Eating good food is very essential for a healthy living and a long life. These days, many people rarely pay attention to what they eat so long as it satisfies their taste and hunger. This trend has let many into the consumption of junk foods which many times are detrimental to the health. Junk foods are a well known cause of obesity among people as well as cancer.
If you are one of those concerned about eating the right way, here’s one dish popular in West Africa especially Southern Nigeria that you may want to try out. It’s Beans and unripe plantain Pottage which happens to be one of my favourite meals and one of the most medicinal as well.
Plantains for example are known to have among them these nutritional benefits:
- Plantains very rich in potassium, and are commonly prescribed by doctors for people who have low level of potassium in their blood. The potassium in plantain is very good for the heart and helps to prevent hypertension and heart attack.
- they are good sources of vitamins A, B6, and C which helps maintain vision, good skin, and build immunity against diseases. Cooked unripe plantain is very good for diabetics, as it contains complex carbohydrate that is slowly released over time.
- A diet of green plantain is filling, and can also be a good inclusion in a weight loss diet plan.
A typical average size plantain fruit after cooking is according to reseach said to contain 50– 80grams of carbohydrate, 2–3 grams of protein, 4-6 grams of fibre and about 0.01 to 0.3grams of fat. Since every gram of carbohydrate equals to 4 calories, one fruit of plantain contains about 4 x 65grams of calories, which comes to about 260 Calories.
Beans on the other had:
- Beans are “heart healthy” because they contain an abundance of soluble fiber, which can lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels. If you prefer canned beans, you can ditch up to 40 percent of the sodium by rinsing them in water.
- Most beans are about 2 to 3 percent fat, and contain no cholesterol, unless they’re processed or prepared with other ingredients, such as lard. (Check labels to see what else may be in the package or can.)
- The Dietary Guidelines for Americans say we should be eating more plant proteins. About 1/2 cup of beans provides 7 grams of protein, the same amount as in 1 ounce of chicken, meat or fish. Vegetarians, vegans and individuals who seldom eat meat, poultry, or fish could count on beans as an alternative choice.
- With a low glycemic index, beans contain a beautiful blend of complex carbohydrates and protein. Because of this, beans are digested slowly, which helps keep blood glucose stable, and may curtail fatigue and irritability.
Here, I am going teach you how to go about preparing this wonderful cuisine courtesy of my #MenCookToo campaign .
First, we start with getting the right food stuffs and ingredients for this dish. Always remember to set about select the very fresh food stuffs as they are more beneficial to the health.
- 800 grams Nigerian Brown Beans or Black Eyed Peas
- 5 fingers of unripe and firm Plantains (About 500 grams peeled and sliced into small squares or rounds about 1 cm thick)/
- 3/4 medium Smoked Dry Fishes (About 90 grams peeled)
- 350 mls Lightly Seasoned Beef Stock
- 2 tea spoons of Salt
- 3 table spoons of Ground Dry Crayfish (I add some prawns for extra taste and nutrition, shrimps can be added too).
- 350 mls fresh Red Palm Oil (choose oil without cholesterol)
- 3 large Red Scotch Bonnets (Rodo) (Approx. 25 grams, Chopped)
- 2 medium Onions (330 grams) ( finely chopped)
- Some red or yellow pepper (add depending on choice)
- 1 medium ginger (40 grams) (Peeled and grated smooth)
- 100 grams of fresh Ugu (Fluted Pumpkin leaves, thoroughly washed and chopped finely) or 100 grams of spinach leaves (Green), with some African Saint leaf.
Note: the amount of ingredients given is simply based on my own choice when making the dish for myself alone. One is free to increase or decrease them depending on budget or choice.
After your recipe is ready, its time to cook your dish. Here are the simple steps to follow so you don’t get it all wrong.
- Using the quick soak method (either pouring beans inro water to float the chaff), sort/pick the beans and rinse before cooking.
- Place the beans in a large saucepan with about 2 liters to 2.5 liters of water. Bring to a rapid boil on medium-high heat; then boil for about minutes.
- Remove from heat; cover and let stand 1 hour. Drain, discard the water used in soaking and then rinse the beans (this is importantly done to rinse off all chemical preservatives from the beans).
- Add about 1.2 liters of fresh water to the beans. Cover and bring just to boiling on medium-high heat.
- Once it starts to boil, add your well washed and chopped plantains 5 minutes into the boiling of the beans, reduce heat to low and simmer gently with lid tilted for about 30mins-1hr or until soft and tender, stirring occasionally. Stir very little to prevent breaking of skins. Feel free to add water a little at a time if needed, during cook time.
- About 15 minutes to the end of the cooking time, gently stir and add dry fish, salt, pepper and crayfish and continue to cook. Also, pour the palm oil into a saucepan and place on medium heat and immediately add the chopped scotch bonnets, onions and grated ginger.
- Fry for about 12 minutes stirring occasionally, then turn off heat. Immediately pour the palm oil fry into the beans and stir gently until thoroughly combined.
- Add your chopped leaves and allow to heat for about 1-2 mins. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
- Take off the heat and serve. Food is ready.