In the previous write-up (Healthy Snacks I), we were introduced to snacks generally. We also got to know about some healthy snacks and their nutritional and health benefits. In this article, we shall see more examples of healthy snacks and how they benefit our bodies.
- BOILED CORN AND COCONUT (OWOWO)
This is popularly known as “owowo” in yoruba language. It is a very delicious and filling snack which consists of boiled corn and thinly sliced coconut meat. Asides the fact that it requires little or no preparation and the ingredients can be easily obtained from the market, it is also highly nutritious. Corn, being a whole grain, still contains most of its nutrients such as fibres, carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins and minerals. The glycemic index (GI) of corn is quite low, therefore, it does not cause a rapid increase in blood sugar level. Yellow corn is also a good source of carotenoids, such as lutein and zeaxanthin, which helps to promote eye health.
Coconut, the other component of “owowo” is rich in fibres, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals. It contains phenolic compounds, which are antioxidants that help protect cells from oxidative damage, thus lowering disease risks.
However, coconut is high in fat and calories, so eat moderately, especially if you are trying to lose weight.
Donkwa is a tasty snack made from finely ground corn and groundnuts. This snack is particularly loved by young children. Groundnuts are rich in niacin (vitamin B3) which helps to promote normal brain functions and boosts memory. From studies, it has been established that regular consumption of nuts may reduce the risk for heart disease, as they are rich in monounsaturated fatty acids which help in that regard. Nuts, when eaten within moderation also helps to maintain a healthy weight.
The health benefits of corn, the other component of donkwa, has been discussed earlier.
Please note that groundnuts (and products containing them) may cause allergies in some individuals.
- NIGERIAN GROUNDNUT CAKE (KULI-KULI)
Commonly eaten alone or with soaked garri, “kuli-kuli” has gained popularity as a snack food in Nigeria over the years. It is a cruchy snack made from roasted groundnuts, ground into a semi-paste, combined with spices such as ginger and chilli pepper, and then deep fried until it hardens. Benefits of groundnuts, the major ingredient in kuli-kuli, has been discussed earlier.
- NIGERIAN CORN CAKE (KOKORO)
This is a crunchy corn meal snack which originated from the western part of Nigeria. It is made by preparing a dough consisting of corn meal, sugar and hot water, rolling the dough to form desired shape and deep-frying. Honey can be used as a sweetener, instead of sugar. Health benefits of corn, the major ingredient in “kokoro”, has been discussed earlier.