Before I changed the title of this recipe post to “healthy milkshake”, the original blog post title was “Morning Moringa Shake”. I then realized that sounded more like it could be some kind of dance move than something edible… But it’s actually quite delicious and nutritious, I promise!
This healthy milkshake is simple and versatile. You can keep it vanilla or you can add strawberries, blueberries, tropical fruit, cacao, or any other “super-foods” of your choice (I’m sure you can figure out which ones I added originally)!
First, a quick backstory…
About a year ago, it was getting to be the end of the summer 2018, and I finally started feeling settled in Austin after the big road trip from Boston at the end of June. (Most of the bags were unpacked, I learned some of the roads without using the GPS, and the new office was furnished!)
Looking back, it was definitely a weird and scary feeling to go from a place that I had called home for 30 years (AKA 3 decades of roots packed into a 10-mile radius) to a new land halfway across the country where I could literally count my entire “tribe” of people on less than both of my hands.
Keeping my private nutrition practice was the ONE big condition that needed to be in place when I agreed to move to Austin. But I do remember feeling a bit terrified of starting over.
That said, in a moment of panic, aside from frantically applying to a bunch of other jobs (which did happen too), I knew it was time for me to get back into the “hustle” of networking…
And I’m so glad I did! Networking led me to meet some really cool and interesting people here, including a man named Albert who works in the nutritional supplement industry. Albert shared with me his positive experience with a plant called Moringa oleifera and it was an incredibly inspiring and enlightening story!
(I know you were waiting for the punchline…) 😉
What did I learn?
A family member of Albert’s was once bedridden with debilitating fibromyalgia, relying on medications for symptom management with minimal improvement… until one day when someone from her church began sharing with her a moringa-fortified protein powder.
After taking moringa daily over time, Albert’s family member had a miraculous recovery from her fibromyalgia, went back to living a ‘normal’ quality of life, in remission, off all of her medications… and now Albert is on a mission to share this story to help others!
WOW. We really need to stop overlooking people’s so-called “anecdotal” reports!
Anecdotal reports aside, there’s a lot of legit research on moringa as well as hundreds of similar plants that can offer similar benefits. (Don’t even get me started!)
But for the sake of this recipe and for the sake of time, I’m just going to zero in on moringa!
So what is moringa?
Moringa oleifera is categorized as a vegetable in the Brassica family (along with cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, and mustards).
Moringa grows as a tree, mostly in subtropical and tropical regions of South Asia. Most parts of this plant are beneficial whether in the form of nutrition, antioxidant activity or clinical uses which is pretty fantastic!
Benefits of moringa
According to the Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention (1), the Journal of Dietary Supplements (2), Phytotherapy Research (3, 4), and the International Journal of Molecular Sciences (5) to name a few, Moringa oleifera is shown to be beneficial for people seeking natural prevention and management of the following:
- Digestive issues
- Autoimmune disorders
- Lowering cholesterol & triglycerides
- Lowering blood pressure
Wait! Not so fast! A few important things to keep in mind…
Contraindications of moringa
Moringa is NOT recommended for people with hypothyroid conditions or for women who are pregnant or nursing, as some studies suggest it may be a goitrogen which can negatively impact thyroid function in some people when used consistently or excessively (6).
Like all other foods and herbs, moringa is not a “magic bullet” and does not replace a healthy lifestyle.
Generally speaking, one size does not fit all. Moringa may or may not be a plant ally for you. If it’s not, there are literally hundreds of other super-foods to try adding to your healthy milkshake (or no super-foods is totally fine if you’d like to keep it simple!).
Please know that I’m a proud affiliate for Starwest Botanicals, which I choose as a primary sources for my herbal ingredients including the super-foods listed below. That said, if you make purchase from any of the Starwest Botanicals product links I share, I wanted to give you a heads-up I’ll make a small commission at no extra cost to you!
Other super-food alternatives
A few popular antioxidant-rich “superfood” herbs to try in your shake aside from moringa powder include raw cacao powder, matcha powder, wheat grass powder, hemp seeds, turmeric, spirulina powder, chia seeds or ground flax seeds to name a few. Each of these is not necessarily for everyone so I encourage you to do your research.
- I personally choose to NOT use maca powder in my list of super-food endorsements, because it’s being over-harvested and sadly now at risk of extinction.
If you’re interested in learning more about which super-foods are right for you, but don’t know where to start, hit me up! I can *and do* talk about this kind of stuff alll day… 😀
- You can use ANY protein powder you like for this healthy milkshake recipe – it doesn’t have to contain Moringa!
Okay rant over… now for the shake recipe!
Healthy Milkshake with Super-foods
- Mason jar for soaking
- Measuring utensils
- Blender or Nutribullet or Vitamix or Magicbullet
- 3 tbsp nuts of choice (I use cashews) (Soaked in water with a pinch of salt, for several hours or overnight)
- filtered water and pinch of salt, for soaking cashews
- 3/4 cup fruit of choice (Fresh or frozen - I love using berries!)
- 1 scoop protein powder of choice (Optional) - I use moringa-infused plant based protein powder, or collagen peptides!
- 1 cup water or milk or unsweetened milk substitute
- 2 whole Medjool dates (Pitted)
- 1 tbsp super-food of choice (Hemp seeds, chia seeds, matcha powder, ground flax seeds, or cacao powder are a few of my faves!)
- Soak nuts and a pinch of sea salt with some water in a jar, and cover. Leave overnight and strain out the water the next day.
- Add all remaining ingredients and blend! Easy peasy. 🙂
Have you tried moringa or another super-food before? If so, what was your experience? I’d love to hear from you!
As always, thanks for reading this and/or being a part of my community- I’m grateful for you!
- F.A. Razis, M.D. Ibrahim & S.H. Kntayya. (Dec 2014). Health Benefits of Moringa oleifera. Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention. 15:20, 8571-8576, DOI: 10.7314/APJCP.2014.15.20.8571
- A. Momoh, S. A. Chime & F. C. Kenechukwu. (2013). Novel Drug Delivery System of Plant Extract for the Management of Diabetes: An Antidiabetic Study, Journal of Dietary Supplements, 10:3, 252-263, DOI: 10.3109/19390211.2013.822454
- Stohs, SJ, and Hartman, MJ ( 2015), Review of the Safety and Efficacy of Moringa oleifera. Phytother. Res., 29, 796– 804. doi: 10.1002/ptr.5325.
- Anwar, F. , Latif, S. , Ashraf, M. and Gilani, A. H. (2007), Moringa oleifera: a food plant with multiple medicinal uses. Phytother. Res., 21: 17-25. doi:10.1002/ptr.2023
- Leone, A., Spada, A., Battezzati, A., Schiraldi, A., Aristil, J., & Bertoli, S. (2016). Moringa oleifera Seeds and Oil: Characteristics and Uses for Human Health. International journal of molecular sciences, 17(12), 2141. doi:10.3390/ijms17122141
- Golla, A.Z. (2013). Thyroid function profile, and its association to consumption of cassava and Moringa stenopetala in pregnant women. Advances in Biological Chemistry, 3(5), 448-454. doi: 10.4236/abc.2013.35048