000’s project plan was well received. HPFC adopted Phase 1 of the plan and undertook to secure funding for the propagation of the first 200 trees and their distribution to the community.

“At around the same time, Spring Lights Gas in Westville donated sufficient funds for the 1 000 Moringa trees that would constitute Phase 2 of the plan,” Jenny explains. “From there, it all snowballed, with the Methodist Church in Kloof committing to buy 1 000 saplings to distribute through its own outreach ministry. “Then in 2013, the Methodist Church in Barberton, Mpumalanga, began its own outreach ministry based on the Moringa 5000 concept.”

Brian and Jenny had initially thought to approach international donors for the project. However, after holding joint discussions, the Scotts and HPFC decided that local poverty should be tackled with local resources and support. So they continued to seek support from businesses and organisations in the area.

Promotion 
“We decided to begin asking R5,00 for each sapling because we wanted the recipients to attach value and responsibility to caring for each Moringa tree that they owned,” Brian says. “It’s human nature to care better for things that you’ve paid for than for those received for free. What’s more, the nutritional value of a well cared for and regularly harvested tree will soon far exceed the R5,00 purchase price.”

Moringa 5000 uses its extensive connections with various churches and outreach ministries in the valley to promote the tree as a cheap, renewable and highly-nutritious food supplement among the impoverished residents.
In addition, the Scotts host regular training sessions to educate interested groups on how to best care for and utilise Moringa trees. They also conduct follow-up visits to see how the owners and their trees are faring.

Planting, pruning and harvesting
Moringa 5000 advises owners to plant their trees in light, sandy soils where they will receive full sunlight. A 30cm x 30cm x 30cm hole is dug, and the extracted soil mixed with compost. Half the compost and soil mixture is replaced in the hole, and the sapling and its root plug placed on top of the mixture in the middle of the hole. The remaining soil and compost mixture is then replaced around the root plug and patted down firmly.

The sapling should be well-watered for the first few days. Ideally, the trees should be planted in an area fenced off against livestock but if this is not possible, it can be protected by being planted within a stack of four old tyres.
For optimal leaf production, Moringa trees must be pruned regularly. Pruning also prevents them from growing too tall and so producing fibrous and bitter old leaves. The tree should be kept at adult human height. Clippings from pruning can be used as mulch.

Harvesting of the leaves should begin only once the tree can withstand removal of the leaves. It is also important to leave sufficient leaves for the tree to photosynthesise.

Enjoyed in a variety of ways 
Moringa leaves, flowers and seed pods are surprisingly tasty. The Moringa 5000 training brochure points out that fresh and dark green leaves can be eaten as salad greens or mixed into cooked food. It’s important, however, that the fresh leaves are not heated to above 60°C, as their nutrients are then neutralised. Dried leaves can be used as tea or sprinkled on food, green Moringa seed pods can be cooked and eaten like asparagus, and buds and flowers can be lightly cooked before being added to a meal.

The growing value of Moringa 5000
Focus on iThemba is an accredited non-profit, public benefit organisation located in the Valley of a Thousand Hills. It focuses on disadvantaged and vulnerable children. With the guidance of Moringa 5000, iThemba has begun its own Moringa project, harvesting and selling excess Moringa leaves to Moringa 5000 for processing into health products while also growing saplings for sale.

The income is then ploughed back into iThemba’s sustainability projects to continue its non-profit work. “We planted our first 200 trees, donated by Moringa 5000 ministry, in September 2013 and have already generated about R10 000 income for iThemba from selling the excess leaves,” explains spokesperson Camilla Blomfield.
Gardener, Cecilia Noholoza (55), says she often eats Moringa.

“I used to get tired very quickly but since I began eating Moringa I can work until the sun goes down. I also used to have black marks on my face but they have also faded.”

With no prompting from anyone at Moringa 5000 or from iThemba, Cecilia is so convinced of the tree’s nutritional and health benefits that she hosts her own planting and training days in her community. Pastor Fanyana Dlamini, congregation leader of the Abambo community project: Church of Hope, together with his wife, Thokozile, runs a feeding scheme for children in their area.

Fanyana is also interested in the nutritional and health benefits of growing and eating Moringa, particularly as these relate to his church’s feeding scheme. He is growing his own trees and promoting the idea to other pastors.

Superfood to fight hunger
Brian and Jenny promote the Moringa as a superfood supplement and are convinced that it can alleviate hunger and nutritional deficiencies amongst the poorest of the poor. People with some disposable income can buy, grow and eat the leaves, flowers and seed pods of their own trees or even buy some of the Moringa-based health products manufactured under the Moringa 5000 name. These purchases will help Brian and Jenny to continue improving the lives of those in need.

Phone Moringa 5000 on 079 822 8444 or email jenny@moringa5000.co.za. Visit the website  www.moringa5000.co.za.

Categories
Article

Ancient moringa new buzzword

Here’s the lowdown on a plant that has been praised for its many and varied health benefits for thousands of years.

Moringa oleifera is very rich in healthy antioxidants and bioactive plant compounds.

So far, scientists have only investigated a fraction of the many reputed health benefits.

Here are some health benefits that are supported by scientific research:

Super nutritious

Moringa oleifera is a fairly large tree that is native to North India. It has a variety of names, such as drumstick tree, horse radish tree, or ben oil tree.

Almost all parts of the Moringa tree can be eaten or used as ingredients in traditional herbal medicines.

The leaves and pods are commonly eaten in parts of India and Africa.

moringa-oleifera-leaves-and-pods

One cup of fresh, chopped leaves contains:

  • Protein
  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin C
  • Iron
  • Riboflavin (B2)
  • Vitamin A (from beta-carotene)
  • Magnesium

Compared to the leaves, the pods are generally lower in vitamins and minerals, but they are exceptionally rich in vitamin C. One cup of fresh, sliced pods (100 grams) contains 157 percent of your daily requirement for vitamin C.

Rich in antioxidants

Antioxidants are compounds that act against free radicals in our bodies.

High levels of free radicals cause oxidative stress, which may contribute to chronic diseases like heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Heart disease and type 2 diabetes

Several antioxidant plant compounds such as isothiocyanates have been found in the leaves of Moringa oleifera. In addition to vitamin C and beta-carotene, these include:

  • Quercetin: a powerful antioxidant that may help lower blood pressure.
  • Chlorogenic acid: also found in high amounts in coffee which may help moderate blood sugar levels after meals. High blood sugar is the main characteristic of diabetes. Over time, high blood sugar raises the risk of many serious health problems, including heart disease.

Sustained inflammation may be involved in cancer

Inflammation is the body’s natural response to infection or injury. Sustained inflammation is believed to be involved in many chronic diseases, including heart disease and cancer.

Moringa leaves, pods and seeds have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties which may also be due to isothiocyanates.

Moringa can lower cholesterol

High amounts of cholesterol in the blood have been linked to an increased risk of heart disease. Both animal and human studies have shown that Moringa oleifera may have cholesterol-lowering effects.

On the downside

  • Moringa leaves may also contain high levels of antinutrients which can reduce the absorption of minerals and protein.
  • Taking Moringa oleifera as a supplement in capsules won’t supply large amounts of nutrients.
  • The amounts are negligible compared to what you are already getting if you eat a balanced, real food-based diet.

Feeding programmes and malnutrition

moringa-oleifera-seeds

Moringa oleifera is an important food source in some parts of the world. Because it can be grown cheaply and easily, and the leaves retain lots of vitamins and minerals when dried, it is used in India and Africa in feeding programmes to fight malnutrition. The immature green pods (drumsticks) are prepared similarly to green beans, while the seeds are removed from more mature pods and cooked like peas or roasted like nuts. The leaves are cooked and used like spinach, and they are also dried and powdered for use as a condiment. The seed cake remaining after oil extraction is used as a fertilizer and also to purify well water and to remove salt from seawater.

Categories
Article

Moringa – the miracle protein plant

Freda Linde-Gaisie and husband Richard Gaisie, founders of Akan Moringa, share their journey to discovering the many health benefits of the ‘miracle tree’ called Moringa.

Our journey with Moringa has been very interesting.

The miracle tree

About 3 years ago, Richard’s sister, who is a nutritionist living and running her own health retreat in Spain, told us about this amazing ‘miracle’ tree called Moringa. This tree with its multitude of health benefits simply sounded too good to be true! As we had never heard of it, and living in the information age with so much knowledge available at the click of a button, we were very suspicious.

Read: Coconut – the ‘fruit of life’

We thought, if this is such a miracle tree that seems to be the answer to so many of man’s modern ills, why have we never heard about it?

We were slightly intrigued and started our investigations online. There was so much information on Moringa, including numerous searches that brought up scientific research. We found research from the likes of The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in the U.S., amongst many other reputable institutions.

We decided we had to try it. The next step was strange. Talking to health conscious individuals and even health shop staff, we discovered that like us, people had never heard about Moringa! Which of course made it an almost impossible task to know where to buy it!

Eventually Richard found a seller online who imports Moringa from India. So we ordered a kilogram and started taking it.

I must admit it was hard. It was very hard to swallow!

Moringa was bitter

Even in a delicious fruit smoothie it was so bitter, it made me want to gag. We persisted and began to feel the benefits. After a few weeks I felt so energized. Richard could also feel the benefits of consuming the Moringa leaf in it’s powdered form. So we continued taking it.

At that stage in our lives we both wanted to make a career change and start a business together. We had both been wanting to do this for a while but couldn’t decide what we would do.

Around that time we were planning a family trip to Ghana. Richard is British born but his parents were immigrants from Ghana and his extended family still lives there.

We booked a family holiday and that was when it all changed.

Read: The many wonders of Goji Berries

Richard had become interested in the natural and organic farming system of Permaculture and discovered a few farmers on the internet who farmed using that system in Ghana and wanted to visit their farms. Being vegetarian and travelling in Africa is not an easy thing to do.

We did however discover quite a few vegetarian restaurants on our travels. To our surprise these offered Moringa in juices, or as tea. One could even buy Moringa leaf powder.

The powder we bought was so easy on the palate in that you could simply sprinkle it on fruit like mango and eat it just like that. We loved this new discovery!

Even our children were enjoying Moringa now. We had a wonderful time visiting family and traveling across the country. Just a few days before our departure, Richard expressed regret that he didn’t get to visit the Permaculture farms that he intended to.

This is when the penny dropped. We realised that we could build a business combining and promoting Richards passion for Permaculture and bringing the awareness of this wonderful Superfood called Moringa to South Africa and the world.

Watch: A documentary on the Moringa tree

Richard set off to meet the farmer and to forge a relationship that would lead to us importing Moringa to South Africa. On our return we immediately started the ball rolling by registering our business, and to this day we do not regret a single moment, or the decision to start this business. We now have over 70 stockists around the country.

Read: The magic of Chia

We enjoy spreading the news of Moringa and its benefits to South Africans and beyond our borders.

People say it’s important to have a job you enjoy, and for us this is it. In fact it’s not a job – we enjoy mixing business with pleasure.

Everybody wins with Moringa

We also love the fact that everybody wins. We get to support the farmers and communities in Ghana that are passionate about Permaculture. We get to make a living and support our family, while educating people about the benefits of Moringa and changing lives as consumers benefit from optimum health. It’s a win-win-win situation.

Moringa leaves are packed with naturally occurring vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants (47), anti-inflammatories (36), all essential amino acids (protein 27%), omega 3, 6 and 9 and a lot more.

In Ayurvedic medicine Moringa is used for over 300 ailments. It’s no wonder that the Moringa tree is referred to as “The Miracle Tree”.

Read More:

Maca – save your sex life the natural way
Acai berries – nature’s ‘filler’
‘Superfoods’ everyone should eat

Freda Linde-Gaisie