Fresh Off the Press: The Superfood, Moringa

Food start-ups abound. Series 1 of 3.

Can I say that the year 2013 is the year for food start-ups? There's been a plethora of them lately - farm-to-table businesses, curated food events (more about these later) and a new product made out of superfood, moringa.

I grew up eating or shall I say drinking moringa (aka malunggay in Cebuano) soup in the Philippines. We have a moringa plant that has withstand multiple typhoons in our backyard, and it is easy for our cook to pluck some of the thin clover-shaped leaves everyday and turn it into soup with diced squash. However when I started living overseas, moringa disappeared from my diet because the fresh leaves are so hard to find. 

For those unfamiliar with moringa, it grows in tropical/sub-tropical countries particularly in Africa and Asia. It can be dried and shipped to other countries, such as the U.S., in a form of a powder or vitamin capsule. According to detox in a box, 1 tablespoon of powdered moringa versus 1 cup of kale packs in: 
- 2x more Calcium
- 2x more Iron
- 3x more Vitamin A

The light, earthy taste of moringa makes it conducive to be mixed in soup or protein shakes. I break apart the moringa vitamin capsules and mix it into any type of soup or shake I make. 

Kuli Kuli is one company that is introducing moringa to the U.S. market via a nutritional bar. A few days ago, I chatted with Lisa Curtis, CEO/founder of Kuli Kuli, who thought about the idea of bringing moringa-based products to the U.S. while working in the Peace Corps in Niger, West Africa to improve the lives of moringa farmers. Now that idea has turned into reality with the launch of the Kuli Kuli moringa superfood gluten-free and vegan bars that can be bought in select Whole Foods stores or online.

After sampling three different flavors, I personally favored the crunchy almond, while the black cherry had the most notable taste of the savory moringa. Take note that the crunchy almond bar is made of 4 all-natural ingredients only: dates, almonds, agave and moringa- all of which I'm not allergic to.   

Although not a substitute for protein bars since the Kuli Kuli bars have 4-5 grams of protein only, I am excited to see moringa in the grocery shelves and looking forward to more product diversification.   

Note: This is NOT a sponsored post.

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