| | | | | | | |

Malunggay- Moringa Muffins with Cheese

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

How do you write about malunggay leaves when it’s something you’ve eaten all your life and you’ve taken for granted its health benefits? I baked these easy Malunggay -Moringa Muffins with Cheese, a savory side bread to our Filipino meals after the holiday binge—because our palates longed for the salty after all the sweets. I had not baked these in a while and I asked myself why didn’t I do this more often.

Malunggay (say ‘mah-lung-gay‘) also known as moringa has been touted by social media as the next superfood, super hero or the latest trend. You can pick whatever title you want. The thing is malunggay, the vegetable, the tree and its leaves have been around for a while in many Asian countries. Like a lot of vegetables and fruits I’ve mentioned, I grew up with malunggay, from trees my father grew in our backyard. On my regular trips to my home in Tarlac, in the Philippines, I always ask for Malunggay Guisado, the long, slender pods sautéed simply in garlic, onions and tomatoes, flavored with a dash of patis (fish sauce). The salty, stringy vegetable dish is superb with rice and paired with char-grilled fish.

The malunggay leaves on the tree are tiny, round-edged dark green leaves which to me resemble a jade plant. Malunggay trees grow abundantly in tropical countries.  In my mom’s recipes, malunggay leaves from our backyard trees in Tarlac were added to Filipino classics like chicken tinola, pinakbet (vegetables with bagoong/shrimp paste), abraw (boiled vegetables), Arroz caldo, sinigang (tamarind stew) or nilaga (boiled meat dishes).

Following what my mom did, I often add malunggay leaves to traditional Filipino dishes I cook for my family in my American kitchen today. When cooked, the tiny, dark green leaves shrivel slightly and have nearly the same texture and simplistic flavors as spinach. Though when my sons were little, serving vegetables was a challenge. Of course, they’re all grown now and have embraced wellness and healthy eating as a way of life. But I digress. My recipe folder has expanded, and I’ve found creative ways to add malunggay to breads, pastries, and even lumpia wrappers.

What is it about moringa or malunggay leaves that have current health articles abuzz about its super powers? Internet sources reveal the malunggay (moringa) leaves, pods, and other parts of the tree are packed with immense nutritional benefits. Health experts cite the leaves as the most nutritious part of the plant, and is a useful source of vitamins, proteins and essential nutrients.

As one who lives in a very suburban part of America, it is tough for me to find fresh malunggay leaves or the pods. Friends in big cities like Chicago or in California have purchased fresh malunggay from large Asian markets. But if you’re like me and can’t find fresh malunggay near you, try the frozen malunggay from the Asian supermarkets. They are labeled ‘horseradish’. Vegetables are vegetables and greens are greens. In any form, malunggay is just as flavorful, wholesome and adds an interesting coarse texture to this muffin mixture. When I was done baking these malunggay muffins, the cheesy aroma lingered around. The muffins were still warm, so I didn’t waste time pairing it with a warm, thick, cream soup and called everyone to the table.

Malunggay - Moringa Muffins with Cheese

Malunggay- Moringa Muffins with Cheese are made of the wholesome, much-lauded by health experts malunggay or moringa leaves (a.k.a. horseradish on frozen packages). I added finely chopped frozen malunggay leaves to the batter of this easy recipe for muffins. Sprinkled with bits of feta cheese, these tiny, round muffins were a salty, side bread to pasta, noodles or soups. These Malunggay-Moringa Muffins also make terrific after-school snacks or else stash them in the lunch boxes. This is my original recipe which first published in the cookbook Make Good Money with Malunggay by Day Salonga, Mon Urbano and Nancy Reyes Lumen (Anvil Publishing Inc. Philippines). Recipe makes about 48 tiny muffins, each 1 ½ inches in diameter.


  • 2 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 Teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely minced garlic
  • 227 g. or 1/2 lb. or 8 oz. frozen malunggay moringa or horseradish leaves
  • 3/4 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped, seeds and white membrane removed red bell pepper
  • 1 can 12 fl. oz/ 354 mL evaporated milk evaporated milk
  • 1 large piece beaten egg
  • 1/3 cup melted butter or margarine
  • 1/2 cup coarsely crumbled Feta cheese


  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the cake flour and baking powder. Set aside.
  • If using frozen malunggay-moringa leaves, allow for this to thaw and be at room temperature. In a small skillet, over medium high heat, add the vegetable oil. Quickly sauté in garlic, the thawed, previously-frozen malunggay (moringa/horseradish) leaves. Do this for 3 minutes. Do not overcook.
  • Transfer the malunggay leaves to a chopping board. Chop into finely minced pieces. Set aside.
  • In the large mixing bowl, combine the flour, chopped malunggay, grated sharp cheddar cheese and chopped bell peppers.
  • Blend in the milk, melted butter, and egg. Mix ingredients with a large wooden spoon. Batter should be slightly lumpy, so the muffins can rise.
  • Preheat the oven to 400 F degrees. Prepare tiny muffin-sized pans (about 1 ½ inch diameter per muffin). Line with paper liners or grease each muffin tin individually.
  • Pour batter into each muffin pan, about 2/3 cup full. Sprinkle each top with about 1/8 teaspoon crumbled feta cheese.
  • Bake at 400 F degrees for 12 minutes or till the tip of a knife comes out clean when the muffin is pierced at the top.
  • Cook's Comments: If using fresh malunggay or moringa leaves, use 1 cup for this recipe. Follow the rest of the procedure. In the Philippines, if Feta cheese is not available, substitute with Kesong Puti.
  • Hello, Friends! All the images and content on this blog are COPYRIGHT PROTECTED and owned by my media company Besa-Quirino LLC. This means BY LAW you are NOT allowed to copy, scrape, lift, frame, plagiarize or use my photos and  recipe content I wrote, on your website,books, films, television shows or videos  without my permission. If you want to republish this recipe or content on another website, video, news article,or media outlets mentioned above please ASK my permission, re-write it in your own words and simply link back to this blog to give proper attribution. It’s the legal thing to do. Thank you. Email me at [email protected]
  • Disclosure: As a participant in the Amazon Affiliate program, some blog posts contain links to products used in the recipe and sold on Amazon. The price stays the same for the readers who wish to purchase these products on my links. I earn a small commission from Amazon which helps maintain the blog expenses. Thanks in advance for your support.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating