Moringa Tea

When the SIA Board of Directors was debating Newton Amaglo’s grant proposal to promote Moringa power as a nutritional supplement (See post below), the question came up, “Will people like the TASTE of Moringa?”

As you might imagine, this is an important question when you are trying to get young students to like using the Moringa powder in their food. So, I bought some Moringa leaf powder from Educational Concerns for Hunger Organization (ECHO) for the Board to try the flavor.

I asked Newton for a recipe for Moringa tea to try it out before sharing it with the Board at our meeting this weekend, so I recruited my husband (Boyd) and housemate (E.B.) to be my kitchen tasters. Here is the recipe I got from Newton in Ghana:

“You can preapre an infusion from the leaves by boiling it in water for 10-15 minutes. When it cools you can pour out the liquid to serve and you have moringa drink that you can sweeten with honey to taste. Without milk is prefered by some people while others still like to take it with milk.”

I prepared the tea for us yesterday morning, using the fine powder that smells similar to green tea before added to water. After it is mixed into the hot water it has a strong leaf-like smell and is a forrest green color. We tried it plain, with honey and with honey and milk (or rice milk). The official decision was that the tea is nice and earthy, especially after a few sips to get used to the new flavor. I especially liked it with milk and honey! It was fun to try this new tea and I look forward to sharing it with the Board on Saturday!

Moringa = Miracle Plant

Newton Amaglo has dedicated much of his adult life to studying, understanding, and teaching students at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi, Ghana about the Moringa oleifera plant.  Why this plant?  Because the amazing Moringa leaf is known to be a rich and cheap alternative source of protein, vitamins and minerals, and thus a potential solution to the malnutrition and hunger pandemic in our world!

Moringa Committee in Ghana

In 2008 Newton and Christian Action and Support (ChAS) received a small Community Grant from Spirit in Action to contribute to the government efforts towards reducing poverty, through combating malnutrition, providing access to safe water and energy, creating jobs and preserving the environment. Newton proposed that his could be done through promoting the development of the value chain of the Moringa oleifera plant:  growing, processing and marketing.

From the Moringa leaves, high nutritive value food supplement for malnutrition can be produced; seeds can make oil for biofuels, leaves can be ground into powders to add to food,  and a cake can be processed and used for water purification and other traditional medicine uses.

Since receiving the grant Newton and his colleagues have lead over hundred workshops all across Ghana in churches, military barracks, schools, jails, etc. They have also been able to garner extensive media support through the television, radio and newspapers.  Newton shares that there are all kinds of innovations using Moringa, like soap, Moringa leaf powder infusion bags, capsules, etc. This expansion of the Moringa market, and a sale of one ton of Moringa seeds to Cameroon, which was organized by ChAS, has generated many more income opportunities and stability for their Moringa growers.

As a “Sharing the Gift” project (SIA’s program for “Paying it Forward”), Newton reports “we have trained the MNISTRY of FOOD and AGRICULTURE (MOFA) staffs of two districts on the growing and processing of Moringa.  Each district has at least 40 extension officers. We decided to train them so that they will be in the position to train the farmers under their care.  We have had a workshop to train all extension offers of the 22 districts in Ashanti region.”

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