Like with African culture, African cuisine is equally colorful and full of taste. It offers a wide variety of veggies, fruits, and spices. Centuries of trade and colonialism have brought numerous influences. While African cuisine is still somewhat of a blur within the Western World, there is a sense of interest at farmer’s markets and specialized stores that focus on imports.
To start your day in a nutritious way, oats are a very African way of starting things off right. You can soak them overnight in a cup of vegan milk, or what I like to do is pour a boiling cup of water over the oats and garnish them with fruit. If you still wish to add a little creaminess, you can always soak chia seeds in three times as much vegan milk for about half an hour and add that to your oats.
Another quick and easy breakfast food is vegan cornbread. It is a delicious substitute for any of the carbs that you normally enjoy. It can be both savory and sweet. And it is a perfect snack to enjoy with a little bit of butter at any time of the day.
- 1 cup of corn
- 1 cup of Kamut flour
- 1 teaspoon of soda bicarbonate
- A pinch of sea salt
- Half a cup of butter—I like to use Ghee, as it’s easily made by heating up butter for so long that it crystalizes
- Half a cup of coconut sugar
- 1 cup of non-dairy milk
- A tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup of cornmeal
To prepare, simply mix the dry ingredients separately from the wet ones, mix them with a whisk, pour it into a baking sheet, and bake for about half an hour.
If you like to have lunch early, one of the best things I have adopted so far are crepes with which you can scoop up different stews. Here’s one simple version of a crepe. Make flatbread with chickpea flour. The only ingredient you need for it is ground chickpeas to which you add water and spices. Make it into a beautiful rainbow-like wrap by adding as many veggies as you like. The more colorful, the healthier!
While my lunches normally consist mainly of vegetables, I like to pair them with nutritious red lentils. They are a very African thing. Plus, they add sweet creaminess to any dish you include them in. You can always add them to collard greens that you sprinkle with spices like cardamom and coriander and have a hearty lunch ready in a matter of minutes.
Veggies are so much fun to work with. I like to prepare curried chickpeas, simply grilling them on some olive oil and sautéed onions, adding red paprika, curry powder, and a splash of water, then cooking for an additional 20 minutes. In the end, I add a splash of coconut cream to it and a couple of leaves of parsley. Separately, bake sweet potatoes and stuff them with the broth you have just made. I cannot explain the richness of the taste, but you can always try making it yourself.
If you’re a little apprehensive of sweet potatoes, you can always stuff bread bowls with chickpeas in the same way, but I can’t tell you how much of taste you’re missing that way.
Alternatively, here’s a twist on baked potatoes that steals the show. Dip thin slices of potatoes in coconut flour that you previously sprinkled with turmeric. Did I mention how good they are?
There are so many different dishes to try from African cuisine that I haven’t even started. So, be on a look for new ones. African cuisine is something very primal, and it should be on the radar of all the potential food bloggers.