5 Cooking Methods Common To African Cuisine

Which methods of food preparation are commonly used in Africa? Here is an introduction to a few cooking methods common in African cuisine:

1. Roasting

Roasting refers to cooking food over an open fire, without water. The fire may be an open wood fireplace or a hearth, or a charcoal burner. Foods that are often roasted in Africa include meat, fish, tubers such as sweet potatoes, arrow roots, Irish potatoes and cassava, as well as some types of banana.

2. Boiling

Boiling refers to cooking food with water, without oil. Frequently, an earthen ware cooking pot may be used. Cooking utensils made of metal or other materials are also gaining in popularity.

Foods that are boiled include vegetables, pulses such as peas and beans, tubers such as potatoes and cassava, and grains such as rice. In northern Uganda, odii – groundnut paste, is added to the boiled dish as a sauce.

3. Steaming

In southern Uganda, steaming is an important method of food preparation. Cooking bananas – matoke – are steamed inside banana leaves, over a pot full of boiling water. Fish, meat and vegetables are also wrapped in banana leaves and steamed.

Steaming is a recommended cooking method because it is said to better preserve the nutritive value of foods.

4. Immigrant populations to Africa have brought with them their own ways of preparing food, such as frying food. Frying food was traditionally uncommon to African cuisine, but has now been adopted by almost everyone. Frying refers to cooking food with cooking oil, as well as the possible addition of onions and tomatoes.

It is now common to fry all types of foodstuffs: meat, fish, pulses, vegetables and pastries.

5. Baking

While baking is slowly making inroads into African cuisine, it is still very much a new cooking method, not yet very widespread except in bakeries. Baking is certainly not yet as widespread as in western societies, where not just bread and cakes are baked, but also pies, pastries, melted cheese dishes and other foods.

The food preparation methods in Africa demonstrate the changing face of African cuisine, with adopted cooking methods such as frying now playing a major role in African cooking.

Traditional methods of food preparation such as boiling and steaming were fat-free, and therefore also a lot healthier.

They will continue to play a vital role because many foodstuffs found on the continent are best prepared in this way. For example, dried foodstuffs almost always have to be boiled first.

However, new cooking methods also open up a wider variety of taste and cooking experiences.



Source by Lamaro Schoenleber, Ph.d

Baking Bread and the Weather

Homemade bread baking in the oven has the most wonderful scent in the world to it. More and more people are discovering that baking bread is not as difficult as it looks. However, the weather makes make or flop homemade bread made from scratch.

If the weather is too cold and damp your bread will not rise properly so before you even begin to make and bake your bread. You need to make sure your kitchen is nice and warm. About one hour or two before you begin your bread turn up the heat in your home. If you do not want to warm the entire house then you can set your oven to warm and leave the oven door cracked just a bit.

Then once the kitchen warms up enough prepare your bread ingredients and make sure that, your water and milk are warm. Put the warm water and milk together and add your sugar. The warm water, milk, and sugar are what activate the yeast and the yeast is what makes the bread rise.

Combine all of your ingredients and then let the bread dough sit and rise on the top of your stove with the oven door still open and the oven on warm. If it does not seem to be rising, as it should there is a trick that you can use to help the bread rise.

Take a large pan of warm or mildly hot water and place it on the bottom rack of the oven. Place your bread pans with the dough in them on the top rack and let the dough rise in the oven with the door open. This is only after your dough has risen the first time and was placed into the loaf pans to rise again ready to be cook.

When your dough has risen the last time, it is then ready to cook and it is already in the oven set your timer for twenty minutes and let the bread fill the house with that wonderful smell of fresh baked bread. Remove the pan of water before baking the bread. Take the bread out after it bakes and remove it from the loaf pans. Let the bread cool before cutting. An electric knife is the best kitchen gadget to slice through the bread quick and easy.

You are, done baking bread and the weather does not have to be a challenge is it simple and easy and your homemade bread will turn out right even in bad weather.



Source by Irsan Komarga

A Dough Story – Mom Bakes Bread in Snowstorm

Meteorologists predicted a lot of snow for our area this weekend and the first thing my family asked me related to bread, not money. "Do you have all the ingredients to make Aunt Bea's pocketbook yeast rolls?" My answer, of course, was yes.

Taking care of errands on Friday, I confess I stopped by the grocery store to buy a roast to cook in the crock pot. There was no need for me to rush and buy milk and bread because I have learned to be prepared for most unexpected emergencies. There is a verse in Proverbs which says, "Wisdom is the tree of life to those who find it, and happy are those who embrace it."

Among the staples I keep in my pantry are cans of Pet Milk, water, batteries, vegetables, rice, flour, sugar, and Fleishmann's Rapid Rise Yeast.

After I walked in the kitchen, I turned the temperature on the crock pot to high and gingerly placed the eye of round roast in the Corning Ware dish, covered it with dry onion soup mix and water.

Checking the time on my wristwatch, I knew there was ample time to refuel my daughter's car before picking her up from work as well as finishing reading a book, "The Shack" a friend had recently shared with me.

We drve from cloudy skies to skies filled with millions of snowflakes in a matter of ten minutes. It looked like a cloud of light burst in front of us. Although our intentions were not to travel into a storm, there was nothing we could do to avoid it.

As we rolled into the garage on Friday evening, I was thankful to know that while dinner was cooking there was enough time to mix up a batch of Aunt Bea's pocketbook yeast rolls.

It is Sunday morning now and the snowy ice mixture was so bright that it woke me up. My daughter asked if it was okay to warm up the leftover yeast rolls for breakfast today rather than eating cereal. It sounded like a good idea because it freed up a block of time for me to accomplish another task.

Our kitchen smelled like a bakery this morning after only a few minutes. When we ate our breakfast of yeast rolls, honey, and hot tea, everyone was satisfied and returned to their schedules. Although it was only a half hour we spent together, I felt richer for the experience because I was able to share a portion of my heart through fond memories of my Aunt Bea.

I have been asked why I do not bake the bread more often, which has given me reason to pause and think. As a matter of fact, the last time I remember baking these yeast rolls was on December 18 last year when snowy weather kept us together.

I realized there were three questions to be answered in order for me to commit to the time required for the bread baking process.

1) Who will be eating the bread?
2) What is the occasion for the bread?
3) When will the bread need to be ready for consumption?

Even though we drve into a storm, it turned out to be a good thing. We have spent more time together as a family than our regular sessions permit. It has been inconvenient in several aspects but this one weekend which gifted me with a much needed reply.

A mixture of inconvenience, laughter, laundry, yeast rolls and family tell the wholeough story.



Source by AH Scott

Dave’s Killer Bread OR Ezekiel Bread, Which Is Better for You?

Has this happened to you? You got connected with a health and fitness guru and have been following their prescriptions to a better life. They have sold you on the idea of eating only carbohydrates from a good source. One of those good sources came highly recommended and you have been eating Ezekiel Bread for a while now.

You’re at the gym one day, having a great workout and making a new friend. As you chat about your eating habits, this new friend swears by Dave’s Killer Bread. Now you are wondering if perhaps you could make a better choice for your carbohydrate sources by switching to Dave’s Killer Bread. As you ponder this new thought, you hear the voice of your current health and fitness guru in your head speaking to you about how Ezekiel Bread is the only way. What do you do? Well, that is where I am able to help you. I’ve wondered the same thing myself and went about looking into the similarities and differences. I’ve made my choice and you can make yours.

Let’s take a look at what the breads have in common. They both use “all organic whole grain” sources for their ingredients and that is a great thing. They both use sea salt in the bread making process. They both offer several varieties of bread for you to chose from. You know what folks say, “variety” is the spice of life. So both breads bring that spice to you. Both brands make a multi grain bread, a whole wheat bread, and a multi seed bread. Both breads are carried in only certain stores making their availability limited. Many big chain food stores will carry either one or the other brand.

Now let’s take a look at the differences. All breads from Food For Life (manufacturers of Ezekiel Bread) use only sprouted ingredients and no flour of any kind in any bread. Dave’s Killer Breads use either cracked, crushed, cultured or rolled whole grains for their breads. So, which is better? That is debatable. It is believed that sprouted grains are more readily digested by the body. If you do have trouble digesting grains, this may be a slightly better choice for you. Beyond digestion the differences are negligible.

Food For Life offers five varieties of bread: 7 Sprouted Grain, 3 varieties of Ezekiel Sprouted Whole Grain (Flax, Low Sodium, & Sesame), and Sprouted Whole Grain&Seed. Dave’s Killer Bread offers eight varieties of bread: 21 Whole Grain, Good Seed, Power Seed, Blues Bread, Cracked Wheat, Sprouted Wheat, Good Seed Spelt, and Rockin Rye.

All of the five varieties of bread from Food For Life do not use any sugar of any kind. All of the 7 varieties of Dave’s Killer Bread use either organic dried cane syrup or organic cultured wheat (or both) as a natural preservative. For any of Dave’s breads the amount of sugar added averages 4 grams per slice. For those of you cutting carbs to get that ripped body ready for the stage, you may want to choose bread’s from Food For Life exclusively in that 12 week pre show prep time.

All of the five varieties of bread from Food For Life do not use any oil, while three varieties (Cracked Wheat, Blues, & Rockin Rye) of Dave’s Killer Bread do use a small amount of organic expeller-pressed canola oil. This small amount of oil in those two breads add a negligible amount of fat to the bread.

The final difference between the breads is the serving size. All breads from Food For Life have a standard serving size of 1 slice equal to 34 grams. All breads from Dave’s Killer Breads have a standard serving size of 1 slice and the grams vary from 42 grams to 50 grams, with the typical being 45 grams.

With all of that great information at hand which bread are you going to choose? There is one more factor to take a look at and that is the cost to purchase a loaf of bread. On average most stores that carry either of these breads will charge you just under $6.00 for a loaf of bread. That is on the high side as far as breads go.

For me, this is the major factor in my choice. Both bread companies make a comparable good carb source bread. My local Costco store carries a few varieties of Dave’s Killer Bread and because they can make a large bulk purchase they also offer the least expensive pricing for a loaf of bread. On average I pay about $3.75 for a loaf of Dave’s Killer Bread. So for now, I’m a Dave’s Killer Bread fan.



Source by Jen L Thorne