Home Forums African Foods and Recipes Bambara Nut in Recipe and its Health Benefits.

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    Victory Amah
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      Bambara nut is a member of the family Fabaceae. The plant originated in West Africa, and its name is derived from the Bambara tribe The plant originated in. As a food and source of income, the Bambara groundnut is considered to be the third most important leguminous crop in those African countries where it is grown, after peanut and cowpea.

      Bambara groundnut represents the third most important grain legume in semi-arid Africa. It is resistant to high temperatures and is suitable for marginal soils where other leguminous crops cannot be grown. It is a low-impact crop. The entire plant is known for soil improvement because of nitrogen fixation.

      Bambara nut is prepared in different forms, it can be boiled or roasted and eaten alone as a snack or used in recipes. It is in the form of a peanut but is bigger than a peanut and has a delicious taste with a crunchy texture. This nut has a wide array of health benefits.

                 

      It aids in weight loss; containing magnesium and manganese, it boosts metabolism, enabling one to burn more calories throughout the day, and it also helps to regulate blood sugar and insulin levels, managing hunger.

       

      It can prevent diseases. As a result of its fiber high content, it helps to reduce cholesterol levels, it also helps to reduce inflammation and improve blood vessel function. It can also keep your blood pressure at a healthy level.

       

      It can also help to improve kidney function as it can keep one calm or relaxed, reducing stress which is one of the main causes of kidney diseases.

       

      It protects against certain kinds of cancers and ulcers. It is low in fat, high in proteins, and also rich in antioxidants and amino acids which contribute to its anti-cancer properties. This nut promotes gastric mucus production that helps prevent ulcers from forming in the stomach lining.

       

      It also helps boost the body’s immune system. It contains vitamins C and D, folate, selenium, niacin, and zinc which work together to keep the body in good shape.

       

      The high protein content prevents kwashiorkor in growing children, it is also a source of iron to prevent iron deficiency and anemia.

       

      For digestive problems and inflammation, Bambara nuts could be an easy solution as it contains prebiotics which is good for the guts.

       

      It is also a great source of nutrients for pregnant women, a great source of energy for pregnant women who could be experiencing fatigue, and also present the unborn child with various nutrients.

       

      Bambara Nut in Other Recipes

      In the Eastern part of Nigeria, Bambara nut is used to make a meal known as okpa. Okpa is a delicacy made from dried and grounded Bambara nut (bambara flour), it tastes delicious, and Enugu state is known to have the tastiest okpa. Okpa is made with Bambara flour, palm oil, warm water, salt, seasoning cubes, fresh, pepper, onions, vegetable of choice (optional), crayfish (optional), and banana or plantain leaves which can be substituted with a nylon bag, plastic or stainless plate.

      Preparation

      The flour is sieved into a bowl to prevent lumps and the dry ingredients like grounded crayfish, salt, and seasoning cubes are mixed into it. Then oil is poured into the mixture and it will be molded with hands until it forms a smooth orange/yellow consistency. Lukewarm water should be slowly poured into the mixture while you knead (the quantity of water should depend on what you want to achieve if you want okpa that isn’t too soft then the paste should be thick but if you want the opposite, then the paste should be thin). Proceed to add the fresh pepper and vegetable of choice (if you opted for using vegetables) and use a stick to mix it in. Boil water in a pot as the method of preparation is steaming then start filling your containers (banana or plantain leaves, nylon bag, plastic or stainless plate) with the paste. After putting the okpa ing container of choice place it into the pot of steaming water and allow it to boil for an hour. The water in the pot should be above the wrapped okpa.

      This meal is served hot either with a side of pap/ custard or with soaked garri.

          

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