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Moringa Leaves: From Harvesting To Powder Moringa Leaves Harvest
Moringa leaves can be harvested at any time once trees are established. For Moringa leaves harvest in intensive production plots, plants are trimmed to 15-50cm (6-20in) above the ground. Intensive plots can be trimmed up to 9 times per year. For Moringa leaves harvest in trees, cut the entire tree back to a height of 1-2m (3-6ft); this is best done during the rainy season so that the tree is able to recover before the dry season. Other methods of Moringa leaves harvest for trees include: trimming selected branches (leaving some branches for the next harvest or seed production); trimming each branch back by half; and picking a few leaves off of each branch.
Moringa leaves are harvested, they should be stripped off the stems. During this procedure any damaged or discolored leaves can be set aside for animal feed or compost. [Stems and branches can also be used as animal feed or in compost.] Leaves are then rinsed in clean water or a very weak bleach solution (1:100) to remove dirt and germs.
Drying Moringa Leaves to produce Moringa powder
Moringa leaves should be dried in an area protected from light to prevent the loss of vitamins and protected from dust and pests to prevent contamination. If necessary, Moringa leaves can be covered by thin cloth or mosquito netting to help keep them clean while drying. The drying process should be completed as quickly as possible to prevent the growth of molds; if leaves mold or mildew they should be thrown out or used for compost. If the humidity of the air is high, the Moringa leaves should be spread out in a thin layer and mixed frequently; dehydrators, ovens, driers or fans may be required in cases of extreme humidity. When the Moringa leaves become brittle and crush easily, they are dry. Now you can produce moringa leaves powder
Moringa Leaves Drying Suggestions
1. Spread cleaned Moringa leaves on a cloth inside the house or other protected structure
2. Spread cleaned Moringa leaves in hanging trays made with mosquito netting
3. Hang Moringa leaf bunches from roof or porch with string (similar to tobacco drying; for this method, the leaves are left on the stem
Grinding Moringa Leaves to produce Moringa powder
Dried Moringa leaves can be made into powder using a mortar & pestle, local grain grinders, burr mills (hand crank or motor driven), or simply by rubbing the dried leaves against a fine screen. Once the dried Moringa leaves have been transformed into a powder, the leaves powder is sifted to remove any remaining stems.
Storing Moringa Leaves Powder
Moringa leaf powder should be stored in air-tight containers protected from heat, humidity and light. If the Moringa leaves powder is not adequately dried or stored it could encourage the growth of molds or mildews which could cause problems ranging from unpleasant to harmful. If stored Moringa leaves powder is exposed to heat or light it will degrade and the nutrient content will be reduced. Moringa leaf powder can be stored for up to 6 months or even longer under the following conditions: clean, dried powder stored in air-tight containers, protected from light and humidity, and kept below 24°C (75 °F).
Using Moringa Leaves Powder
Moringa leaves powder can be added to any food or beverage and it will increase the vitamin, mineral and protein content. For healthy individuals, a few spoonfuls of Moringa leaf powder can be added to any meal to make it more nutritious. Since the nutrient content of Moringa leaf powder decreases if exposed to heat, add the powder after the food or drink has been prepared, just before serving.
If you use the Moringa leaves powder for tea, you can reuse the moringa powder. Collect the moringa powder after making the tea and for example use it for a milkshake, salad or soup.
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