Before the advent of sweets, chocolates, processed snacks and sugared confectioneries and beverages, healthy Nigerian snacks had been in existence and they were prepared using local food items. These snacks were made using the simplest, and sometimes, crudest methods to provide snacks that are not just delicious, but are also healthy. While some of our local snacks are of exportable quality, too few have made it across the seas. Several more ‘decent’ quality snacks are imported products made from locally export produce.
Some of these snacks vary according to region, and the local produce or dishes eaten in those areas. Here are 7 healthy Nigerian snacks which are a must-try!
- KULIKULI: Kuli Kuli is a snack that is also eaten in other West African countries besides Nigeria. It is made from roasted peanuts which have been peeled, ground into a paste and spiced to be rolled and fried in shapes of choice. Peanuts, the key ingredient, contains monounsaturated fats, which are the good, heart-healthy kind. Kuli-Kuli can be eaten alone or served as a side with a local cereal like garri or pap.
- DANKWA: This is another peanut-flavoured delicacy. Also called tanfiri because of its spicy taste, this is made from a spicy corn meal and groundnut paste. Groundnuts contain essential nutrients like fiber, protein, minerals, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, which together provide health benefits like antioxidants that increase cognitive function, reduces risk of Alzheimer’s, as well as keeping your heart healthy and regulating cholesterol levels. Add this to the benefits to be gotten from corn meal which are that it protects the heart, aids digestion, controls hypertension, prevents anaemia, reduces LDL cholesterol and is good for weight watchers! Add that to the fact that it’s is a gluten free grain and you have a super .healthy snack in dankwa.
- ROASTED/BOILED CORN: This is a seasonal street food in Nigeria and it is usually sold on-the-cob, with boiled /roasted African pear (ube) or coconut pieces. It’s a delicious healthy snack.
- KOKORO: There are two types of kokoro – the white one, which is shaped like bangles and not spiced, lighter in texture and plain tasting like water crackers. The popular harder crunchier type are shaped like rods and light brown in colour, and lightly sweetened.
- YOYO: Yoyo, pronounced ‘yaw-yaw’, are lightly battered and fried sprats. They are popular in coastal cities and even served at parties. Sprats are highly active small oily fish related to the herring family. Oily fish contain long chain omega 3 fatty acids which keep the heart healthy and reduce the risk of inflammation and blood clotting.
- IKPEKERE: This is simply fried unripe plantain chips which are sliced thinly and lengthwise. It is hawked and sold all over the country. Unripe plantains have several unique health benefits. They are good for weight loss (ensure the body does not store excess fat, help burn lower tummy fat), they are good for diabetic patients, they boost immunity, they boost sexual performance and are good for ulcers.
- EGG-ROLL: This is the Nigerian scotch egg without the sausaged jacket. It is called egg buns by some because it is actually bun-covered hard boiled eggs. It is a filling and budget-friendly quick fix. Hard boiled eggs contain choline, which is good for the brain. Research has proven that eggs reduce incidence of stunted growth.Was this article helpful? follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or Youtube to get more useful content like this: