We are a blessed people, and we have all that we need as food to make a difference.
Professor Badu Akosa, as the then Director-General of Ghana Health Service, made Hausa koko popular and to date, it’s one of the most enjoyed breakfast cereal in the country. As a pathologist, he loved to dig into how what we eat made us sick, and I’m on the same page with him as far as this article is concerned.
Hausa koko is enjoyed by all in Ghana and some parts of our continent. It’s packed with lots of goodness and I would like to serve you with what sits in each ingredient and the benefits it presents us with as people trying to stay healthy and well-nourished, and with or without underlying conditions. Below are the benefits of each ingredient.
Millet – it’s a high protein, belonging to the pulses/leguminous group as far as the 4-star diet daily meal guide recommended by the WHO and the Ghana health service is concerned.
It’s a rich source of iron in the prevention of iron deficiency (due to its ability to help produce healthy red blood cells for healthy haemoglobin levels, which ensures healthy blood levels).
It’s an alkaline food, making it low in fat and calories, naturally promoting a healthy body weight and lowering heart diseases (resulting from dieting). It also contains magnesium for calmness and food mood, etc. Millet is blessed with minerals like; calcium, copper, iron, phosphorus, potassium, selenium as well as essential vitamins e.g.; folate, pantothenic acid, niacin, riboflavin, vitamin B6, C, E and K for wellness and vitality. It’s again rich in fibre as well.
Peppercorns – high in antioxidants for clearing free radicals out of our bodies to help reduce the risk of cancer or cell damage. It also has anti-inflammatory properties to deal with inflammations, great for blood sugar control, lowers cholesterol levels, gives brain benefits, and it’s a versatile spice.
It has anti-microbial benefits. Infections can contribute to infertility issues.
Cloves – helps to kill bacteria, very effective for regulating blood sugar levels, promotes bone health and help reduce stomach ulcers. Great for the liver’s health and blessed with antioxidants for clearing free radicals out of the body and more. It’s awesome for our immunity and treats respiratory infections.
Cloves are good for men and sex as far as erectile dysfunction and lack of desire are concerned. It boosts food sperm in men and also helps with fertility in women (effective during ovulation).
Ginger – it’s great for people with acid reflux, aids in weight loss and has anti-inflammatory properties to treat inflammations, lowers blood sugar and helps keep the risk of cancer at bay, and it’s again, good for the treatment of tummy upsets, nausea and aids digestion.
Chilli – supports cardiovascular health and reduce risk of diabetes mellitus (type 2 diabetes), fights inflammation, improves digestive health and metabolism.
It repels microbes and treats bacterial or microbial infections. It’s rich in vitamin A and C, making it great for your immune system and supports the respiratory passages, urinary tract and intestinal tract.
Groundnuts – immensely rich in potassium, calcium, phosphorus and B vitamins with lots of health benefits.
It contains healthy fats, protein and fibre to curb your appetite, lowers the risk of heart disease and for the regulation of blood glucose.
Sugar – we mostly make it look like sugar is a devil we are supposed to run away from, but it is all about moderation and the right recommended daily intake.
Sugar supplies the body with energy, the body’s fuel for life or work. Moderation is key because the right quantity per day will do you great and too much can increase your risk of liver disease. The liver acts as the body’s glucose (or fuel) reservoir and helps to keep your circulating blood sugar levels and other body fuels steady and constant.
Koose or Akara – the main ingredient is beans, a first-class protein and a great source of iron for healthy red blood cells, for healthy haemoglobin and for healthy blood health.
It also contains potassium, which helps with nerve function and enables muscle contraction. Excellent for regulating the blood’s pressure lowers cholesterol, rich in fibre, loaded with antioxidants for getting rid of free radicals and reduce our risk of cancers, low in fat making it a heart-healthy food, assists with weight shed and assists bladder function.
Bean has B vitamins, making it important for making sure the body cells function properly. The body is able to convert food to energy because of B vitamins to help create new blood cells and maintain healthy skin cells, brain cells and other body tissues.
RECIPE FOR HAUSA KOKO/ MILLET PORRIDGE
500g of millet
1 pint of water
4 to 6 pieces each of peppercorns and cloves
2 fingers of dried chilli pepper
A little ginger (preferably)
METHOD OF PREPARATION:
- Wash and soak millet overnight
- Rinse and add ginger, black peppercorn, dried pepper and blend into a smooth mixture
- Strain twice with fine silk mesh, cover and let sit for 5 hours
- Drain the liquid and set it aside
- Mix the residue with cold water or drained fermented water and set aside
- Bring about 500 ml water to a boil
- Take off the heat and place it on a rack
- add the residue mixture and stir continuously to prevent lumps until the mixture thickens and coats the back of the ladle.
- Hausa koko is ready to serve.
- When ready to serve, pour into a bowl, add the desired amount of sugar and stir. For an added touch of luxury, pour in some evaporated milk and groundnut.
By: Nutritionist Akosua Konadu Yiadom
Social media handles;
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Catch me live on Citi television’s breakfast daily every Monday (9:00 am – 9:30 am) for our nutrition segment.
Contact: 0243350206( 233).
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