Fermented foods and their health benefits
Did you know that many of our local foods, beverages, staples, and spices like pap, garri, palm wine, iru, etc, that we consume are excellent sources of probiotics.
These foods are processed using traditional food processes like soaking, straining, and most importantly, fermentation.
What are probiotics? These are good bacteria proven by medical research to improve mental, digestive, and overall body immunity and body health.While there are probiotic yoghurt and supplements available, a better and more natural source would be fermented foods.
OGI/AKAMU/KOKO-Fermented cornmeal, made into a steamed porridge called ‘pap’. Or a pudding is eaten with stews or soups called ‘Eko’ or ‘agidi’. Usually used to introduce babies to semi-solids.
LAFUN-Meal made from fermented cassava roots, similar to ‘amala’ in terms of consistency, and eaten with soups.
UGBA-Also called ‘ukpaka’ in some dialects, this is made from extensively fermented oil bean seed. It is a major ingredient in Abacha (African Salad).
IRU-It is made from fermented African locust beans, and it is used as a condiment to spice soups.
BURUKUTU-This is a beer-like drink brewed from the grains of guinea corn. The grains undergo steeping, malting, mashing, fermentation, and maturation before it is ready to be drank.
PALM WINE-A sweet tasty sap gotten from wounded palm trees.
GARRI-Garri is cassava flour made from soaked, fermented, mashed, and dry-fried cassava. It can be used to make snacks like Kokoro, drank as a cereal with groundnuts, sprinkled over beans, or made into a stiff doughy staple eaten with soups.
FUFU-It is made from fermented cassava, boiled, and then pounded into a dough-like consistency eaten with any soup or sauce.