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Palm Oil & Banga soup A Delicious and Nutritional Combination

Palm nut oil can refer to palm oil, red palm oil, palm kernel oil or other oils derived from the fruit or nut of the oil palm. This oil is used in a variety of food products. While it does contain saturated fats, palm oil also has antioxidant properties that may promote the health of your body.
Carotenoids
According to the American Palm Oil Council, red and golden palm oils contain an abundant amount of carotenoids, or beta-carotene, which possesses antioxidant properties. Beta-carotene is converted to vitamin A in your body, and this nutrient is necessary for many bodily functions including the development of your bones and reproductive system. The Mayo Clinic states that palm oil is a good source of beta-carotene.

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Vitamin E
Palm nut oils also contain high amounts of vitamin E, an antioxidant that helps to neutralize free radicals that enter your body and can lead to sun damage. Free radicals not only increase the rate at which your skin ages, they can also cause health problems like heart disease and certain types of cancers. The vitamin E in palm oil may help prevent these conditions and keep free radicals from harming your body.



However, if you are taking medications to treat high blood pressure or other blood or heart conditions, ask your doctor before you start consuming palm nut oil. The vitamin E found in the oil can interfere with your body's absorption of these and other medications, as well as increase your risk of bleeding and possibly even raise your cholesterol.
Healthy Fats
You can keep your heart healthy by consuming antioxidants, but foods that are high in fat and cholesterol may harm your heart. According to the American Heart Association, palm nut oil does contain saturated fats, but it does not contain cholesterol. Furthermore, PubMed says that despite its saturated fat content, palm oil promotes the healthy functioning of your heart and blood vessels, rather than harms them. This is most likely due to the high amounts of antioxidants that are in the oil along with the fats.



The most common foods that contain palm oil include shortening, margarine and various sweets that are made with cocoa butter. You may also find the oil in the list of ingredients of food products like cake mixes, breakfast bars, crackers and other snacks. Lastly, palm oil can be purchased as a processed vegetable oil and used for cooking.

 

Africa is known for several traditional soup cuisines, from Nigeria to Sierra-Leone, Cameroon, Congo and others. One of such special soup is banga {palm nut} soup.

Mbanga {as fondly referred to by Cameroonians} or banga is a soup made from the sauce squeezed from palm fruit (Elaeis guineensis) and is incredibly highly rich in nutritional value. 

Apart from the contribution of nutrients from the other ingredients used in preparing palm nut soup, the palm nut sauce itself has been acclaimed world over to be very nutritionally rich. 
Palm oil in banga soup is very rich in vitamin K, magnesium, and vitamins A and E and is free of cholesterol. 

It also contains powerful natural anti-oxidants that help in protection against cancer and guarantees to give your skin a fresher look and lowers your cholesterol level, thus protecting against heart diseases.

In Nigeria, banga (palm nut) soup cuisine is more commonly enjoyed by the people of Delta State, especially the urhobos and itsekiris, who call it amiedi and obey-ekpo respectively. The Yorubas call it obe eyin, In Cameroon, it is referred to as Mbanga soup while Ghanaians named it abenkwan.

How to prepare banga soup{palm nut soup}
500g / l1b Assorted parts of meat 
225g / 8oz stockfish (pre-soaked)
225g / 8oz bush meat (washed)
1kg / 2Ib oil-palm nuts
225g / 8oz ground crayfish
1pt stock or water
225g / 8oz Okro (sliced)
100g / 4oz ground pepper
1 onion (sliced)
salt to taste


Place the washed meat in a large pot, add a drop of water or stock season with salt and ground pepper and boil for 30 minutes or until tender. 

Add the smoked fish and stockfish, cook for another 10 minutes. Prepare the oil-palm nut to extract the oil by boiling the washed nuts for 20 minutes until soft. Remove from water and pound to remove the oil. Pass through a sieve to separate the kernels from the chaff. Pour the strained pulp into the meat together with the sliced peppers onions' tomatoes puree and Okro. Sprinkle in the crayfish and cook for 15minutes until the soup is fairly reduced and thickened to coat the back of spoon. Check seasoning and serve with pounded yam (Iyan) or Usin/Egun obobo (starch & plantain pudding).

NOTE: Fresh fish crayfish and shrimps could be used instead of meat with a small amount of ground egusi (melon seeds) added instead of Okro. Freshly washed bitter leaf could also be added

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