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Moringa (Horseradish Tree)

Christiansted, VI(Zone 11)

I'm going to buy a bagfull of flowers to eat, from out local natural living farm, this Tuesday.

I googled, and you can eat all parts of this tree, except the trunk! Besides flowers, edible are: the leaves, young seed pods, and roots. Golly, how about that!

Scottsdale, AZ(Zone 9b)

yes. one of my favourites and I am from India.

Keaau, HI

A very nutritious plant! The seeds can also be roasted and eaten like peanuts.

Christiansted, VI(Zone 11)

Wonder why I've never heard of it before? There's an eco-farm group here that's starting up a weekly market. You order on Sunday for a Wednesday pickup. One pound of flowers for (gulp) $20. I googled the flowers, and oh, my. They have rooted cuttings that are for sale, too.

Between this and the Chaya, I'm going to be bouncing around healthy!

Laie, HI

Have heard that this tree is now being pushed as a plant that can end starvation in poor hot countries... Dried leaves are made into a very nutritional soup for starving children.

Kailua Kona, HI

We just went on a tour of a sustainable farming project in Kona, Hawaii, and moringa was one of the plants they are trying out here.

Sarasota, FL(Zone 9b)

This is a fabulous tree. I have a huge one on my property that we cut back to about 6' once a year. It's only about 3 years old, but regrows to over 20' before we recut it. It grows straight up and has a shallow root system, so it needs to be cut back for safety as well as for ease in harvesting the pods and leaves. I have many of the pods right now with fresh seeds if anyone would like some to plant (or taste). All of my plants are grown organically. When the pods are small they taste a bit like spinach. Beware though, this tree grows REALLY FAST! We have pineapples growing at the base with camellia tea and coffee and kiwi growing up the tree. This photo is from May and the tree is quite a bit larger now.

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Dagupan, Philippines

hello, I am new here and I couldn't post at the mat discussion, luckily I found this thread. I have been looking for ways to ID a certain plant in our house for years, but to no avail. This plant came from my cousin-in-law's ancestral home. It propagates easily & It is an edible plant although you will find it in their front lawn. Whenever we cook foods that call for moringa, this is what we use, and my cousin-in-law says it's a japanese variety of moringa. I've searched the net on what specie it is, but I couldn't find it. It tastes a lot like moringa, but the leaves look like that of a bird's eye chili (Capsicum frutescens) but a little bit more slender. This plant leaves' not available in any market in the Philippines as far as I know, and nobody that i know of knows what kind of plant it is. Can you please help me ID this plant that we love so much. (I often munch the leaves raw). I am going out for a while, I'll be back in a few hours. I'll take a picture of the plant & upload the pic here for identification. Thank you very much & hope someone can help me.

Keaau, HI

Hi Vhim, please show a photo!

Christiansted, VI(Zone 11)

Hello, Vhim,

People are not always online, so do check back over a day or two for replies to a post. And a photo would be completely helpful. I'm going to 'google' Japanese Motinga now.

OK, and hoping to hear from you again! And very much hoping that you are spared from the storms!

Melissa

Dagupan, Philippines

hello, sorry for the late reply. This is as good as my camphone can do. The leaves tastes much more like Pithecellobium dulce (sweet tamarind/kamachile). It never bears fruits, just flowers, propagates easily. I will upload a pic of the entire plant in my next message

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Dagupan, Philippines

This is a pic of the entire plant, my brother-in-law said it's a "chinese moringa" which I doubt because I've searched the net for different species of moringa & never got to see anything close to it. flowers start light green or white then becomes maroon... flowers can also be eaten. It doesn't bear any fruits. Prolific plant. Can anyone ID this please? WE love this plant yet we don't know what it's really called. Our place was badly hit by the storm, flooded most of the city, but luckily, we live near the beach (far from the river), so our village was spared from the flood, just those who live near the rivers were flooded. Thank you for the concern!

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Keaau, HI

Maybe Sauropus androgynus, Katuk.

Can you show some focused photos?

Sarasota, FL(Zone 9b)

This looks like Katuk to me too. I have several huge specimens on my property.

Christiansted, VI(Zone 11)

Vhim, check: http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/showimage/129524/

Christiansted, VI(Zone 11)

And: http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/137885/

Very pretty plant!! I'm so glad you posted this, now I must have one!

Keaau, HI

Katuk has edible leaves, flowers, and fruit. They taste great and are good raw or cooked!

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Sydney, Australia

Hi everyone ...I have been after a drumstick tree for ages ...I am on a waiting list here in Australia ...I am really thrilled to hear of the sweet leaf being similar as I have been lucky enough to have two plants from a swap.
If you wouldn't mind (since there seems to be little information) can you please tell me what sort of cultivation it requires and if it likes manure etc.I have them in 10" pots at the moment and am uncertain where to go from there.
Tastes and recipes etc would be very interesting for many gardeners I am sure. We are going into high summer temps here and I am unsure as how to treat the plants ...are they really trees?
If I have this does it do a good enough job that I don't need the drumstick tree.
Any information would be most appreciated.
thanks so much for the thread.

Houston, TX(Zone 9a)

Chrissy, I have a Drumstick Tree that has 'drum sticks' right now. Are you allowed seeds from it, or you want something bigger to start with?
Rj

Sydney, Australia

Oh I was not hinting for seeds ...I just thought it may be very similar.
I would love some seeds if it is allowed ... I will check and get back to you.
I would still like to know about the sweet leaf if anyone can tell me about it's needs and uses.

Dagupan, Philippines

Thank You very much!!!!!!!!! It is the plant!!!

BTW, our sweetleaf never bears fruit.

here's some recipe:


TINOLA
1/2 kilo chicken breasts/wings/drumstick
1 unripe papaya (or as much as you want)
julienned ginger (about 2 thumbs size)
3 cloves garlic
1 medium sized onion (sliced
oil
sweetleaf leaves ( or moringa leaves)
salt & pepper
water

saute ginger, garlic & onion in oil. when onion is translucent, put in chicken parts & sprinkle some salt & pepper.Brown chicken. When u see juices coming out from the chicken, pour water (just estimate amount if you want it more soupy). put in papaya & sweetleaf 9as much as you want).. Voila!




This message was edited Nov 13, 2009 3:27 AM

Dagupan, Philippines

This is how your tinola should look... tatses better with sweetleaf bush

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Sydney, Australia

That looks delicious!

Sydney, Australia

I found this information ...
http://www.newcrops.uq.edu.au/newslett/ncnl9191.htm
thanks everyone for a great thread.

Christiansted, VI(Zone 11)

I wrote to Flora Exotica (Montreal, Quebec) listed as a supplier, and the man wrote back that they'll have plants to ship in May 2010.

Laie, HI

Yes....I agree that Vhims plant is Katuk or sweet leaf.....or Pak Wahn which is the name that was first given to me.... Yet another wonderful lazy tropical vegetable gardeners plant. I love the leaves raw in salads or thrown into a pasta meal at the last stage so they are just made to go limp. Have a taste like snow peas. Metro....I have never seen fruit on a plant before....what do you have pollinating them? This is another plant that needs a regular hard trim to get lots of new growth for eating. A lady down the road has a fence line of it. I have also found that this plant will do ok in semi shade.....a forest plant.

Virginia Beach, VA

You lost me, Vhims recipe sounds great but I would saute the chicken with low sodium soy sauce to give the meat color. Instead of papaya which is very pricey in the US You can use Italian squash, or chayote which are plenty in the oriental market. the veggie in Vhims recipe is not moringa, I had never seen katuk but the next time I go to the oriental market I will certainly look for them and try them. Do you think it will be called katuk?I had not seen moringa fresh here but we have plenty of frozen ones and are very cheap. They are called horse radish leaves. Belle

Keaau, HI

You probably won't find Sauropus androgynus, Katuk / Phak Waan / Binahian in any market. To eat it you will need to grow it; the leaves need to be eaten soon after they are picked off the plant.

It grows easily from cuttings or by seed.

Virginia Beach, VA

Is this a vine or a tree? Now if I check on ebay what am i looking for? All the 3 names. i will do it right now and will let you know. thank you, Belle

Keaau, HI

It is a small tree or shrub.

To locate the plant, google Sauropus androgynus. There are several nurseries selling the plant.

Be careful about over-consumption of the plant as it can cause medical problems. It should be a dietary supplement, rather than a staple food.

Virginia Beach, VA

What kind of medical problems? I am a nurse ( R.N.) so I need to know. Belle

Keaau, HI

Bronchiolitis, Lung Injury.

People who have made Sauropus androgynus leaves a large part of their diet have suffered this.

Eating the plant a couple times a week will cause no harm.

You can find out more by googling: Sauropus androgynus.

Virginia Beach, VA

Thank you!!!

Dagupan, Philippines

belle, substituting salt with soy sauce will entirely change the flavor of the tinola, you may use fish sauce instead (filipinos call it "patis"), no other than salt or patis...instead of papaya, you can use chayote instead, or maybe squash. Moringa leaves is what's really used in this recipe but we use the sweet leaf instead.

Sydney, Australia

I grow chokos (chayote) here.
I am curious as to what the Moringa flowers you bought taste like. Could you please let us know?Molamola ^_^
I am also wondering if it is called the Horseradish tree is it because the parts you eat are very hot.

Christiansted, VI(Zone 11)

I tried eating the flowers straight, raw, and they were too strong. I didn't make tea like the folks here said. I'll try again when I can get them very fresh off a tree myself. I think I found a tree on the side of the road...

Horseradish is the root, I think.

Virginia Beach, VA

Molamola,
The English name of moringa is horseradish leaf. I buy it at the oriental grocery store . The horseradish root is the strong root that i buy prepared for roast beef. I had not eaten moringa flowers, I think it has to be cooked.
chrissy,
I love chayote, it is a 1$ for a fruit here. In fact they are in season right now, they are fall crops. We used to plant them and had hundreds of fruits but the squirrels develop[ed a liking for them and so I stopped planting them. I cook it with sti rfries, or with soups. We eat the peel if they are young and tender. DH just microwave it with butter.
Vhim,
I would just add a little bit of soy sauce with your recipe only because I can not satnd wings that are pale.
Metsodi,
I found a nursery selling katuk but I had not ordered, will probably order next spring. Belle

This message was edited Nov 18, 2009 11:49 PM

Sydney, Australia

I cook the choko in the micro wave (prick it first ) let it cool down (this great for the bigger ones) then peel the skin off and slice about an inch thick ...I then toss them in olive oil and place them in a pan with a few cloves of garlic ...a sprinkle of salt and pepper and roast about ten minutes on each side. Remove and splash a few drops of Balsmamic vinegar over them and and put them back in for another few mins or until the slices caramalise, it's beautiful!
You can add these slices to a pan of roasted veggies too, for the last half an hour of cooking as they absorb the flavours of the other veggies.
My Indian born in laws love to do the chokos curried.
My Italian in laws love it done the way I mentioned.
As a child our mum would throw them into stews and baked dinners as well as cooking them up (fine diced) with either apples or pinapples with lemon juice and sugar for pie fillings ...you couldn't tell the difference ... she had 7 children to feed. I note they do cost a fortune these days.

Virginia Beach, VA

Chrissy,
Your recipe sounds good!!! I will try the baked one. I also made some chutney with chayote and mango using the standard recipe for chutney. It was delicious. Have to soak the thinly diced chayote in brine so it does not get mushy. One of my friends eat the seed and we tried it and it is good!!! Do you also eat the seed? Belle

Christiansted, VI(Zone 11)

I eat the seed. Once and only once I had a Chaote, Christophene that was a pale yellow, and tasted like the sweetest of sweet corn. I'm just starting one to grow that the fruit was about 1 1/2 pounds, huge!! I'm expecting a thirty foot, ten meter vine, so a place to plant it in the ground is a challenge. I dice them and put in a salad.

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