Gut Health Post 1 of 3
I'm always very sceptical of packaged foods or supplements that promise great health benefits but cost a lot of money. Probiotics fall into that category for me. Walk into any supermarket or pharmacy and you can find shelves of 'live cultures' with millions... sometimes billions of CFU's that we supposedly need to stay healthy.... or get healthy again after suffering from stomach problems.
I love Nigerian food as it nourishes the soul as well as the body. This fermented millet porridge is a fine example - full of probiotics.... and costs less than a pound to make. Its also eaten widely in Ghana. The only thing you need for this recipe is time......Hausa koko traditionally takes 2-3 days to ferment, but I will share with you a method to make it in 24-48 hrs max!
Hausa koko is made from millet seeds. The millet seeds are ground into a fine powder and then water is added to make a mixture similar in consistency to bread dough. Millet seeds come in all shapes and sizes. The smaller the millet seed, the finer a ground millet powder you can make. In my experience, the finer the powder, the quicker the fermentation process.
When mixing the water to the ground millet, I also add in 1-2 tablespoons of home made unsweetened soy yogurt. If you are sensitive to GOS, or don't like soy yogurt any live yogurt will do. The bacteria in the yogurt speeds up the fermentation process without spoiling.
The dough is then left at room temperature for 1 day to ferment. If you have an instant pot with a yogurt making function, then you can select the 8 hr mode and voila! You are done. If you live in a very cold climate, it may take 2 days for the mixture to mature. When the dough is fermented it has an earthy aroma and a distinctive but mellow taste.
A golf sized piece of the dough is added to water, mixed with cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and ginger and gently simmered until it has a consistency of porridge. And that's that!
Of course you don't have to use spice. You could get creative and flavour this any way that suits you! I add sweetened coconut flakes and fresh berries to my Hausa Koko most days. What will you add to yours?
If you decide to give this recipe a go, please share your thoughts, pictures and recipe tweaks. Good luck!
Notes before we get cooking!
FODMAP red, amber green rating reflects the total amount of Fructose (FTS), Lactose (L), Mannitol (M), Sorbitol (S), Galactooligosaccharide (GOS) and Oligos Fructans (FTA) in the TOTAL volume/weight of the ingredients used in the recipe.
This recipe makes approximately 4-5 servings of hausa koko (1 serving pictured).
I'm a big fan of simple recipes that don't need fancy equipment. For this recipe it does help to have a good grinder (blender) and heavy bottomed skillet.
Grind the millet seeds to a fine powder.
Add 2 tablespoons of yogurt, followed by a little water to the mixture to form a dough like consistency.
Cover with a clean, damp cloth and set aside at room temperature for 24-48 hours (depending on desired taste and room temperature). If you have an instant pot, select the 8 hr yogurt function.
Take a golf sized ball of the mixture and place it in a pan.
Add 2 cups of water, chosen spices and simmer very gently, stirring often (a whisk is helpful) until the desired 'porridge' consistency is achieved. Add more water if required.
Serve and enjoy!!
I'm very passionate about the management of autoimmune conditions in a healthy way.
I speak with medical professionals, read journals, try and test new recipes to share with you and diligently undertake research online. That being said, as you know, each autoimmune disease, as well as any set of symptoms you may be experiencing are unique.
All information provided is in no way intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor or healthcare provider to ensure the appropriateness of any information in relation to your own situation.
And finally, please comment and share so we as a community better cope with our conditions by through growth and learning.