Look for the superfood green, moringa, also known as ben tree, horseradish tree, or drumstick tree. It’s been getting some buzz lately even though it's been around for centuries. Eastern cultures have been using it for decades for its multitude of health benefits and for its nutrient dense properties–rich in vitamin C, vitamin B6, riboflavin, iron, and protein.The leaves may be eaten like a salad green, added to rice and pasta dishes, juiced or blended into smoothies, and may also be made into a powder for tea used to ward off colds.
Moringa grows well here in Florida and is found at Jubilee Organics, a farm in Northwest Bradenton which will have a stand this season at the Bradenton Farmers Market. Farm owner Ryan Duncan, uses this superfood in his juices and smoothies each morning and also tosses the leaves into salad mixes.
Compared to its counterpart, popular matcha, which has been showing up everywhere from coffee and tea drinks to ice cream and yogurt, moringa has more fiber, calcium, sodium (great for replenishing after Bikram yoga), and vitaminsC and A. It also is an excellent source of protein and iron, two things matcha does not supply.
A very versatile green, there are an abundant amount of recipes using moringa as an ingredient including those for cupcakes and muffins, chicken dishes, and even pesto.
Here’s one perfect for fall found in Shape magazine:
Pumpkin Seed Moringa Cupcakes
Recipe by Fresh Planet Flavor
- 1/2 cup coconut flour
- 1/2 cup tapioca flour
- 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
- 2 tsp moringa powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 4 eggs, room temperature
- 1/2 cup coconut oil, plus more for greasing muffin molds
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/2 cup palm shortening, at room temperature
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Melted chocolate and pumpkin seeds, for topping
1. Preheat the oven to 375° F. Grease a silicone muffin pan with coconut oil, or line a muffin tin with parchment liners.
2. Pulse the coconut flour, tapioca flour, pumpkin seeds, moringa powder, baking soda and salt in a food processor until the pumpkin seeds are ground into a fine meal.
3. Add the eggs, oil, and honey and puree until smooth.
4. Spoon into the cups of the silicone mold or muffin tin, then place in the preheated oven. Reduce the heat to 350° F, and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a tester inserted comes out clean, then set aside to cool.
5. To make the frosting, whip the shortening, honey and vanilla until smooth. Fit a pastry bag with a coupler and tip, then load the frosting into the pastry bag. Once the cupcakes have cooled, pipe the frosting on top in the design of your choice.
6. Top with melted chocolate and more pumpkin seeds. if desired.