10 healthy recipes of the African Diaspora you’ll love
So you want to eat healthy without ditching your cultural foods.
Unfortunately, most of the dishes from Garifunas (Black Caribs), Latin America, and countries associated with the African Diaspora get a reputation for being unhealthy.
Can I be totally honest with you?
There’s some truth to that.
Most of us, grew up eating dishes bursting in flavor because our families focused on taste, not nutrition.
Traditionally the ingredients used to prepare these dishes are heavy in starch, made with too much salt, sugar, and unhealthy fats.
Ironically, the indices of obesity in these countries are still significantly lower than those in the US.
The Global Obesity ranking measures a country’s adult population that’s obese. According to their list, Honduras ranked at number 89 (21.4%) while the US ranked at number 12 (36.2%) almost 15% higher.
So, while the foods we eat are not traditionally the healthiest, the quality of the foods we eat are higher.
The majority of the foods consumed in the US are processed and include ingredients that make you more vulnerable to obesity.
Obesity can lead to health issues such as diabetes type I & II, high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke.
The question remains,
“how are you supposed to eat healthily and preserve your traditions?”
Glad you asked!
These ten healthy recipes of the African diaspora were created with you in mind.
Because you’re tired of making the same healthy recipes over and over again, and you want your mom to know that you’re not too good for platanos or rice.
Let’s get started
Vegan Black Bean Chilaquiles
Say goodbye to boring desayunos. “The chipotle in adobo and fresh jalapeños add a splash of spice that’s balanced out perfectly with the nachos. Pair with fresh cilantro and scallions, and you’ve got yourself a winner”. Photo and recipe: Food Heaven Made Easy
Gluten-Free Vegan Moringa Waffles
So what exactly is moringa? Moringa, (moringa oleifera) not to be confused with matcha, is a tropical tree that is often referred to as one of the world’s most nutritious plants. Moringa is a high-protein energy booster that is rich in vitamin C and vitamin A. It helps fight inflammation, can slow signs of aging, and also helps lower blood pressure. Read more about the benefits of moringa here. Photo and recipe: That’s Chelsea.
Jugo de Avena (Oatmeal and Milk Beverage)
You’re familiar with oatmeal as a warm staple. Oatmeal cookies, oatmeal cereal, and even oatmeal muffins. In the Dominican Republic oatmeal make this refreshing and delicious drink. Photo and recipe: Woke Foods
Hibiscus Orange Herbal Tea
Hibiscus has so many healing properties! It is rich in antioxidants which helps to combat free radicals, boosts the immune system, improves your mood, lowers bad cholesterol, improves digestion and can even tighten and tone the skin! Although hibiscus petals can be used in all types of culinary dishes, my favorite way to use them is in herbal infusions. Photo and recipe: That’s Chelsea
Baked Plantain Chips
Traditionally in the Garifuna culture plantains are eaten fried or boiled in a traditional dish called Machuca. However, since transitioning to a healthier lifestyle, I prefer mine baked! Photo and recipe: iAmHealthyFit
Kidney Beans & Brown Rice
“People don’t realize that protein is found in so many foods, not just meat. Now that I’m vegan, I eat all the rice I want!” – Jenell B. Stewart. Photo and recipe: Jenell B. Stewart
Sancocho is a staple in the Dominican Republic. It is a thick and hearty soup made with meats, root vegetables, and spices. Sancocho is typically served on special occasions, You may be thinking—sancocho with no meat? Rest assured. This recipe has been tested by a Dominican mother who specializes in sancocho, and it got two thumbs up! We use yucca and yautia, two root vegetables that can usually be found in Caribbean markets. To thicken up the stew, we used pureed red lentils. Photo and recipes: Food Heaven Made Easy
Jerk Lentils & Carrot Stew
Jamaican jerk seasoning is loaded with bold flavors like cumin, allspice, thyme and scotch bonnet pepper and undertoned with a sweetness from cinnamon and nutmeg. The flavor and boldness are finessed in the roots of the island. I decided to infuse that “island essence” into a lentil and carrot stew. Ital vibes! Photo and recipe: Amanda Olivia
Jollof Rice is mostly common in West Africa and it is consumed in most region like Nigeria, Gambia, Sierre Leone, Togo, Cameroon, Senegal and many others. The only thing is that their ingredients are different. The name jollof was Originated from the name “wolof” and has its origin in Senegal, even though Ghanaians and Nigerians mostly debate the origin of this dish. Photo and recipe: Afri Food Network.
Salami stewed in a tomato, vinegar, and pickled onion sauce is a classic in Dominican cuisine because it is quick, good, and cheap! We grew up eating fried salami and stewed salami with plantains. After learning that Salami is actually beef, pork, animal fat and other mystery bits, filled with unhealthy fats, we vowed to stop eating it. Until we discovered vegan sausage — made out of grains! Photo and recipe: Woke Foods
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