Morning Moringa Shake

Moringa Berry Shake

As I’m writing this, I realized the name of this recipe sounds like it could be some kind of dance move… ha!  But it’s actually quite a delicious and nutritious breakfast, I promise! 

First, a quick backstory about the origin of this recipe and my discovery of moringa

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!)

Boston to Austin

Michael and I right before the road trip from Boston to Austin!

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!

Moringa oleifera

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! 

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
  • Inflammation
  • Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Lowering cholesterol & triglycerides
  • Lowering blood pressure

Wait!  Not so fast!  A few important things to keep in mind:

  • ***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 options.   
    • (If you don’t know where to start, hit me up!  I can *and do* talk about this kind of stuff alll day…) 😀 

Moringa oliefera

  • In addition to Albert’s product, another source of moringa protein powder is Kuli Kuli which I have seen available in stores at Sprouts, Whole Foods, Natural Grocer and online at Thrive Market and Amazon.
  • You can use ANY protein powder you like for this recipe – it doesn’t have to be Moringa!  You can also add in extra’s like cinnamon, coconut, flax seeds, etc. etc. if you’re feeling fancy…
  • I have no financial involvement or incentives with any type of nutritional supplement rep or company.  I just choose to share specific brands that are in alignment with my beliefs, and I also like to support local business!

Okay rant over… now for the shake recipe! 

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons to 1/4 cup cashews (or other nuts or seeds), and a pinch of sea salt, covered in water and soaked ~6 hours to overnight
  • 1 scoop vanilla or chocolate protein powder of choice
  • 1/2 to 2/3 cup serving fresh or frozen fruit of choice – I use berries or banana!
  • 2 dates, soaked in 1/2 cup filtered water in a jar for several hours or overnight (keep this water)
  • ~ 1 additional cup filtered water or nut milk

Directions: 

  1.  Soak cashews and a pinch of sea salt with some water in a jar, and cover.  Leave overnight and strain out the water the next day. 
  2. Add all remaining ingredients  and blend!  Easy peasy. 🙂 

PS:  By the way, there are SO MANY ways to enjoy Moringa oleifera, aside from protein powder!

You can try it out in a plain powder and add that to smoothies, or drink it as a tea (steep for at least 20-30 minutes to really extract all the nutrients and antioxidants), or to keep things simple, I have eaten it plain and added it to omelets (I got lucky and found some at the Mueller farmer’s market).  

Have you tried moringa before? If so, what was your experience?  Feel free to share in the comments box below!

As always, thanks for reading this and/or being a part of my community- I’m grateful for you!

<3 Jenna

 

References:

  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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.
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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

Comments

  1. Leave a Reply

    Diane Abdulla
    August 29, 2019

    Hi Jen! Thanks for this information! I suffer with bouts of fibromyalgia at times, and I am looking forward to trying this out. Excuse me, but am I missing something? I did not see Moringa in the list of ingredients. Thanks again! Diane

  2. Leave a Reply

    Hugh Turcotte
    August 30, 2019

    Great post! Thank you!

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