Of the things that Nigerians report missing about home when they leave the country, the delicious street food and healthy dishes continually top the list, and for a good reason. Nigerian food is naturally healthy and rich in vitamins, nutrients and flavor that is hard to find anywhere else. That is, unless you know how to make it at home. Whether you’re trying to lose weight or simply want to increase the number of healthy nutrients you eat every day, there's quite a variety of Nigerian dishes that will help you accomplish those goals. The best part? It's not that expensive to whip up these delicious dishes.
Air Fried Plantain Sandwiches
Some manufacturers claim that using an air fryer can cut the fat content of fried foods by up to 75%, which is great for those who want the crispiness of traditional Nigerian food without the fat and cholesterol. This recipe is a spin on the traditional way of eating plantains that allows you to get a little crunch while still reaping the dietary benefits that plantains provide. Plantain is rich in iron, fiber and other essential nutrients, and by pairing it with vegetables and white meats, you can get the protein and vitamins you need for a healthy, filling lunch that is easy to make with an air fryer. Simply stick the plantain slices into the air fryer for about 8 to 10 minutes and enjoy once they’re crispy and golden brown. Fill with your favorite veggies, and you’re ready to eat!
Traditional Nigerian Salad
This recipe is so easy it’s almost silly to recommend, but the pure nutritional value it provides is what makes it top the list as one of the healthiest and cheapest Nigerian recipes to make. You’ll simply need romaine lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, eggs, baked beans and corn. Depending on where you live, you might be able to find all of these ingredients already cooked, which means you just have to combine them in a bowl and enjoy with a low-fat white vinegar sauce. Not only are these ingredients cheap, but they’re incredibly filling and will provide you with vitamins such as Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Iron, Calcium and Potassium to leave you feeling energized.
Healthy Man’s Egusi Soup
While Egusi is traditionally packed with vitamins and nutrients, some cooks can counteract the healthiness of stews by using too much oil or by including high-fat proteins. To make a healthy Egusi soup, you’ll want to add oil after cooking and be mindful of adding fatty proteins such as cow meat. Instead, use a wider variety of vegetables to get a mixture of different vitamins, and use chicken or goat meat. For a cheap alternative to the traditional recipe, you can use onion, tomatoes, garlic, spinach and smoked turkey that will be so full of essential nutrients it will make you feel good simply by cooking it. Cheap, tasty and a reminder of home, the healthy man’s Egusi soup is perfect for a cold winter day or for when you’re needing a little extra dose of vitamins without the oil.
Enjoy the Taste of Healthy
Cooking traditional Nigerian food is a great way to enjoy the natural health benefits of many of the foods naturally found within the borders of the beautiful country. Enjoy the taste of healthy and find new, creative ways to put a special spin on your favorite recipes, such as using an air fryer to cook plantains or by adding spinach and other fresh vegetables to your favorite Egusi soup. Indulging in a taste of home is affordable, and has never tasted so good.
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