Maize popularly called corn is generally believed to have originated in central Mexico over 7000 years ago from a wild grass; subsequently, the natives of America transform the maize crop into a priceless source of food across the globe. Nigeria is the second highest producer of the maize-crop in Africa and amongst the largest producers in the World. The maize is scientifically known as the “Zea Mays” used as cereal crop and also in a variety of ways; the varieties of the yellow and white corn are the most popular as food, the corn ear is enclosed by its husks often referred to as shucks. The corn kernel is made up of four major components of the Starch, Fiber, Protein And Oil. All of these components are found in almost everything from paper, to plastic, food to fuel.
Corn-based biofuels are considered to be environmentally friendly petroleum alternative but its production is controversial worldwide given voice to “Food Versus Fuel” issues, above all the corn-ethanol are seen as representing just a little energy gain when compared to others such as sugarcane and agricultural waste with greater energy gain. Corn is a very much loved and cherished crop in Nigeria, a security food all over the Nigerian communities especially the north east. The bags of the corn kernels are the first and must important staple food gifts for every new bride, made customarily mandatory in northern Nigeria to be included in the new wife’s foodstuffs by her parents, and given as gifts for her new family. The yellow or the white kernel on cobs are protected and covered by a husk. A food crop that provides more food energy and carbohydrates than other food crops; an easily harvested food crop and an important potential to mitigate food insecurity and to help alleviate poverty especially in the developing countries like Nigeria and for states with the devastating security crisis and high poverty rate such as the north-east Nigeria.
The maize crop-corn is the world’s most valued and most important crop grown for food, and a raw material for industries that can be processed into plastic products, used by flour millers, brewers, bakers, confectionery, pharmaceutical, the ethanol fuel, and an important crop for manufacturers of chicken and animal feeds.
The corn often refers to the maize in culinary recipes which is a cereal crop for most Nigerians staple foods, that is eaten as often as everyday and included in almost every meal in a variety of recipes because it is an inexpensive crop compare to others such as rice, yam, potatoes, wheat, or millet. The corn is also readily available food crop that supply the much needed macronutrients for survival and health especially in the rural communities all across Nigeria. Corn can be cooked, toasted, fried, baked, roasted, ground into corn meals, pounded, and crushed; corn is a staple food with it’s daily consumption in every home as a whole grain, fresh or dried. The corn is a versatile food wet or dry mill and use for the staple foods, traditional snacks, beverages and drinks that is eaten in daily meals in every home all over Nigeria with recipes such as pap, eko, aadun, elequete and adalu, gwate, kokori, kunu zaki, kunun koko, tuwon masara, others include cornflakes, and pop-corns.
Cultural Customs, Belief And Practical Uses Of The Corn
In Nigeria the need to introduce soft, smooth and easily swallowed food for weaning infants lead to the use of the most popular and generally used traditional thin cereal gruel called pap, “Akamu” in Igbo, “Ogi” in Yoruba, and “Kamu” in Hausa. The pap gruel is culturally recommended for the nursing mothers to help increase the breast milk flow which is also believed to be the healthiest first food for babies, nourishing, easy on the babies tummy, so cheap and so easy to prepare; a most popular and preferred weaning meals for babies. The educated nursing mothers are known to be enlightened, specially prepare the pap using special recipes of milk and fruits to fortify the pap gruel, while others add palm oil, crayfish and eggs to enrich the gruel, then scooped into baby cups or bottles thus spoon feeding their babies or at times the feeding bottles while the uneducated mothers use the traditional force method of hand-feeding whereby the baby is forcefully placed between the mothers “thigh” and the baby’s mouth forced open, with the mothers hand serving as a funnel the pad gruel is gradually introduce into the babies mouth, if the baby refuses to swallow the babies nostrils are press close with the left fingers and with only the mouth to breath with, the helpless baby takes a quick breath thereby gulping down the pap gruel and the mother quickly let go of the babies nostrils; the process is continuously repeated until the baby is seen with a protruding stomach which signifies satiate; all the while throughout the feeding the baby is screaming out loud. At the end of the force feeding, the screaming baby is drop into a bucketful of water and quickly given a wash from head to tow, towel dried, then strapped to the mothers back to sleep after dozing off, unstrapped from the back and quietly place, turn stomach down on the raffia hand-woven mat to sleep on. Traditionally, it is believed that the pad induce sleeps in babies and the reasons to why mothers often feed them with it for some peace and quiet.
The pap gruel is a completely organic food, light, and healthy meal that retains all its natural nutrients after the traditional homemade processing methods with “zero to none” footprints. A highly recommended food, that is perfect for the sick and convalescing patients, light and easily digestible for the guts while assisting to quickly remove impurities from the body through sweat and urine that follows the drinking of the pap gruels. Oftentimes mixed with medicines for patients seriously ill, babies, or kids refusing drugs for recovery due to their inability to eat.
A fast antidote for diarrhea in babies, kids and adults by simply drinking uncooked just a small cup of the semi-thick dissolved and diluted pap starch or akamu in water but surprisingly the eating of the raw corn in any form might cause diarrhea in some sensitive guts, always take with caution and the doctors advise to avoid any side effects.
The Fermented Water Or Ruwan Tsari
The water strained from the corn starch pap or akamu is known as the fermented water called “Ruwan Tsari” in Hausa of the north and the Yoruba of the western Nigeria named it “Omidudun” because it has a sweet-sour after-taste. The fermented water of the corn starch is highly nutritious and has an amazing versatile uses that is simply unique to communities and their cultural cuisines. Ndaleyi is purely starch after removing the bran known as “bina” in kanuri and the “chir” which is the gluten of the millet, the Ndaleyi meal is believed to have a higher digestibility. The fermented water in the Borno state of northern Nigeria is used in processing cereal grains such as the millets and guinea corns. The fermented water is pour into a wide basin, and the preferred cereal grain of either the millet or guinea corn are de-bran or un-hulled then soaked in the fermented water for several days until the grains changes to a cream color from its original ashes or brown color. The next steps is for the grains to be removed from the fermented and immediately other grains are soaked into the water, this procedure continues until the water loses it sourness and gives out a pungent smell, then it is discarded and a new fermented corn water are requested for, bought or prepared for use as a processing agent for cereal grains. Meanwhile, the drained cereal grains from the fermented water are then rinsed in clean running water, drain from all liquids with the perforated sieve bowl. A wide silver tray or the raffia mat are spread out under the hot sun, held down the edges with stones to prevent the wind blowing away the mat; the grains are poured on the mat, spread out with the hands all over the mat to ease drying. When the grains are dried, the stones holding down the mat are taken away and the edges of the mats are moved up towards the middle to gather up the grains into a heap; a colorful raffia table mat called feifei are used to blow away the dirts and fallen leaves from the dried cereals, by a continue motion of throwing-up and collecting back the grains until all grains are free of debris. Collected into a large round calabash and taken to the commercial grinding machine popularly called “engine nika” to be milled into a staple meal flour for the “prestigious” Kanuri meals fit for kings called “Ndaleyi”, a staple swallow cooked in hot boiling water, with some oil in it to give a smooth mold. When the water boils, the sieved flour is gradually introduce into the boiling, stirring and turning in a single clockwise or anticlockwise direction to avoid the lumps formation, the process continues until a solid smooth mold is formed that easily pulls away from the pot and forms a perfect ball in the middle of the pot. The pot is covered, left on low coal heat and allow the steam to finish up the cooking; another stage of turning with more added cooking oil takes place, until the final mold is a smooth elastic dough, then the mold is scoop into balls and arranged around the edges of a silver tray, and the prepared soup of miyan kuka “the green baobab dried leaves soup” are served with it, with the Kanuri locally grilled meat called “denderu” decoratively doting all over the mold swallow, a dish way ahead of other traditional cuisines in nutrient loads; a delicious meal to feast on like a king.
Corn Recipes In Everything
Dry Milling Corn:- The dried corn are processed by de-husking to remove fibers or left with its fibers; washed, dried and then to dry milling into grits or groat used for preparing the popularly called “Barbisco” in Borno State Nigeria and the generally known “Tsaki” of the northern Nigeria; while others includes the corn meal, flour or starch.
Wet Milling Corn:- The soaked or wet corn are processed to produce the corn oil, corn gluten meal, and feeds. Starch, corn sweeteners called corn syrups and the corn ethanol-fuel.
There is a corn in almost all recipes used in Nigerian homes; a nutrient-dense diet starts with a map for the family maize maze meals, on the plate canvas of a healthy corn recipe creativeness, try the following nutritious corn meals:-
Homemade Corn Oil
The homemade corn oil is considered one of the healthiest cooking oil compared to others and the best substitute to the commercially chemical refined corn oil because it is free of additives, chemical-free and organic. It is not naturally oily due to the time-consuming and tedious process of the extraction method involved in the making of corn oil at home. Corn-maize oil is a low-cost must have in the kitchen with a neutral taste and a high smoking point.
Corn oil is high in polyunsaturated fatty acids that is of healthy benefits for the skin, hair and the overall body metabolism.
A homemade oil press machine or garlic press
Air-tight glass jar
A bucket, a dish and a strainer
Place the corn kernels in warm water and soak for 24 hours to soften and make for an easier press and oil extraction.
Feed the soaked corn kernel into the electric home oil press machine by following the instructions in order to turn the corn kernels into a pulpy mass; it is a kind of slushy and watery pulp.
Collect all the pulp into a bucket; a liquid and pulpy solid of the corn kernel; strain to remove the floating particles from the liquid.
Keep the slushy liquid of the pressed corn kernel in the sun for several days, to evaporate the water thereby leaving a yellow liquid. To separate fast the corn oil from the water, divide the mixture into several flat dish to make evaporation of water faster.
After several days of the water evaporation a yellow residue remains and that is the natural corn oil, scoop into airtight jar, label with ingredients, date and use as when needed for cooking or cosmetic uses. Transfer the oil into a frying pan add onion slices, fry on low heat for a more aromatic flavor, until the onions are charred, remove from heat and allow to cool, store and label for use in cooking, but for other uses such as hair and skin care purposes, do not fry the oil with onions; store as it is after extracting the oil, then label for cosmetics accordingly.
Corn Roasted, Grilled Or Boiled
The sweet corn known as “Zea mays” is a maize variety grown for human consumption with a high load of sugar, the reason why it is called sugar corn. Sweet corn is picked early at the milk stage, prepared and eaten as a vegetable rather than a grain. Sweet corn are eaten fresh, grilled, boiled, roasted, canned or frozen before the kernels of the corn becomes tough and starchy. The fresh green corns simply comes to life during the wet rainy seasons, where it comes the best on the streets meals, serve in offices, homes, markets, schools and work places all over the country due to its availability and affordability because there is always a sweet corn for the few “changes” in one’s pocket, always on the roadside and pathways which can never be missed, a quick stop to satisfy the rumbling tummy. The elderly women with their locally made fireplaces are seen close to their market segments, either the parks, offices, hospitals or schools; that particular place where huge sells can be made fast. A bag of the fresh sweet corns by the side, coals or firewood on the other sides, other snacks according to the demands are also available. A long queue are immediately noticed the moment a fresh corn starts to aromatically touch the hungry customers nostrils; an easy bargain takes place either to pick the raw sweet corn, pay for it and ask to be roasted or grilled. While others just point out the perfect choice out of the already roasted sweet corns, bargains for it and pay. The fresh sweet corns can also be boiled before de-husking, by placing it in a deep pot and covered with enough water, slowly bring to boil until cooked which is easily noticed from the aroma of the boiling corn, giving out a sweetly and refreshingly nutty flavor that is so irresistible; invitingly asking for a bite. In northern Nigeria, the boiled corn are hawked around in wheelbarrows covered with polythene to keep out the dust and dirts by young men who are engage in the corn business, mostly cooked at their homes or shops in large drums. The young men sell out the cooked corns to hawkers who move around the neighborhood, parks and places of gatherings where sells can be made from hungry laborers or workers.
Coconut, Groundnuts or Ube in Igbo is the African pear
Butter, Corn oil
The roasted corn are cooked on an open stove, coals or grills with burning coals to toast or roast.
The husks and silks are removed, a drizzle of oil for the preferred choices.
Then it is place on the iron grills, or arrange around a burning coals, turning occasionally for even browning and cooking.
Once it starts to pop and smells sweetly, it is ready to be removed from the heat.
The oven roast is similar but slightly different, while others may sprinkle spices all over the fresh sweet corns after drizzling with cooking oil; then place in a pre-heated oven until lightly golden and a pop-up sound is heard.
The Stove-top toasting is achieve by placing the spiced fresh corns on non-stick frying pan and place on a low heat until toasted.
Serve with any snacks of choice, coconut and Ube are the must popular.
Corn Wet Starch Pap
It is a popular and generally used breakfast gruel in every home and all across customs, cultures and uniquely incorporated into diverse cuisines in Nigeria; made with the corn starch or the blended corn seeds processed using the dried white or yellow corn named “Akamu” in Igbo, Ogi for the Yoruba, and “Kamu” for the Hausa. After process of washing and blending it is covered and allowed to ferment for that distinctly tangy taste the Nigerian pad is known for; then it is poured on a muslin cloths that was placed over a large dish to strained out the starch only leaving out the chaff.
The dried corn kernels, lots of water for straining out the starch
A muslin cloth to cover a large dish
A cheese bag or an empty salt bag
A kitchen weight to press out the water
The choice of pap colors all depends on the yellow or white dried corn colors, while the tangy or sourness of the pap is determine by the fermentation duration and always avoid the contacts of salt with the pap while processing because the two never go together.
Wash the corn and soak in lots of water for three or more days depending on how dried the corn is and how fast or slow it takes to soften. The water used for the soaking must be replaced everyday, by draining out the old and adding in the clean new water.
Drain water on the last day of soaking the dried corn kernels, rinse in clean water severally and blend into a smooth pouring consistency. The spicy pap starch is derived from adding spices of choice before blending, such as ginger, cloves, alligator or chili pepper.
Cover a large dish with a muslin cloth, secure it around the dish edges to prevent movement while sieving the corn starch. Pour a scoop of the blended pad using a small bowl on the muslin cloth, with the aid of a gloved hand or a soft paddle spatula, gently move it to and fro, clockwise and anti-clockwise until all is pass through the muslin, scrape off the chaff from the muslin before scooping another batch of the blended corn to pour on the muslin cloth; continue thus until all is completely sieved.
The collected chaff is dried and used for chicken or animal feeds; allow the sieved pap paste to settle for several hours undisturbed, after which the solid corn starch will go to the base of dish and a cloudy water will remain at the top of it.
Careful strain the cloudy water into a container and cover tightly for use in the soaking and whitening of the millet and guinea corn cereals.
The next step in making the pap is the fermentation stage, the more days the corn starch remains in the cheese bag will determines it’s tangy taste. The choice to drain out the water depends on choice, because the starch can easily be scoop into fancy containers and covered, used when needed. But for those who are into the business of selling pap, it is necessary to drain out all liquid content from the pap; so scoop the solid corn starch into a cheese bag or a thoroughly washed salt bag, tie tightly to drain remaining liquid content, place the now secure cheese bag on a perforated iron bowl to allow excess liquid escape and place a heavy kitchen weight atop the bag; keep re-tying the bag in order to push out more water from the starch until all the liquids are drained out, leaving just a wet, and hard starch.
The final stage is to untie the cheese bag, remove the pap starch from the bag, cut into cubes or any shape and size of choice.
Carefully arrange individually wrapped with the cellophane in packs, cover with lid and store in the refrigerator; the fermentation process stops immediately it is placed in the refrigerator.
The corn flour is generally used for making the staple swallow for tuwo or oka, scoop and molded into desire shapes and sizes; serve with soup of choice.
Dried whole meal or de-hulled corn kernels
Measure out the required quantity, then rinse in running water the corn kernels to remove dirt and dust but do not soak.
Spread out, air dry or sun dry. Transfer into a large dish, and take to the heavy duty commercial grinding machine, requesting for a smooth grinding for the corn kernels into a free flowing flour by requesting for “laushi” grinding method at the commercial engine, which is achieved by repeatedly milling the corn kernels until really fine and free-flowing.
Sieve and keep for use as substitutes in various recipes that requires wheat flour or use as half/half with wheat, cassava or other cereal flours that can blend in perfectly. A great addition in making corn bread, pancakes, pastries and snacks.
The corn starch are normally in a dried flowing flour, which is much more smoother than the corn flour because of the process of straining using the muslin or cheese bag. While the corn flour is achieve by milling the corn kernel and then sieved containing much more fibers.
An easier and fast option is to use the raw wet pap called akamu, ogi, or kamu. Spread out under the sun to dry or dried out in the dehydrator, then ground into corn starch.
Dried whole meal or de-hulled corn kernels
Wash and spread to dry the corn kernels.
Mill into a smooth wet paste to make easier straining with the muslin cloth which results into a finer version of the corn flour.
Strain the wet blended corn with a cheese cloth, press down with a heavy weight to remove excess liquid.
The liquid contents extracted, transfer into a tray, spread out to dehydrate under the sun or in the dehydrator.
Ground the dehydrated wet starch into a fine flowing flour known as corn starch.
Corn Grits Or Groats Or Tsaki
The tsaki is a coarse loosely grounded whole meal corn, popularly included in daily meal all over the northern and other parts of Nigeria, often refer to as the “local couscous”, highly nutritious because it is well processed whole meal homemade grits, so filling due to its fiber contents derived from the un-hulled corn kernels, chewy and a delightful meal, perfect with sauces, stews or vegetable soups.
Dried whole meal or de-hulled corn kernels
Measure out the required quantity, then rinse in running water the corn kernels to remove dirt and dust but do not soak.
Spread out, air dry or sun dry. Transfer into a large dish, and take to the heavy duty commercial grinding machine, requesting for just the coarse grinding for the corn kernels by simply requesting that it must not be smooth flour but a couscous or “barbisco” grinding method.
The corn grits after grinding is warm, do not store covered immediately, allow to air and cool.
Sieve out the smooth flour out of the corn grits and use for other recipes.
Scoop out the corn grits, barbisco or tsaki into a container.
Cover with lid and keep in a cool dry place.
Corn Couscous Or Barbisco Or Sakki
The meal is called Barbisco in Kanuri and sakki in northern Nigeria; the corn grits are used in recipes such as vegetable porridges, a very popular and staple food for the Kanuri in Borno state known as “Barbisco” that is prepared by steaming the corn grits in boiling water in which corn oil has been added, serve with the stew or soups of choice just like couscous. The people of the north-east are known to serve the meal with miyan kuka the baobab dried green soup, or miyan yakuwa which is the vegetable soup prepared with sorrel green leaves and spinach known as alefu in Hausa.
Corn Grits or dried corn, de-hulled or whole meal and ground into grits.
Salt to taste
On low heat bring water to boil, add in salt to taste and a drizzle of the corn oil or any oil of choice.
Stir in the corn grits gradually into thicken; cover and allow to cook for some few minutes, then turn with a kitchen tong, or a flat spatula, sprinkle some water and more oil to keep the grits from sticking together and forming a solid mass.
Cover again and steam cook on low heat, if using the traditional fireplace and cooking pot, place just few of the red coals on top of lid for even cooking and to prevent burning.
When cooked a delicious aroma will escape from the covered lid; discard the coal on lid, stir with the kitchen tong to separate the cooked grits into a light and fluffy meal.
Scoop and serve with soup of choice.
Corn Swallow Or Tuwon Masara
A primary staple food in Nigeria, a delicious and traditionally processed staple meal; the cornmeal swallow is called “Nni Oka” for the Igbo, “Oka Agbado” in Yoruba and generally referred to as “Tuwon Masara” by the Hausa all over northern Nigeria. Serve with okro, ogbono or vegetable soups. The cornmeal flour is often mix with the cassava flour for a more elastic dough for smooth and easy swallow.
Cassava flour (optional)
Sieve corn flour alone, or mix with corn starch for more elastic swallow.
Bring water to boil, scoop some corn flour, add water and mix into a smooth paste, then gradually stir into the boiling water on low heat, constantly turning in one direction to avoid lumps either in a clockwise or anticlockwise direction until the mixture starts bubbling. Gradually and carefully introduce more corn flour while avoiding the hot bubbles of the mixture, turn the meal until it thickens and sets into a solid mass.
Check and adjust the texture by adding more hot water if it is too hard or more corn flour if it is watery, turning with each addition until the desire smoothness is achieved.
Scoop, mold and serve with soups of choice.
Corn Pap Gruel Or Native Custard
A breakfast meal enjoyed by every Nigerian, a delight for the whole families, the first weaning food for babies and the first meal for the sick for loss the appetite to eat any solid meal but crave for a light, smooth and sour gruel. An easy to swallow and relish beverage drink that can be fortified with the addition of milk, fruits and serve with spicy fried snacks such as the popular Akara or kosai, the steamed pudding of beans called alele or moimoi, which ever way it is a win-win for the pap gruel in satisfying the bland taste-buds and the immediate hunger pangs of anyone.
Wet Corn Starch or Pap starch
Hot boiling water
Sweetener of choice
On medium heat bring some water to boil, place some pap, ogi, akamu lumps into a breakfast bowl and dissolve it with some water using a table scoop until completely blended in with no lumps.
The dissolved pap consistency determines the quantity of the final pap gruel; which doubles after the added hot water.
As soon as the water reaches the boiling point, stir again the dissolved pap starch and quickly pour the really hot boiling water all around the bowl for an even doneness and thickening. Stir in all around and cover with a lid for a minute to cook and completely set.
Check for thickness and doneness, if too watery simply place on low heat and continuously stir until set but if too thick add more the hot water or milk to get the consistency of choice.
Add milk, and sweetener of choice. Serve with the popular breakfast street snacks of beans cakes generally known in Nigeria as the Akara, or kosai, moi-moi or alele, beans porridge, Okpa, pancakes of masa in Hausa or mosa for the Yoruba.
Corn Steamed Pudding, Agidi Or Eko
Agidi or steamed corn pudding is made out of the wet corn starch, just like the pap gruel but slightly thicker and when set turn solid, also with a mild sour taste to wake-up the taste-buds. A light meal that is serve with bean cakes of either fried akara, or steamed moimoi, can also be serve with vegetable soups, sauces, and stews. A meal of agidi and pepper soups is light and nourishing combo especially for most patients having difficulty eaten any meal; can also be mashed up and fortify with milk and sweetener for a sweet dessert. A versatile dish used in preparing other recipes such as the Agidi jollof.
Wet corn starch or corn flour
Fresh leaves of banana or pumpkin to wrap-up and steam with
Polythene bags and baking papers can be use also
Mix the akamu pap or wet corn starch with cold water to dissolve completely with no lumps into a paste.
Pour into a deep pot, place on low heat and slowly bring to boil stirring and turning the mixture to avoid lumps and sticking to base of the pot.
Stir continuously until mixture thickens; when completely sets evenly without lumps, add water all around the edges of the pot, place lid and cover.
Allow the agidi pudding to complete cooking for the last 5 minutes.
Open the cover and quickly turn the pudding until all water blended in completely, then remove from heat.
Traditionally the agidi pudding are scoop into pumpkin or banana leaves, then wrap-up and steam; alternatively the hot pudding are scoop while still hot into fancy shaped cute cups or tiny polythene covered or wrap-up to set and form molds after cooling.
Corn Gruel Or Kunun Koko Masara
A popular breakfast meal, serve with the popular street snacks of bean cakes known as Kosai and alele in Hausa; serve as accompaniment with main meals substituting perfectly other breakfast cereals. The kunun gruel is consumed in almost every family home, especially a must serve at gatherings, naming ceremonies and weddings all over the north and most parts of Nigeria.
The corn kernels are used for two popular drinks in the northern Nigeria called the kunun koko beverage gruel or the light beverage drink known as kunun zaki in Hausa. The processing of both beverages involves soaking and fermentation which helps to improve digestibility and nutrient absorption in the body.
The white or yellow dried corn kernel
Corn flour, mix with water and repeated roll to form tiny cute balls
Mix spices of ginger, cloves, and chili pepper
Sugar or sweeteners of choice
The dried corn kernels must be freed of stones, dirts and particles; then rinse repeated in clean water.
Soaked the corn kernels for several hours until soften and wash thoroughly.
Spiced kunun koko is prepared by adding in the ginger, cloves, and chili pepper.
Blend into a very smooth wet paste of pouring consistency.
Sieve the mixture and allow to settle undisturbed.
Meanwhile scoop a little from the settled corn starch and dissolve in a bowl with a little water into a thick corn dough. Pick little of it and form tiny smooth balls until as much as required are formed.
Bring water to boil, drop into the boiling water all the tiny corn balls until soften and cook.
Pick the required quantity of wet corn starch and dissolve in water. Once the corn balls starts to float in the boiling pot, remove from heat.
Immediately pour in the dissolve corn starch, mix quickly until thicken and sets into a custard-like gruel.
Sweeten with sweeteners of choice and serve with any favorite side dishes.
Corn Beverage Drinks Or Kunun Zaaki
A sour drink due to the fermentation process involved in preparing it, a much requested and loved beverage drink in northern Nigeria, refreshingly cooling and nourishing. Enjoyed by many everywhere in schools, walk places or at home.
A light beverage that substitutes perfectly for desserts and carbonated drinks; sold in filled up bottles or sachets and placed in iced bucket to preserve and cool the drinks on the way.
The dried corn kernel
Mix spices of ginger, cloves, and chili pepper
Dried or fresh sweet potatoes
Sugar or sweeteners of choice
The dried corn kernels must first be freed of impurities; soak for several days to germinate. Drain and rinse severally.
Add sweet potatoes, mixed spices of ginger, cloves, and chili peppers. Pour in some water and blend into a mixture of pouring consistency.
Sieve to remove the chaff and fibers.
Divide the sieved mixture into two parts; on one part pour in the hot boiling water and quickly stir into a thicken gruel.
Then add in the second part of the sieved mixture to blend in with the mixture to which hot water was added, combine all together to blend thoroughly.
Cover with a lid and keep undisturbed to ferment for a day or two.
On the final day of the processing, with a smooth mesh, or sieve strain the fermented mixture referred to as kunu, to remove the sediments and particles.
Filter with a mesh bag or muslin cloths into a jug and sweeten with sweeten of choice.
Serve chilled with snacks or meals of choice.
Corn Mosa Yoruba
A Yoruba sweet snack that is totally filling, made of corn dough and deep fried and served with granulated sugar; a favorite street snack that is always street hawked by the young kids and elderly women, for many it brings in a good family income in meeting the daily needs of most families.
Dried corn kernels or corn grits
Salt to balance the taste
Spices or flavor
Corn oil or cooking oil of choice
The corn grits are easily available, either the dried corn kernels or corn grits are soaked for 2-4days to soften and ferment for that slight tangy taste.
Then strain the water, rinse in clean water and wet milled into a smooth paste.
Allow to settle undisturbed and then strain the water, scoop into a fine mesh or cheese bag and squeeze out the excess water; transfer the wet pulp into a mixing bowl, add sugar, salt, instant yeast and flavor or spices of choice.
Beat mixture to blend in all ingredients; cover and allow to prove, and rise to double in size.
Place a deep frying pan on low heat, pour in corn oil to heat up.
Drop into the heated oil some onion slices to sizzle and give an aromatic flavor.
Scoop spoonful’s of the mixture and drop into the hot oil, check and turn to fry the other side.
Fry on both sides until golden brown, remove and place on paper napkins to absorb excess oil.
Sprinkle granulated sugar on it while still warm, toss to cover all the corn balls.
Serve with beverages or drinks of choice.
Corn Masa Hausa
A popular northern Nigeria street food, included also in most restaurants menu, a generally requested and served dish at weddings, naming ceremonies and gatherings. The first breakfast street food to be seen on major roads and street corners frying on mud frying pan by women ready to make some money and to provide breakfast for school kids, early workers on the go, and travellers in hurry to catch the next bus leaving town.
A light and delicious breakfast meal fried using a locally made mud frying pan popularly called “Kasko” all over the northern Nigeria, the specially made mud pan has several round cup-like holes, serving as a local non-stick frying pan; best for frying pancakes, masa and other less oily dishes helping to fry beautifully without sticking and burning the dishes. Then serve with soup, sauces, jams, and mixed spices.
Corn flour and corn grits
Yeast, Baking powder and Local sour yogurt called “nono” or “madara” in Hausa
Sugar, and salt
Corn syrup, mix spices known as yagi or vegetable soups to serve with it
On low heat bring some water to boil and stir-in the corn grits, cook slowly until soften; remove from heat and allow to cool.
Pour into a mixing bowl, add in the corn flour.
Stir and fold in with every addition of the corn flour until well combine.
Add in the sour yogurt, yeast and sugar, and mix into a dough.
Cover tightly and place in a warm place to rise and double in size.
Add in more sugar, salt and baking powder, then beat mixture to blend into a smooth dough. Add chopped onions if desired.
Adjust the consistency of mixture with the addition of warm water.
On low heat, place a non-stick frying pan, and rub all over the base of each mud scoop hole some corn or cooking oil.
Scoop spoonful of mixture and drop into each mud scoop hole, fry on low heat until tiny holes forms on the masa.
If using a non-stick frying pan, after pouring in the mixture then tilt from side to side for mixture to cover the base for even distribution.
Turn and fry both sides until golden brown; remove and repeat the process until all mixture are fried.
Serve with sweeteners of choice, mix spices or vegetable soups.
Corn And Beans Mix Or Adalu
An absolutely super filling, highly nutritious one-pot meal, of a mix of the plant protein from the beans and the carbohydrates of the corn kernels; with loads of assorted nutrients from tomatoes, onions, bell pepper, and fish. The palm oil gives a tasty flavor and beautiful color to the dish.
A relish meal all across the country called “Ewa ati agbado” in Yoruba, known in Igbo as “Agwa na oka” and “Dafa’dukan wake da masara” in Hausa regions of Nigeria.
Meat is optional, smoked or grilled fish, cray-fish
Red Black Eyed Beans
Sweet corn, soaked dried corns, freshly boiled or Can
Red palm oil and chopped onions
Tomatoes, Bell pepper, Scotch bonnets, Onions
Seasoning cubes and salt to taste.
Garnish with any green vegetable of choices or spring onions
Blend all vegetables of the tomatoes, onions, bell and scotch bonnets.
Corn dried kernels must be soaked for several hours to soften and to reduce cooking time; wash and soak. But if using the fresh sweet corn, shuck and scrape off the kernels from the cob.
Rinse and transfer into a deep pot, add water and put to boil on medium heat.
Check for tenderness, add the rinse black eye red beans.
The cooked meat is added if using, then blended pepper puree follows in, chopped onions, add palm oil, seasoning cubes, the de-boned fish and salt to taste. Combine all to mix in then cover and cook.
Cook until all corn and beans are soften and the water content is reduced, leaving only a thick pottage-like mix with only little or no liquid depending on choice.
Mash well the one-pot dish, remove from heat.
Serve with garri, bread, agidi, pap pudding, gruel or beverages of choice.
Corn Chewy Sweet Dessert Or Aadu’un
A sweet powdery dessert eaten by licking on it or chew as a snack; can be prepared into sweet or savory snack of the Yoruba of western Nigeria. A popular street snacks on major roads, streets corners and parks; serve also during special gatherings and festive occasions of traditional marriages and customary naming ceremonies. Aadun in the Yoruba language means sweet, but can be made with savory recipes also. The main ingredient is the roasted corn flour, for the savory the following are added, mixed spices, salt and palm oil while for the sweet aadun recipes requires sugar, butter, corn oil, spices also and flavor of choice for a traditional delicious desserts. While in other recipes cooked and drained red black eye beans are blended in. Store and serve as a delightful relish.
Savory Aadun:- Roasted corn and milled into flour
Palm oil, chili pepper, mix spices and salt
Sweet Aadun:- Roasted corn and milled into flour
Butter, mix spices, flavor, sugar syrup and granulated sugar
Spices cloves, ginger and chili pepper
Ground or mill the roasted corn into free flowing aromatic flour, sieve and keep.
In a dried mixing bowl pour in the sieved corn flour, add the mix spices, salt chili pepper and the palm oil.
Combine well to blend in and bind all ingredients; then knead with the knuckles of the hands.
Scoop into fancy shaped cups or baking cups, press down tightly to form into beautiful molds shapes.
Serve as dessert or light meal.
The sweet Aadun follows the same steps but substituted for the sweets by adding the sugar or sweetener of choice, spices, butter, corn oil, corn syrup and flavor then continue as for the above steps.
Agidi Jollof Or Corn Starch One-Pot
A delicious and light meal, nutritious due to the added proteins of vegetables and oil. Serve and eaten anytime of the day.
Corn starch or akamu
Meat, chicken or fish
Tomatoes, bell and scotch bonnet pepper
Onions, seasoning cubes and salt to taste
Corn Oil, Palm Oil or Vegetable oil
The recipe can be easily prepare using the left-over sauces or stews; but if unavailable make a thicken dried sauce and use.
Wash meat, season and spice it up, add onion slices and enough water to cook.
Blend the tomatoes, bell pepper, onions and scotch bonnet.
Place oil on heat, add chopped onions and add the blended pepper. Stir fry until all water is dehydrated, add meats and fish.
Stir in well until the cooked meat and fish is well blended and coated with the sauce.
Bring water to a hot bubbling point on low heat, meanwhile dissolve the corn starch powder or akamu with cold water.
Quickly pour the boiling water over the dissolved corn starch and stir to evenly set, without any lumps forming just as when making akamu, pap or agidi.
Add the sauce or stew to the thicken corn pudding according to taste, color and richness.
Scoop into tiny fancy bowls or cake baking cups to cool and set into beautiful molds.
Once set unmold and serve with pepper soup, bean cake such as akara or moimoi, egusi soups and any of the Nigerian delightful soups and sauces of choice.
A sweet and crumbly delight with a beautiful golden color that is derived from the yellow cornmeal or flour.
Yellow corn meal flour
Flour to give the bread a spongy and catchy feel
Sugar for subtle sweetness
Salt to balance the taste
Baking powder to increase, give a fluffy air to the heavy weight of the cornmeal for a fast, easy to rise dough
Butter for that creamy buttery taste
Eggs for added richness, flavor and also assist the dough to rise up with the baking powder
Milk for the extra nourishing rich delight
Flavor to give a lift to the unique aroma of the corn meal
Sieve all the dry ingredients into a separate mixing bowl and combine all to blend in well.
Add in the butter and corn oil, rubbing in to form a crumbly mix.
Meanwhile, mix together the wet ingredients, into a bubbling liquid.
Push away and a hole in the center of the sieved cornmeal flour; pour in the wet ingredients.
Stirring from the middle to outwards until the corn bread mixture forms a roughen dough not smooth.
Bake in a preheated oven until golden brown with a divinely delicious aroma.
Serve with sweetener of choice, honey, jam, or corn syrup. A dollop of butter on the warm bread gives an irresistible invitation.
Steamed Corn Or Igbo Igbangwu Oka
The Igbo version of steamed Moimoi or alele is called Igbangwu Oka, a mixture of blended fresh corn and vegetables, then spiced up and steamed in the traditional steaming method using the banana, or pumpkin leaves to wrap it up for that distinct aroma and flavor most cultural cuisines are known for all over Nigeria. Almost like the preparation methods for the steamed beans but with a slight cultural variation in spices.
Raw fresh corn kernels
Red bell pepper
Seasoning cubes and salt
Grilled flaked fish and or Crayfish
Onions chopped up, and shredded scent leaves
The pumpkin or banana leaves are used to wrap up the mixture, freshly picked and rinsed in salt water, drain and air dried; an alternative when the leaves are not available is the use of cute covered bowls, or the transparent tiny polythene bags.
The fresh sweet corns are mostly used, de-cob the corn by scraping off the fresh kernels from its cob, rinse in water and blend into a smooth paste.
Transfer into a mixing bowl, meanwhile pound in a mortar or blend in the blender the red bell pepper, scotch bonnets and onions. Add to the corn paste, add in the chopped onions, scent leaves for that traditional taste, the ground crayfish and or flaked grilled fish for that extra nutrients and richness.
The palm oil is added in to give that nourishing delightful flavor and color.
Giving the mixture a complete taste requires the seasoning cubes and salt which are also added.
A soft spatula will then be used to gently fold in all ingredients and blend all into a tasty mix.
Place a steamer on medium heat, or a deep pot then pour water into it, place a round plate at the base of the pot, bring to boil.
Scoop into folded fresh leaves and steam or use the polythene or bowls to steam.
Regularly the water content for evaporation, add more water when needed to avoid burning and to bring on more steams to cook the corn pudding.
Check for doneness when it thickens and sets.
Serve as a complete meal any time of the day with any side dish or beverage of choice.
Stir Fry Baby-Corn
The baby sweetcorn are harvested very early compared to the sweetcorn, it’s stalks are usually small, soft, and immature, generally eaten whole with the cob unlike the mature corn with a tough cob for human consumption. Baby corn can be boiled, steamed or fried, It can also be eaten raw with it’s sweet, nutty flavor, having a chewy and crunchy; an important ingredient in stir-fry dishes, vegetable salads
Baby corn are smaller, tender and sweeter because of it being harvested early; Baby corn is low in calories, great for weight loss, contains protein, high fiber loads, less carbohydrates compared to matured corn. A natural, sweet taste and so so filling.
Veggie and vegan friendly, so versatile lightly steamed and serve with butter is so delicious a meal.
Baby corn, slit and cut in strips pieces
Red bell pepper known as tatasai in Hausa, slice into strips
Green bell pepper slice into strips
Purple onions, slice into rings
Roasted or toasted sesame seeds
Peppercorns, alligator pepper and salt
Mix spices of cloves, ginger, garlic and onions powder
Fresh or frozen green peas
Carrots, washed, peeled and slice into strips
Beef, chicken or fresh fish marinated in soy sauce and spices
The first steps in cooking is to make available all ingredients, fresh garden produce must be thoroughly washed before peeling or slicing.
On low heat, place a clean pot, pour in water and add salt then parboil the sliced baby corn in salted water.
Transfer the marinated beef, chicken or fish into a bowl and to it some corn starch and mix well to blend, allow to rest.
Mix all spices and grind into a smooth powder.
Stir-fry the marinated beef, chicken or fish separately.
Heat a little oil, add the onion slices, the sliced vegetables, roasted sesame seeds, spices, salt and seasoning cubes. Sauté until transparent and soften.
Add the stir-fried marinated beef, a little salt and seasoning cubes, mix and combine well all the vegetables with the beef and spices.
Add parboil baby corn, the green peas and mix in well. Cover and steam cook until all vegetables are cooked and crunchy.
Check and adjust taste to choice.
Serve with rice, pancakes, or beans; delicious serve with grilled fish, chicken, salad and soups.
Corn Grits Porridge Or Gwaten Masara
A nourishing and light meal of vegetable with corn grits, mix with plant proteins, spiced up for a hearty healthy meal. Generally, advised for the nursing mothers, the elderly, babies, and the convalescing patients, served also at important traditional events, festivals and gatherings.
Corn grits or Barbisco in Kanuri and tsaki in Hausa
Tomatoes, scotch bonnets, bell pepper, and onions
Spinach and sorrel leaves known as yakuwa and alefu in Hausa
Green bitter garden eggs known as gauta in Hausa
Meat, fish and brisket bone
Locust beans called daddawa in Hausa and local mix spices
Spring onions referred to as gayen albasa in Hausa
Seasoning cubes and salt
palm oil or corn oil
On medium heat, place a dry pot and pour in some water, drop in the wash brisket bones, meats and the de-boned fish.
Season with salt, seasoning cubes, onions and spices, cover and cook until the bones are soften.
Meanwhile, wash, de-seed and chop-up the bell pepper, tomatoes, and scotch bonnets into a separate plate.
Wash and peel the outer coverings, slice into rings into another plate.
Add all the chopped up vegetables into the cooking meat and stir all together to blend in well.
The preferred cooking oil is next, drizzle some corn oil, palm oil or cooking oil all over the boiling meat mixtures.
Sprinkle all over some mixed spices and the daddawa in Hausa, add more water, cover and cook on low heat.
Wash, pick from stems, and shred into tiny pieces the green leaves; add to the cooking porridge, add in some crushed peanuts or sesame seeds.
The corn grits quantity swells and double once cooked, check the quantity before adding in; with a spatula stir in the corn grits until a semi-thickness is reach, add in the quartered green garden egg for extra flavor and nutrients. Cover and simmer on low heat, adjust the seasonings and consistency to taste.
Serve as meal anytime of the day.
Fried Corn Stick or Kokoro
A crumbly favorite snacks of the Yoruba in western Nigeria; a fried snack prepared with the corn flour mix with other ingredients used for pastries, it is crispy crackling crunch of corn snacks. A favorite street food, hawked by kids and displayed for sale in show glass cases inviting buyers for a crunchy bite.
Corn flour, sieved with added baking powder
Corn oil for the deep frying
Sugar to sweeten or sweetener of choice
Chili pepper and a little salt to balance the taste
Ground ginger powder and water
On a low heat, place a deep saucepan and pour in some water that is enough to bring the dough to a smooth stretchy mold.
Add a little salt, and corn oil to the water in the pot.
Meanwhile, mix some corn flour, sugar, ground chili pepper together and carefully introduce into the boiling water, continuously stirring and folding in to avoid lumps forming and the mixture turns to a smooth dough.
Remove from heat, and turn into an oiled mixing bowl, allow to cool off.
Add more corn flour and knead into a smooth easy to work with dough.
Then roll out into square, and cut into long strips; pick each thin dough strip and roll into long stick-like shapes on a flour dusted work surface.
Once a batch of rolled corn sticks has been completed, place on low heat the corn oil or any vegetable oil of choice until it reaches a smoke point then drop in onion slices and fry with it the first batch of the corn sticks.
Turn to brown on all sides and continue repeated until all corn sticks are deep fried into golden crispy sticks.
Lastly transfer to the paper napkins to absorb excess oil.
Serve with drinks of choice.
The small hard kernels of the corn varieties are used in making the popcorn, it is devoid of soft starch and contains moisture, the heating of the kernels expands the cells making the kernels to expand and explodes into popcorns. The popcorns are made into the savory and sweet snacks, crunchy sweetness. A lot of at home processing businesses are smiling to the bank with the high demands for the homemade custards, and pop corns. While the popcorns sell like hot cakes anywhere in Nigeria, because it is easiest to reach for snacks for anyone.
A variety of corn kernel which when oiled and heated expands and puff-up into bloated blossoms of delightful sweetness. There are two easy ways of homemade popcorns, the stove top or the microwave popcorn.
A popcorn kernels variety
Sweeteners of choice, corn syrup or honey
Corn oil or oil of choice
A heavy lidded pot
On medium heat, place the pot, add corn oil to heat up; test by dropping into it two corn kernels it it pops up then add in the remaining corn kernels.
Cover and remove pot from heat to make the kernel to pop without burning.
Gently tip the lid of the pot to the side in order to allow the steam to escape.
Tip and turn excess popcorn into a dry bowl.
Cover pot and return the pot to the heat and continue until all corn kernels are popped up.
Sprinkle salt on popcorn, corn syrup or honey.
Homemade Corn Flakes
A roasted or toasted flakes of corn mixture, a crunchy, light, yummy and very much loved snack meals use in several recipes, deliciously nourishing serve mostly for breakfast with hot with cold or hot milk, with or without fresh fruits, a delight for kids and adults.
Corn flakes are rich in carbohydrates, and iron with a very low gluten content, high also in vitamin A, B, C, D, and E, loaded in thiamine for energy production; corn flakes are high in fiber and to be more fibrous add nuts for crunchy and chewy superb energy-loaded breakfast.
Granulated white sugar
Preheat the oven before mixing the ingredients; into a mixing bowl, sieve in the yellow corn meal, add sugar, salt and the vanilla.
Gradually add in water, a little at a time and stir in continuously with each added water until a thin and smooth batter consistency, just like a pancake mixture.
On a baking tray, lined with foil or parchment papers; grease or spray cooking oil lightly.
Pour all over the sheets on the baking tray the corn flakes mixture; then using a spatula spread out into a 1/4″ thickness.
Meanwhile, mix some cornmeal with water in a separate bowl until a breadcrumb-like mixture.
Carefully and gradually sprinkle the breadcrumb-like mixture on top of the spread out batter in the baking tray; just for that extra crunchy feel of the corn flakes.
Place in the pre-heated oven and bake just for some few minutes, half way through lower the heat and check out if it is dry enough to crack easily; then remove from the oven.
Allow to cool and break into small flakes with the gloved-hands.
Finally return to the oven to finish off into a crispy golden brown toast of delicious goodies; as soon as it gives out a delightful aroma of sweet and toasted corn flavor, then it is ready.
Remove from the oven, cool off until dried and crispy.
Store in packs or jars and serve as desired for meal anytime of the day with milk and sweetener of choice.
A fun toppings on smoothies, yogurt or ice-creams.
Homemade Corn Custard
A beautiful egg yellow color, creamy smooth that dissolves easily in the mouth with a sweet taste and unforgettable flavor
A sustainable business in Nigeria, process and produce at home with minimal and cheap tools with many home business owners smiling to the bank due to high demands.
Yellow corn flour or white corn flour with egg yellow food coloring
Cardamom powder, vanilla, milk or banana flavor
First method:- Grind separately all ingredients and combine all, then mill again to blend together into a free flowing powder.
Sieve and scoop into an air-tight glass jar.
Store in a cool dry place
The second method:- Sift the corn starch into a separate bowl.
Add powdered milk, milk flavorings, vanilla powder flavor, the egg yellow food colors and mix in to blend.
Transfer all into a blender or food processor and run it to blend all ingredients until all is combine.
Sieve and scoop into an air-tight containers and store in a cool and dry place.
Corn Custard Pudding
Custard powder is made up of corn starch, milk powder and flavors that is so deliciously sweet, can be prepared into a rich vanilla sauce when mix with milk and sugar. A yummy dessert in other recipes and a delightfully light gruel.
The custard powder
Sweeteners of choice
Fruits of choice
Scoop custard powder into a bowl, add milk and mix into a paste.
Boil milk and sugar or sweetener of choice, as soon as the milk starts to boil, add the custard paste to it on low heat, stir slowly and continuously until thicken and set. Adjust the consistency with more milk.
Serve hot or cold as a light meal or dessert with fruits.
Homemade Corn Starch Corn Syrup
Corn syrup is a food sweetener that was extracted from corn and processed into a syrupy form, used in candy making in order to prevent the crystallization; it is the product of corn starch that is prepared from the extracted pulpy center of the sweet corn kernels. It is mix with natural enzymes then broken down into glucose which is finally heated to form corn syrup. The juice from corn kernels are naturally sweet; natural corn syrup has the ability to resist crystallization the reason why it is mostly used in frostings, candies and sweets.
Store in airtight bottles or jars and place in cool dark place and can last for a year. Added to carbonated drinks, ice creams, sorbets, sugar syrups, sweet sauces, icings on cakes and desserts.
An alternative to sucrose to enhance flavors and sweetness, great for baked goodies to retain moistures. The light corn syrups are mostly used in jams, jellies, juices and most concentrated preserved foods.
Corn syrups are used in cookies, crackers, yogurts, cereals, preserved meats, soups, alcoholic drinks, canned fruits, salad dressings, bread and bakery fillings, enhance flavor in dairy products, and several other preserved foods.
Corn syrups adds delicious flavors, helps to enhance the quick browning to cereals, cakes and cookies. A yummy and sweet addition in fudges, snack bars, biscuits and chocolates.
Corn Syrup Side Effects
Corn syrup excessive consumptions can result to health issues such as:-
Corn syrup high fructose can cause an overload of glucose in the blood-stream, leading to the body’s insulin resistant hence the type 2 diabetes.
The high loads of corn syrup sugar contents can cause cardiovascular problems, which may lead to a higher risk of death from cardiovascular health related problems; it is advisable to cut down the usage of the corn syrup in recipes of daily diets for an increasing life expectancy.
Sweeteners such as corn syrup are addictive, leading to cravings for more thereby causing obesity; lifestyle and diet changes are advised.
The rise in blood sugar due to corn syrup can cause inflammation which can lead to Alzheimer.
Can cause liver failure due to excess sugar intake and it can also cause the human organs inability to flush out toxins.
Corn syrup is mostly sugar, so consume in moderation!!!
Airtight bottles and jars
Mix the cornstarch with some cold water and pour into a saucepan, place on low heat and stirring continuously.
As soon as the mixture becomes transparent gel like and clear, add the sugar.
Boil until it thickens to corn syrup consistency, thickening further when it cools off.
Add a little alum powder and stir-in, add vanilla flavor and a drop of yellow food coloring, stir until dissolve and blended in; the alum powder prevents the syrup from forming crystals and the corn starch to give the syrup it smoothness.
The dark corn syrup is prepared by mixing corn syrup with molasses and caramel colors, which gives it a sweeter taste. The dark syrup is a substitute for brown sugar or honey.
Health Benefits Of Corn
Corn is high in carbohydrates, nutrients of Vitamin A, B, C, E, K and also a great loads of minerals and antioxidants which all provides the daily needs essentials for a healthy metabolism.
Corn is great for the heart, lowers the risk of hypertension and heart attack, may also help to protect the heart especially the corn oil which can assists when included in daily diets to improve heart health and reduce the risk of various cardiovascular diseases.
Corn oil antiatherogenic effects on cholesterol levels may reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, helping to reduce arteries clogging, lower blood pressure, cut down heart attack and stroke risks.
Corn help to prevent constipation especially the whole grain corn that is rich in fiber and just as healthy as other cereal grains; helps to relieves constipation and alleviates hemorrhoids by helping to increase bulk and soften stools in eliminating straining while defecating; also aids in reducing the irritable bowel syndrome and diarrhea.
Corn is loaded in calories and as a staple food crop for communities in crisis that are suffering poverty and insecurity the corn crop will greatly assist for fast weight gain.
Corn excellent essential minerals may help in ensuring proper growth and also fight diseases, it is advisable to eat whole-grain corn for its beneficial mineral gains.
The beta-carotene in corn oil which turns into Vitamin A in the body is an essential vitamin for the maintenance of good vision and skin; helping also to boost the immune system.
The phytochemicals in corn can help to regulate the absorption and to assist in the release of insulin in the body, which can greatly reduce the spikes and drops in diabetic patients helping such people to live and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
The corn starch used in cosmetics have much more healthy benefits than other carcinogenic products used in cosmetics which blocks skin pores causing skin problems and breakouts, while the cosmetics with the organic corn starch as an ingredient will aid in soothing skin rashes and irritations; Corn antioxidants improve eye health, good for the skin and hair care.
Adverse Effects Of Corn
Corn is a food crop enjoyed by everyone in many ways but corn with all its healthy benefits also has a lot of NOT so healthy side effects too and the following are to be noted:-
Pellagra is a vitamin deficiency of niacin in the body, consuming corn in excess can cause pellagra and also a deficiency in amino acids of lysine and tryptophan; it is advisable to fortify corn meals with vitamin-rich and nutrient-dense foods.
The high carbohydrates in corn can cause a spike in blood sugar of diabetic individuals so it is advised for them to minimize its consumption. While the excess intake of corn can lead to weight gain, especially the corn syrup which can cause the type 2 diabetes.
Consuming corn can lead to allergies such as rashes and swelling of the mucous membranes.
Corn can cause bloating and flatulence if consumed in excess due to its high loads of starch and its high fiber loads may lead to indigestions; eating raw corn kernel may cause diarrhea in some individuals and stomach cramps.
Moderation is the key and also vital to watch out on the intakes of the corn in order to avoid excessive consumption.
The Sustainability Of The Maize Maze
The large number of farmers engaged in maize cultivation and its amazing economic value has placed the maize crop as the most important grain in Nigeria; included in the daily diets of Nigerians for many decades. In Nigeria only the energetic, creative, innovative, productive and committed workforce like the educated youths can bring the much needed turn-around in agricultural development especially of the maize crop. Agricultural information becomes vital in improving and sustaining agricultural production in Nigeria hence the need to find solutions to factors militating against agricultural information use such as illiteracy and poverty among rural youths in Nigeria. Maize-corn is the most important crop in the world and food security is the greatest challenge that human kind is facing all over the world today; the need to produce more and very fast lead to an intensive agricultural production practices which most often causes soil degradation, consequently a threat to agricultural productivity and sustainability.
A sustainable land management practices can help in reducing agricultural soil degradation, preventing water pollution, assure a long-term crop production and food security.
There is a need for credit facilities for farmers, provision of innovation technology for the maize production environment, and formulation of sustainable policies, creating and selling into a ready maize market will help to contribute to increasing maize production and food sufficiency and security in Nigeria. Traditional farming method in rain fed farmlands all across Nigeria has lead to low agricultural productivity due to the farmlands suffering from poor soil fertility, water erosion, drought and climate change; thus a change towards a more sustainable cropping system may help in soil quality maintenance hence improving crop production of the maize-crop and thereby increasing small holders farmers income, job creation for the unemployed, assist also in meeting the future household income and nutritional needs and an economic gains for the country Nigeria. The north-east has been aggressively affected by the crisis which rocked the region for over a decade, consequently engulfed by severe food insecurity caused by the inaccessibility to farmlands by locales due to landmines by insurgents, killer herdsmen and several other deadly factors brought-in by insurgency inflicting fears on everyone and now spreading like wild fire, moving at the speed of lightening ready to consume other regions of the country that were hitherto living and farming peacefully.
Maize-corn crop can yield twice as much the food energy of a given cultivated area, harvested also in successive years from the same land; growing well in different climates and altitudes in dry or damp regions.
Sustainable agriculture will ensure that food availability and affordability reaches everywhere and touches everyone, for a strong and healthy life that can only be possible with the sustainable food production and processing. Thereby it is vital to improve the funding of small holder farmers in order for them to put more efforts towards improving on sustainable agriculture of the maize crop. Food accessibility, affordability and availability is a MUST in Nigeria because food is a fundamental human right for all. Thereby, feeding the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 2 “End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.”
Corn in everything, for everyone and everywhere in Nigeria; never miss the corn for its super-nourishing sweet deliciousness on the taste buds and soothingly yummy on the stomachs; so start shucking!