Moringa Squares & Photo Contest
Moringa Oleifera is a tree native to India and found in many tropical countries. The leaves, pods (like green beans), seeds (inside the pods), bark and flowers are used for different purposes with the roots not recommended for common consumption. Moringa is one of those trees that is easy to grow, grows quickly and requires little care. The leaves and peas are especially nutrient dense and are sometimes used to provide food and nutrients to families that need food support in many areas of the world. As well as reading like a multivitamin label, the leaves can be used as an antiseptic on the skin and once the oil is extracted from the leaves, the "cake" that is leftover can be used to filter water (such as in some African projects).
Moringa leaves can be dried and ground to a powder and used anyway you can think of. If the powder is kept away from air and light, most of the nutrients are long lasting. Moringa has more iron than spinach, more vitamin C than oranges and more potassium than bananas - amongst a host of other antioxidant and anti-inflammatory components. Do you need to eat moringa to be healthy? Well, of course not. Is it interesting that one plant can pull so many nutrients from the soil? Yes. Is it an interesting concept that we may benefit at a DNA level to exposing ourselves to a variety of families of plants? Yes. So, if you are so inclined, here is an interesting food that you might want to dabble in.
Moringa leaf powder is the most common form available to us here in Canada. The powder has a green flavour and can be used in smoothies, elixirs, soups, seasonings, or mixed into anything really. We are going to mix her all up with honey, coconut and hemp seeds.
This recipe also uses an interesting sweetener that might be new to you. Lucuma. This little gem is a tropical fruit that has been dried and ground. It has a bit of a maple flavour and adds sweetness without the blood sugar spike. You can substitute the lucuma in this recipe with the sweetener of your choice.
Moringa Bar or Balls
¼ cup unpasteurized honey (or to your tastes)
2 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil
2 cups unsweetened, shredded coconut
1 cup hemp seeds, hulled
¼ cup goji berries (dried)
2 medjool dates (optional)
1 tbsp moringa powder
2 tsp lucuma powder
1 tsp vanilla powder (a natural vanilla extract will also work just fine)
Melt honey and coconut oil over low heat and remove from heat as soon as softened. Place all other ingredients into food processor and mix together. If you don't have a food processor, you can do this by hand (omit the dates). Add melted honey and oil and mix again. Press into pan (9X9) and store in freezer until ready to enjoy. If you want to take the time, rather than pressing into a pan, you could roll these into balls or logs or the sculpture of your choice (goose perhaps?).
This recipe could be modified in a 100 different ways to highlight your flavour and creativity pursuits. Try pureeing your coconut into a powder first - making more of a fudge rather than granola bar texture. Enjoy your greens disguised as dessert!
Wait a minute, there is something missing here… Oh, a photo! Please send us the photo of your finished product and we will award a $25 Amaranth Gift Card for the most delicious photo! Calgary and surrounding areas only please. Gift card will be available for pick up only at your closest Calgary Amaranth! Contest closes May 5th. Submissions can be sent to email@example.com and you are welcome to send multiple photos! Good luck...
Recipe courtesy of Angela Bewick. Post by Amy Buckman.