What comes to your mind when you hear “snacks”, does your mind flash back to chocolates, biscuits and other processed beverages? Before the introduction of these foreign snacks, we have always had our local snacks that are nutritious and delicious. They are cheap and readily available in the Nigeria market. These snacks are prepared using locally sourced materials.
Below are a list of healthy Nigerian snacks
1. Kulikuli ( peanut bars)
Kuli-kuli which is also called peanut bar,is a Northern Nigerian snack that is made from roasted peanuts. The roasted peanut is ground into a paste then mixed with salt and preferred spices then fried in peanut oil, producing a crunchy, nutritious, protein packed snack, was a staple snack food once upon a time.
Kulikuli is rich in anti-oxidants, good for the heart, weight loss, memory, fight depression, female reproduction and male fertility. Kuli-kuli gives you all these benefits and reduced oil content. It can be eaten alone or added to a local cereal like pap or garri.
This local a local Nigerian snack with Northern origins. It is also called tanfiri. Dankwa is packed full with nutrients because it is made with corn or millet, peanuts, sugar and spices such as ginger, pepper, yaji (suya pepper). This is another peanut-flavoured delicacy. The combined nutrients of peanut and corn makes it to contain essential nutrients like fiber, protein, minerals, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, which together provide health benefits like antioxidants that increase cognitive function, reduces risk of Alzheimer’s, as well as keeping your heart healthy and regulating cholesterol levels, aids digestion, controls hypertension, prevents anaemia, and is good for people watching their weight.
Kokoro ia a popular corn meal snack, it has its origin in the western part of Nigeria. It is made from a specially prepared dough consisting of corn meal, sugar and water (boiling hot water) and can be rolled to diffrent shapes and deep-fried. Spice could be added to it thou it can be taken plainly.There are two types of kokoro – the white one, which is shaped like bangles and not spiced, lighter in texture and plain tasting like water crackers. The popular harder crunchier type are shaped like rods and light brown in colour, and lightly sweetened.
4. Plaintain chips (Ikpekere)
This is just fried unripe plantain chips which are sliced thinly and lengthwise. It is cheap and readily available all over the country. Unripe plantains have amazing health benefits, it is ideal for weight loss because it ensures the body does not store excess fat, they are ideal for diabetic patients, they increase immunity, they boost sexual performance and are good for ulcers.
5. Nigerian Coconut Candy
Nigerian Coconut Candy is the Nigerian style Chancacas (colombian coconut candy). It is made with grated/shredded coconuts and granulated sugar. It has a great content of fibre.
This is a seasonal street food in Nigeria and it is usually sold on-the-cob, with boiled /roasted African pear (ube) or coconut pieces. It’s a delicious healthy snack. Corn is high in nutrients, it is extremely rich in Vitamin B1, Vitamin B5, and Vitamin C, which helps in fighting diseases and generating new cells. It is high in fiber, corn helps to lower cholesterol levels in the body. It is rich in carbohydrate which is a great source of energy.
7. Cashew nut
Cashew nut is also another snack that is packed full of nutrients,it is not in abundance as other snacksdue to its high cost but they can be found in the streets. Cashew nuts contains good fats and no cholesterol which helps keep the heart healthy, magnesium for strong bones and overall muscle and nerve health, antioxidants, copper and potassium.