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Do you know the green superfood moringa? What better time to meet a new super green than St. Patrick’s Day! This fresh spring pea soup is spiked with mint and a boost of moringa powder.
But what is Moringa?? I had never heard of it until my daughter Ariel who lives in Ghana brought me some samples. So of course I was intrigued. Moringa oleifera is a tree. It’s also called the drumstick tree, miracle tree, or horseradish tree, native to areas of India, Pakistan and Afghanistan. It is a beautiful tree with lacy leaves, and grows well in poor soil conditions. Known for thousands of years as a healthy food, moringa is a source of anti-oxidants (to fight infection and inflammation), fiber, plant protein*, iron, vitamins A, C, B6, riboflavin and magnesium. The entire moringa tree is edible, though the commonly used powder is made from dried leaves that grow rapidly and abundantly. The powder tastes something like matcha tea.
Dried moringa leaves are the ingredient in products made by KuliKuli Foods. KuliKuli was founded in 2011 with the goal to provide nutritional security and sustainable businesses for small farmers in rural West Africa, and has now spread to South America and Haiti. The brainchild of KuliKuli is Lisa Curtis, who experienced ill-health during her Peace Corps stint in Niger. When fellow community workers suggested she try moringa, she soon felt better. Upon returning to the U.S., Lisa was determined to bring moringa to the Western market. She is doing that with KuliKuli (named for a West African snack food), and now sells snack bars, smoothie mixes, energy drinks, teas, and powder for sprinkling on anything and for cooking. It’s truly an inspiring story of entrepreneurism, with a mission to improve nutrition and livelihoods worldwide. Read more here about it.
You will surely be seeing moringa more often in supermarket products and restaurants, as it continues to be listed as a top food trend. According to Nation’s Restaurant News its presence on menus has been growing the past 4 years and isn’t slowing down. You can also add moringa to your menus, like in this simple soup 10 minute soup. A green energy boost for a spring in your step this spring!
Purchase KuliKuli products here and get 10% discount, or type Reciperose in the promo code when you check out. Products also available at Whole Foods or Target. See the links at the end of this post for recipe suggestions for adding a moringa boost to your cooking.
Moringa Mint Pea Soup
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium leek thinly sliced, or 1/4 cup diced yellow onion
- 2-3 cups clear vegetable broth, or 1 vegetable bouillon cube plus 2-3 cups water
- 3` cups raw fresh shelled peas or frozen peas
- 1/4 cup lightly packed parsley leaves
- 1/4 cup lightly packed fresh mint leaves
- 1-2 tbsp KuliKuli Moringa Powder
- salt and pepper to taste
- Heat oil in a medium saucepan. Saute leek or onions over medium heat until soft, but not browned, 3-4 minutes.
- Add broth or water and bouillon cube and peas. Bring to a strong simmer; cook about 5 minutes for raw fresh peas, or 2 minutes for frozen.
- Remove from heat. Add moringa powder, parsley and mint.
- Puree with a hand-held wand, Or pour into a blender or food processor and blend carefully on medium speed with lid well secured. Add additional water if thinner consistency is desired.
- Serve warm or chilled.
Plant-based protein needs to have the 9 essential amino acids to be a complete protein. Moringa is complete protein, with 3 grams protein per tablespoon serving.
I recommend starting with ½-1 teaspoon serving, and evaluating amount for your taste. Tart foods like yogurt, smoothies with other greens, and salad dressings are great ways to use moringa powder for nutritional boosts.