The Subtle Sweetness Of Soy: Nigeria Super-Food!

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Soy-beans has been cultivated in china for years and also popular in Nigeria. Soy beans and soy products are eaten in almost every home, and it is included virtually in every recipe across Nigeria, used in making local seasoning known as “Dawadawa” in Hausa, the locust beans. Soy beans is used in recipes such as pastry snacks, soy-yogurt, soy-milk, awara or tofu and a lot more. Soy-beans is of the legume like pea vegetables and soy foods contain high-quality protein; its cholesterol-lowering benefits is powerful. So including soya beans foods in daily diet may significantly help to reduce the risk of many health problems such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, coronary heart disease, cancers and improve the health of bones in the body. High in fiber and protein like that of Almonds, oats and barley. Cholesterol and lactose free, low in saturated fat and excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. A deliciously sweet antioxidant-rich legume and can be eaten raw, boiled, sprouted, fried and roasted. Organic soy is best, and organic foods are great; all healthy foods must be eaten in moderation for best and lasting health benefits. Meat sources provide complete protein with a greater health risk, from its high cholesterols while plants such as soy do not contain cholesterol. Meat present health risks for smokers, people with high blood pressure, diabetes, or cardiac conditions. Meatless meals means, less animal for meat and meat products; for a healthy and safer planet.

Tips for preparing soybeans:- Always measure the required soybeans for use; spread out on a clean dry tray or kitchen surface, then pick and remove small stones, debris or damaged and blackened soy before washing dried soybeans. After picking the soybeans, place in a bowl move it around in a strainer and rinse thoroughly under cool running water to remove dust and dirt from packaging. Pre-soaking the dried soybeans makes cooking time shorter, removing soybeans husk easier and digestion faster. Always drain the first water used in soaking the soybeans and rinse the beans with clean water before proceeding to the next step.

Soy-Flour:- There is a million and one recipes to make out of organic soy beans; it is a delicious addition to meals. Soy flour is super rich with soy-isoflavones, it is wheat free, and gluten free. Soy flour is used for various baking recipes and a perfect substitute for multi-purpose flour; it is a major ingredient in a favorite recipe in Northern Nigeria known as “dan’wake” a meal dumpling made out of soy-flour mixture, cooked and serve with spices.

Soy-flour ingredients consists of soy beans and sugar which is optional; the recipe steps begins with washing and blanching the soy-beans while others prefer to go straight to roasting. Put a dry pan on low heat keep stirring to roast until dry, aromatic and crispy, use a wooden spatula to stir to prevent sticking to pan and darkening. Another option is to oven toast until light brown. Remove from heat and allow to cool. After roasting or toasting, grind in the mill until fine flowing flour is achieved, if using a blender it must be strong to handle the hard grains of soy to blend. Sieve twice using a fine mesh, until all husk and hard particles are remove and a very smooth flour is made, for a sweet flour add sugar before milling. Store in airtight container, label with ingredients and date. Homemade soy flour has a strong natural aroma and flavors, and it is high in nutrients; can be substituted for wheat, corn, bleached flour successfully for baking and other recipes.

Soy-beans “Daddawa” in Hausa, Soy locust beans “iru” in Yoruba, “ogiri” in Igbo:-

It is a fermented soy condiments which must undergo the fermentation process, takes at least three days for the growth of yeast to ferment. Daddawa is soy-beans condiment which is also known as “kalwa” in Hausa. Yoruba’s are known for the popular “iru” which is a fermented “biglobosa seeds” and the Igbo ogiri is made from fermented melon seeds. Soy daddawa or locust beans condiments is used in almost all recipes; it is a taste and aroma enhancer consumed generally in different parts of Nigeria where recipes depends on the cultural cuisines of dwellers producing it. Soy daddawa a traditional fermented soy-bean is very popular in northern Nigeria, deliciously similar to “iru” of the Yoruba and “ogiri” condiments of the Igbos. Soy “daddawa”, “iru”, and “ogiri” has a very strong putrid ammoniacal odor from the fermentation of the soy; giving “daddawa” a pungent ammoniacal flavor, characteristics of all fermented condiments.

Recipe Ingredients:-


Pottash, Ash, Salt And Water.

Recipe Steps:-

Wash, put to boil on low heat and cook for about three days to soften enough for de-husking the soybeans. On the third day, strain water from cooked soy-beans, de-husk using a mortar and pestle by pushing it around. Wash and remove husk from seeds. After cooked soy-bean has been de-husked, pick out stones, debris and remaining husk sticking to the soy-grains. 

Put to boil again on high heat, add potash, and ashes; after one boil strain out water and repeat this process twice. Stir-fry in a clean dry pot for just some few minutes to remove the moisture contents. Allow to cool, sprinkle ashes on it and wrap daddawa in polythene then place in a carton. Store in an airtight container for three more days. Fermentation is identified when the final product of iru or daddawa is unwrapped and soy-beans is sticky with a powerful ammoniacal smell. Spread out on a tray and sprinkle salt all over it; for a tasty condiment. Air dry it under the sun. Store in airtight bowls and use as condiments in recipes and dishes of choice.

Madara Soya beans in Hausa is Homemade soy-milk: A healthy and sweet alternative to animal milk, thick and delicious plant-based milk. A great lactose-free, vegan, high-protein dairy free milk. Homemade recipes are the best; no artificial additives, preservatives, thickeners and sweeteners.

Recipe Ingredients:-

Yellow soybeans and water.

Sweetener of choice honey, dates, or sugar.

Recipe steps:-

Soak the yellow soybeans in water overnight. Wash and remove husk; blend until smooth, creamy milk-like consistency. The less water the thicker the soy milk. Dilute with enough water, using a cheese bag or finest mesh, strain the blended creamy soybeans. Strain thrice into a pot and put to boil on medium heat, watch-closely to avoid boiling over. Stir with wooden spatula when it starts to boil and skim the foamy top of milk to help reduce the pea taste.

Avoid this step if milk will be used for Awara-Tofu or Yogurt:- Soy milk has a strong legumes flavor, to disguise or remove the raw pea taste, add flavors. Stir-in ginger, cinnamon, cocoa powder, vanilla bean-pod or flavor of choice to reduce the legume aroma and taste. Stir continuously, add a pinch of salt to balance the taste of the milk and watch over it until the milk is well cooked. Remove from heat and allow to cool at room temperature. Sweeten with any sweetener of choice. Always remember that healthy choice is sugar-free, and avoid artificial sweeteners.

Strain the cool milky liquid with a cheese cloth into a bowl, strain twice to make sure only a smooth milky liquid passes through the cheese cloth, to avoid spices and particles getting into the finished product. Squeeze or press down the cheese cloth to release the remaining milk into the bowl. Store in individual refill bottles, label with dates and ingredients. Keep in the refrigerator for up to a week. Discard if it begins to smell but can be use as starters for soy-yogurt, if it taste sour.

Soy-milk can be substituted for animal milk in various milk shakes; such as fruits shakes using soy milk, cucumber, apples, pears, or any fruits of choice and sweeten with organic honey. Steps in making soy-shakes is to simply wash apples, cucumber and dice. Put into a blender, add soy milk and blend. Sweeten with honey or sweetener of choice. It is an excellent blood purifier and a sweet way to clean and purify the blood. Milk is an great source of vitamins, calcium and minerals; most plant foods lack some essential amino acids; so it is advisable to eat a variety of fruits, nuts and vegetables to get all important building blocks the body needs to make adequate protein.

Soy Yogurt:- Soy yogurt is prepared from soy milk; soy milk is made from soya-beans. A delicious dairy-free, creamy smooth vegan deliciousness, loads of nutritional benefits, excellent protein, contains all essential amino-acids that the body needs. Homemade yogurt are healthy with no gums, thickeners, sweeteners, additives and fake flavors. Always keep some yogurt to start a culture or to use as starters for next soy-yogurt. Soy-yogurt is made from soy-milk, which is fermented using lactic acid bacteria.

Recipe Ingredients:-

Soy Milk.

Bacteria starter (Yogurt starter vegan or animal product).

Recipe Steps:-

Put the soy milk on medium heat to boil, allow to simmer on low heat. Cool to body temperature and pour the soy milk into a vacuum flask or food warmer, keep airtight, any container that will keep out the air. Add the starter (bacteria or culture yogurt) to make a yogurt starter from scratch and all vegan recipe; simply drop few green pepper stem into a warm soy milk, cover and place in a warm place overnight, a warm oven or cupboard will do just great. Fermentation or culture will then take place, thirst for sourness. Then use this as all vegan starter, subsequent recipes will improve on quality of the starter.

The warm milk must be just warm to touch, to test drop few drop on the inner side of the wrist just a little warmer than body temperature is right; this is done to avoid milk curdling if it is too hot. Stir-in the starter and mix thoroughly. Cover mixture tightly, and leave the yogurt pots in an undisturbed warm oven or cupboard for several hours or overnight. Check yogurt for sharpness of taste or the strength of sourness. Sweeten with sweetener of choice, add natural sweeteners, fresh fruits juices to flavor it. Store in the refrigerator to stop fermentation. To serve whisk the yogurt for a creamier smooth texture.

Awara-Hausa, Wara-Yoruba is Tofu Soy Cottage Cheese:-

Soybean curd is tofu which is an excellent source of protein and the perfect substitute for meat in most favorite and tasty Nigerian meals, soups and sauces. Awara in Hausa and Wara in Yoruba is a versatile plant-based meat alternative. An inexpensive nourishing and protein-rich food, low in fat, chewy just like meat; Awara is sold on every street corners in Maiduguri, hawk all over in plastic buckets, sold in school canteens, pick out at hotels and restaurant menus, hospital cafeterias serve Awara also.

Recipe Ingredients:-

Soy-Milk (Madara soya beans).

Lemon (Lemo sami) or Tamarind (tsamiya) juice.

Salt (Gishiri in Hausa) to taste.

Put the soy milk to boil, watch closely and do not allow it boil over. Boil for some minutes on low heat. Gently stir-in the lemon juice or tamarind juice, add a pinch of salt, for color add a few drops of palm oil which is optional. Put off the heat and allow the curd to separate. Strain using a mesh, colander or cheese bag. Place curds into a mold, press down to squeeze out water and to mold with a heavy object, for an hour but check often for firmness. Slice into cubes, fry in cooking oil of choice until golden brown or just crispy on the outside and soft in the middle. Serve with onion pepper sauce. A perfect substitutes for meats in vegetable soups and dishes; so difficult for many to differentiate “awara” in meals from animal meats.

Soy products like the Awara or tofu is high in calcium, iron, vitamins and minerals low in saturated fat and cholesterol. Awara is an awesome meatless option and it boosts more fiber; soy-dietary fiber is great for healthy digestive system. The high fiber in soy beans aids with digestion and bowel movements for easy poop which help prevent constipation and diarrhea. Others includes zinc and folate, fewer calories than animal and bird meats. Soy contains isoflavones which gives off antioxidant effects against free radicals, prevent pre-mature aging, helps prevent breast cancer and prostate, osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease if included in daily diet, excellent loads of anti-inflammatory agents and bone strengthening benefits, than animal and other plants-based protein. Soy products are one of the richest sources of protein and highly concentrated source of powerful antioxidants; contains the good fats such as omega-6, and omega-3 fats which is polyunsaturated, good for the heart. Side effects of eating soy include soy allergy.

Meatless meals are ways of going green which is indeed a great path to follow on the journey to healthy living; meatless diets starts by going meatless at least one day of the week, by simply substituting protein-rich foods for meat in any favorite recipes. And if meat must be included in meals; choose lean cuts and avoid large portions. Vegetables and fruits should cover half portion of serving plate, whole grains just a half of the other half; the remaining one fourth of serving plate must be made up of fish, chicken, lean meat or other healthier choices. Health benefits from meals begins with healthy food choices and eating more of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains for high loads of antioxidants that can help neutralize free radicals to help cut-out or reduce the risk of heart diseases and chronic conditions for healthy body and a healthy life!