Want to introduce some new flavors to your regular menu, and improve your health at the same time? If so, you may want to look into herbs that originate in Africa. African cuisine doesn't get as much attention in the U.S. as some other ethnic cuisines, so if you haven't had a chance to experience it, it's worth taking the time to experiment with some recipes yourself. Here are a few African herbs to consider stocking in your kitchen.
Njangsa is an herb that is made from crushing the seeds of fruit from the njangsa tree into a powder. The njangsa tree, which can grow as tall as 15 stories high, has a number of useful applications – its bark, stems, and roots are all used to make extracts and teas for medicinal purposes, and the wood from the trees is used to make musical instruments and decorative masks.
The njangsa herb made from crushing seeds is generally used to add flavor to soups and stews, though it can also be made into a paste and used in sauce. It's a spicy herb with a pepper-like flavor. If you have difficulty keeping weight on or if you have decreased appetite due to illness, add this spice to your food to help boost your weight. It's a known appetite enhancer.
The alligator pepper gets its name from the pods that hold the flavorful seeds – the seed pod looks like an alligator's back. It is sometimes confused with another herb called grains of paradise, but the alligator pepper is sold with both pod and seed, and the grains of paradise are sold only as seeds. In parts of Africa, the pepper is served with kola nuts.
Alligator pepper is a hot and spicy herb that can be used in place of ingredients like black pepper, cinnamon and cardamom to give your dish a flavor that's new and different, but still spicy and flavorful. It's thought to aid in digestion, so it may help you get over an upset stomach.
Baobab Fruit Powder
Baobab fruit powder is made from dried baobab fruits and seeds. The powder has a tangy, fruity flavor, and it's an obvious choice to add to fruit smoothies or teas. However, you can also add it to baked goods like pancakes or muffins to give them a new fruity flavor. Some people also use the powder to add a pleasing tang to sauces or marinades.
Baobab fruit powder is touted as a superfood with a number of medicinal qualities. It has a high vitamin C content and is used to treat vitamin C deficiency in Africa. It's good for heart health and liver cleansing. Baobab fruit powder can also be used to fight wrinkles and help your body burn fat.
These herbs can liven up your recipe collection while improving your health. If you're having trouble finding these ingredients in your local grocery stores, check out online retailers that specialize in African food.Share
12 June 2015
When I bought my first restaurant, I had no idea how challenging it would be. I assumed that I would be able to throw open the doors and offer whatever I wanted to serve that day, but that didn't turn out to be the case. Customers had opinions that they weren't afraid to voice, and it was kind of hard to juggle my responsibilities. I realized that my first order of business needed to be finding a food supplier that could handle my needs, so I started doing my research. It was amazing to find a business that really had a feel for the food industry. My blog might teach you some tips for managing your first business, especially if you own a restaurant.