Before slavery, in West Africa, our diet consisted heavily of plant-based foods
Plant-based diets encompass a wide range of dietary patterns that contain low amounts of animal products and high amounts of plant products such as vegetables, fruits, whole cereals, legumes, nuts and seeds. They do not need to be vegan or vegetarian but are defined in terms of low frequency of animal food consumption.
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Ancestral Africans participated in agriculture and sustained on a diet that focused on vegetables, beans, tubers, grains, roots, and greens. Greens were and are such a staple in this diet that they make up the base on the pyramid and with good reason. Greens have linked to lowering inflammation and fighting cancer.
The main ingredients are plantains, cassava, rice, kwanga (cassava dumpling) and yam. Fufu-like starchy foods are usually made from fermented cassava roots, but they can also be made with plantain, corn maize and yam. Fufu is served buffet style with grilled meat, fish, stews, greens and piment .
The West African diet is heavy on starch, light on meat, generous with fat and commonly cooked together in one pot. The staple is a dish known as fufu. This is made from root vegetables such as yams or cassava and mashed into a mound; it sometimes is also made from grain such as millet.
Since the 17th century, when Africans were forced into slavery in the New World, they and their descendants have had a profound impact on what Americans grow and eat. Watermelon, okra, yams, black-eyed peas and some peppers are all indigenous to Africa.
Weekly food rations -- usually corn meal, lard, some meat, molasses, peas, greens, and flour -- were distributed every Saturday. Vegetable patches or gardens, if permitted by the owner, supplied fresh produce to add to the rations. Morning meals were prepared and consumed at daybreak in the slaves' cabins.
It's a cuisine that is healthy, full of big flavours and contains many superfoods, so it makes perfect sense that its popularity is growing around the world. In the UK, chefs such as Zoe Adjonyoh have been inspiring us to embrace West African food through her popular recipe book Zoe's Ghana Kitchen.
Like many traditional West African ingredients and dishes, fufu has immense health benefits: Not only is it low in cholesterol, it is rich in fiber, potassium and resistant starch, which feeds the beneficial bacteria in your gut and may help reduce inflammation and promote digestive health, and contains vitamin C, ...
Prior to colonization, indigenous groups in South Africa enjoyed cuisines that included flavourful stews featuring vegetables, beans, and legumes. Sorghum and maize were also essential to the South African diet.
It consists of starchy foods—such as cassava, yams, or plantains—that have been boiled, pounded, and rounded into balls; the pounding process, which typically involves a mortar and pestle, can be laborious. Fufu is often dipped into sauces or eaten with stews of meat, fish, or vegetables.
Before people started farming, African hunters and gatherers ate mainly fruit (especially figs), with some meat and fish and seafood and eggs. Along the coasts, Africans also fished and gathered shellfish.
Before the colonization of North America, our ancestors were healthy and strong. They led active lives and subsisted on a diet of corn, beans, squash, berries, greens, wild rice, fruits, nuts, seeds and game that provided complete and balanced nutrition specifically fitted for people in their region.
African soups like oil melon soup (egusi), peanut soup, vegetable soup, ewedu soup, pepper soup, etc. are perfect African foods to lose weight. They are high in water, protein, fiber, minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants.
Fufu is a traditional food of central and western Africa consisting of a starchy preparation compacted by hand into small balls. Fufu balls are usually swallowed without chewing to allow a sensation of stomach fullness throughout the day.
Also related to its exercising benefits, some communities encourage pregnant women in their last trimester to pound fufu. It is believed that this ensures easy and short labour. Fufu is good, it is smooth, it is filling. There are those who eat it in the afternoon and they are done for the day.
Native African crops like yams, sorghum and millet are widely used in African cookery, as well as cultivated imports like wheat, rice, corn and cassava. Starches for breads and a common African food called fufu or ugali are derived from these crops.
Pork consumption in Africa has always been significant, in spite of widespread religious restrictions and cultural concerns. For many decades, tons of barrels of imported pork, mostly trotters, have landed at African ports, and pork is commonly used to add flavour to soups and stews.
in which slaves obtained alcohol outside of the special occasions on which their masters allowed them to drink it. Some female house slaves were assigned to brew cider, beer, and/or brandy on their plantations.
Today's meal is kitchen pepper rabbit, hominy and okra soup. This would have been a typical meal for an enslaved person — different versions of okra soup were eaten throughout the South, corn was a staple and rabbit would have been hunted by slaves and shared among dozens of people.
Fried chicken, the iconic dish of American slavery
And there was no shortage of fried chicken in the houses, consumed almost on a daily basis, since subject to a rapid deterioration: there were no refrigerators at the time, so the meat had to be cooked and eaten immediately.