An Unlikely Medley

Funke Koleosho's Corn, Redskin groundnut & Coconut Medley

My recipe today would seem unusual to some...but if what you want is a dish that provides you with slow release energy (complex carbohydrates), high quality protein, good measures of good fats, a size-able amount of dietary fibre, loads of minerals, vitamins and antioxidants, then YOU MUST try this recipe!

Growing up back home in Nigeria, there were lots of "snacky", street foods hawked on the streets of Lagos. I am often fascinated that without much knowledge of the chemical composition of food ingredients, our fore fathers often knew how best to pair different foods. It seemed they had a perfect understanding of "food harmony". One of such combinations is boiled traditional (hard) maize and thinly sliced coconut. I remember this being a great snack that kept hunger at bay till dinner time!

Through the chemical composition of the individual components of this medley, I will attempt to make some sense out of why this combination is actually really good for you!

Maize is a staple in Nigeria, eaten as wholegrain, milled to make a breakfast porridge or ground into flour to make other popular dishes. Maize is rich in minerals such as phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, zinc, copper, iron and selenium. Also rich in thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, folate and traces of vitamin A & vitamin E. More importantly, relating to this recipe, maize is very rich in carbohydrates and dietary fibre.

Coconut is one of the most nutritious fruits known to man and is plentiful in Nigeria. Contrary to what people may think, coconut is not a nut but actually a drupe (fruit).  Coconuts can be enjoyed in different ways either young or matured. For this recipe, the coconut must be ripe and matured. The white flesh is what is used. Due to their high fat content, coconuts adds flavour to any dish they are added to. They are also rich in minerals such as potassium, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, iron, sodium, manganese, zinc, copper, selenium; and vitamin B6 & C. Again for the purpose of this recipe, the flavours imparted by the coconut is important to note. Coconuts also have high levels of dietary fibre.

Redskin Raw Groundnut
Groundnut is found in abundance in the Northern parts of Nigeria, in fact Nigeria remains one of the highest producers/exporters of groundnut in the world. When in season, groundnut is eaten raw or boiled and sold as a street snack. Redskin groundnut is rich in protein, good fats and dietary fibre. It is also rich in vitamin E, niacin, folate and manganese. In addition groundnuts are particularly rich in polyphenols; which are powerful antioxidants.

So there we have it, my unlikely salad is actually a super healthy power house which promises:
  • slow release energy complex carbohydrates particularly from the corn
  • good quality protein particularly from the groundnuts
  • good fats from the coconut and groundnuts
  • a range of minerals and vitamins from the corn, groundnuts and coconut
  • antioxidants

Corn, Redskin groundnut & Coconut Medley

There is nothing more to wait for, try my unlikely salad recipe now!

What you need
  • 300g sweetcorn (canned or frozen). Traditionally dried maize is used. This is quite hard in texture (like beans) and require extensive cooking to soften.
  • 1 medium sized whole coconut
  • 200g raw redskin groundnut
  • Coconut oil
  • Salt
  • Black pepper

What to do
  1. Traditionally the hard maize kernels are used in this recipe but you can use canned or frozen sweetcorn instead. Frozen sweetcorn would only take about 5-10 minutes to steam and canned sweetcorn requires no cooking. If you can lay you hands on some maize kernels, that will provide a more authentic result but first you would have to boil them in some salted water until soft. This may take a while so the use of a pressure cooker will quicken the process.
  2. Break the coconut and remove the white flesh from the hard brown shell. Wash and thinly slice. The thinner the slice, the easier to chew!
  3. Boil the redskin groundnuts in some salted water until soft. This would only take a couple of minutes. 
  4. In a salad bowl, add the corn, groundnuts and some coconut slices. Vary quantity of each ingredient according to your preference.
  5. Drizzle some coconut oil, add some salt and freshly milled black pepper. 
  6. Toss and serve.

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