Fufu is a staple food native to Central and West African countries. Because this staple food means a different recipe to many people, its preparation methods vary with regions.
But, is fufu good for the body?
Fufu is undoubtedly good for the body. The staples are prepared from starchy root vegetables. These starches are rich in carbohydrates and dietary fiber. They also contain a decent amount of protein, essential vitamins, and minerals. However, the starches are healthier than the others.
Whether you are wondering what exactly is Fufu, its nutritional values, or you want to learn more about the staple food, you are on the right page. This post contains information about the delicacy, its health benefits, sauces that pair well with the food, and more.
Ready to learn more? Let’s dive in!
What is Fufu?
Pounded yam, Eba, Amala, Semo, and many other staples made from starchy root vegetables are regarded as Fufu. However, their preparation methods, tastes, and textures are different.
But to an indigenous Nigerian, the real Fufu is the starchy, dough-like consistency preparation gotten from fermented cassava tuber.
Other staples of Fufu have distinguished names through which they are identified.
Going forward, we’ll be focusing on the typical Nierian Fufu.
How to Make Nigerian Fufu
Making the unique Nigerian recipe requires fermented cassava tuber. Here is a video that explains how to process Fufu from cassava tubers.
After being extracted, the raw (fermented) staple is cooked by stirring on heat.
If you have more than you can prepare at once, you can preserve the fermented starch by drying out all its water. One method is to put the raw staple in a muslin bag and put a heavy object on it to speed up and drain its water content completely until the starch is solid to touch.
Then you can use some and store the rest in a refrigerator. Refrigerated Fufu should maintain its keeping quality for two to three days.
If you’d like to preserve it for more days, you can dissolve the starchy paste in a container and add water sufficient to cover the paste. Then, you should decant and replace the water every two days.
With that cleared out of the way, the instructions below show how to cook the Nigerian Fufu staple.
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- Raw fermented cassava
How to Make Nigerian Fufu the Healthy Way
- Scoop raw Fufu into a pot and add some water.
- Stir until everything dissolves and mixes well. Don’t let the mixture become watery. It’s perfect when you have a thick consistency.
- Set on heat and start stirring immediately to avoid lumps.
- The staple will start to get thick. Don’t worry, keep stirring.
- When it becomes thick, add some water and cover.
- Let it cook for about 2 to 3 minutes on low heat.
- Stir and knead the Fufu against the pot until everything becomes smooth and stretchy. The delicacy is well-cooked when it turns white.
- Serve the delicacy.
How do You Eat Fufu?
You eat it by scooping a handful from the plate and rolling it into a ball before dipping it into a sauce.
You do not chew this type of finger food; instead, you swallow it. Maybe that’s why the food item is popularly referred to as “swallow foods”.
The “true” Nigerian Fufu staple tastes bland. The only way to enhance the taste is by using tasty soup or stew.
Fufu goes well with Egusi soup that is somewhat thickish and sometimes packed with assorted meat and fish. Not just Egusi, other soups such as Oha soup, Afang soup, Banga soup, etc., can fuse well with Fufu.
You can take the meal to a whole another level by making sure that a chilled drink of your choice is in attendance on the table.
But note that some experience complications when they take a soft drink (beverages) with Fufu staples like Fufu, Eba, and pounded yam. To avoid problems, you could use juice in place of beverages.
Overall, when Fufu is sauced with the right stew or soup, it becomes very delicious.
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Health Benefits of Fufu
Here, we will consider this staple food health benefits alone and when sauced with a nutritious soup. Let’s begin with the health benefits of only Fufu without any soup. We’ll analyze the benefits based on the constituent nutrients.
The delicacy is a starchy food item rich in carbohydrates. Carbohydrate is one nutrient that helps fuel many body organs and processes, plus it’s required in large quantities.
Let’s take kids as an example.
Experts say about 50-60% of a child’s diet should come from carbohydrates.
This contradicts some schools of thought that label carbohydrates as bad when it comes to nutrition.
Many studies and research have even shown healthy amounts of carbs to be required for healthy living.
Fiber is another nutrient found in Fufu. The nutrient provides tons of benefits such as managing bowel health, lowering cholesterol levels, and maintaining a healthy weight.
Fiber, for example, is a form of carbohydrates often called roughage or bulk. It’s part of the content found in Fufu that makes it filling.
Some Nigerian artisans, such as bricklayers, even take the food in the morning before resuming their work to have enough energy and feel full for a long time.
When you can feel full without consuming junk foods or on less, this could have a positive impact on your weight management.
When Fufu Goes with Nutritious Sauce
You do get an entirely different or added nutritional benefit when Fufu is paired with other sauces. Of course, that’s the preferred way of eating this staple food. It’s rare to consume Fufu alone. It usually goes with soup.
Some of these soups include Egusi soup, Ogbono soup, Banga Soup, Ewedu stew, Pepper stew, to mention a few.
These soups most times are prepared with assorted meats and fish pepper, palm oil, seasoning cube, onion, and other traditional flavors.
Basically, when you eat this staple food along with your preferred delicious soup, it produces that unique taste that makes you crave for more. And more importantly, the nutritional benefits increase. While the major benefits from Fufu remain intact, meats, fish, and other related ingredients in the soup are proteinous. As you may know, protein is essential for growth and development.
It helps build up cells, tissues, bone, blood, and is responsible for other essential body processes.
Whether you’ve kids or adults in your household, having a consistent supply of protein is essential.
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Is Fufu Good for Pregnant Women?
When taken in moderation, pounded yam, Fufu, Eba, Amala, and other edible starchy root vegetables are safe to consume during pregnancy.
Carbohydrate, which is the leading nutrients found in starchy staple foods, is one essential nutrient needed during pregnancy. Not only does the nutrient benefit you, but it also supports your growing baby.
When any of the these staples is sauced with healthy soup or stew and taken in moderation, you’ll get nutritional and health benefits.
Fufu is one of the staples native to the Africans.
The delicacy alone is a rich source of energy-providing nutrients, and its nutritional content can be enhanced with the right type of sauce.