How To Harvest Your Own Moringa Powder

April 20, 2018

 

Have you ever wanted to make your own Moringa superfood powder? After growing your own Moringa tree follow these 6 simple steps to create your own nourishing Moringa leaf powder. 

 

6 Steps To Make Your Own Moringa Powder

  1. Cut stems or branches off your tree.

  2. Wash the branches with clean water, rinse them with a saline solution and then rinse them again with clean water.

  3. Collect the branches, put them in bundles and then tie them together at the base.

  4. When the leaves are dry (should only take a few days), pull them off the branches/twigs and collect a pile of just the dried Moringa leaves.

  5. Place the leaves in a blender or grinder for 1 minute or until desired consistency. 

  6. Use a strainer to sift out any unwanted sticks or large matter.

 

Once your Moringa tree or trees are at least a few months old, you can harvest them into a superfood powder that can be added to your smoothies or other dishes. It takes a LOT of leaves for a small amount of Moringa powder so wait until your trees are at least a few months old or ideally until the end of the first season. If you plant your tree in the spring it would be best to harvest the leaves in the fall before the first chill arrives. 

 

 

1. Harvest Moringa Stems/Branches

 

The Moringa tree has a compound leaf - one leaf is made up of multiple leaflets. What is referred to here as a leaf is precisely multiple leaflets attached to the rachis, which stems from the branch.

 

It is recommended to manually harvest the shoots and leaves with a pair of shears, a sickle or a sharp knife. All shoots should be cut at the desired height, i.e. 11 inches to 3 feet above ground. 

 

Harvesting can also be done by removing the leaves, picking them directly off the tree. They are easily removed at the base of the petiole. It is quicker to harvest this way but the trees will not have benefited from a good pruning and the following growth is therefore less vigorous.

 

Once the tree gets bigger (after a few years) cut multiple 1-4 foot branches from the tree and strip all the leaflets from the Moringa leaf petiole. Discard any damaged or yellow leaves. 

 

Do not worry about cutting the tree back too much as it will always grow back. Even if you have a 10 ft tree and cut it 1 ft from the ground it will grow new stems. The only time it wouldn't grow back is if the tree experiences a frost and the roots start to rot. 

 

 

 

2. Wash Moringa Branches

Rinse leaflets with clean water and then wash again with 1% saline solution for 3-5 minutes to remove microbes. Wash again with clean water and then prepare them to dry.

 

 

3. Dry the Leaves

The leaves can be room-dried by either hanging them upside down or spreading them thinly on racks. Both must be done away from sunlight and in a well-ventilated room. This room should be insect, rodent and dust proof. Air circulation can be improved by using ceiling and floor level vents protected with a clean filter to keep the sun and dust out. It is possible to use a fan, but the air must not be directly oriented towards the Moringa leaves, as it can increase contamination with germs in the air.

 

If hang drying the leaves, place them in 2-4 inch bunches and wrap the bottom stems with rope and hang upside down to dry.

 

If drying on mesh, turn the Moringa leaves over at least once with sterile gloves. The leaves should be dry after 4 days. **Do not place in direct sunlight to prevent vitamins in leaves from depleting. 

 

 

4. Gather dried leaves

Strip the dried leaves from the leaf petoile and place in a clean container. Once you have finished with all the leaflets you can place a portion of the dried leaves in an airtight container to use for seeping tea. The remaining dried leaves are now ready to be ground.

 

 

5. Blend

Place small batches of the dried leaves in a blender or grinder. A coffee grinder works well too! Depending on your blender you may want to cover the blender's lid with a cloth (so fine particles don't fly out). Blend on high for 1 minute. 

 

 

6. Strain

Use a strainer to sift through any unwanted large particles or sticks. The fineness will depend on the size of the screen used in milling. 

 

• Coarse ( 1.0 mm – 1.5 mm)

• Fine (0.5 mm – 1.0 mm)

• Very fine (0.2 mm – 0.5 mm)

 

The powder can now be stored in a clean, dry opaque container. It's possible to store in a mason jar but the Moringa won't last as long and it's important the glass jar isn't exposed to too much sunlight. Store in a dry cool location to retain nutrition and prevent spoilage. 

 

 

 

 

Concerns

Moringa attracts moisture so it can easily be contaminated by molds. This is especially true after milling, when Moringa can reabsorb humidity. It's best for Moringa leafs to be dried at 50 deg C for 30 minutes to reduce moisture content considerably below 7.5%. This can be done between milling and sieving if you are concerned about any moisture that may contaminate your Moringa. 

 

*Because mold is a concern with Moringa, it's very important to know where your Moringa comes from. At FERA we take extra care to ensure only the finest fresh Moringa powder be harvested with the utmost standards. Each batch is further tested to ensure no contamination of mold or other harmful micro-organisms. 

 

 

How much Moringa will I get?

 

It takes a LOT of leaves for a small amount of powder. Typically 3.5-4.5 pounds of fresh Moringa leaves will provide 1 pound of dried Moringa leaf. One pound of dried Moringa leaf equals exactly one pound of Moringa leaf powder. Some websites will tell you that the ratio of fresh Moringa to dried Moringa is 7:1 but there are a number of factors that could inflate the weight.  Fresh Moringa leaves contain 75%-80% moisture content.  If the leaves are weighed after they are washed they will have a much higher moisture content. 

 

 

A 6 month old tree may give you a 1/4 a pound of dried Moringa leaves. A year old tree could give you 1 pound of dried Moringa leaf powder if you chop shoots to encourage branching. A patch of 8 trees will yield roughly 4-5 pounds of dried leaves every year.

 

If this sounds like too much work, don't worry, we’ve got you covered with top quality USDA organic Moringa powder that will be shipped straight to your home. 

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