With regards to cereals, our choices have already been changing and looking out for tastier, simple to cook, gluten free and healthy variety of cereals. Numerous millets along with other grains are quickly becoming well-known in Europe and America. Quinoa, sorghum, amaranth are well-known amongst others. One name which isn’t so popular in America is Fonio. It really is recommended that Fonio might “defeat quinoa as king among foodies.” This particular quinoa competitor – Fonio is indigenous to West Africa region.
Fonio grains are a member of millet family. In reality, fonio has got the tiniest seeds in millet speicies. The name comes from Wolof name foño. Digitaria exilis or even Fonio has long history of cultivation in Africa. This millet is gathered within 6-8 weeks since cultivation, which makes it world’s fasted maturing cereal. During summer months when there is hardly any other grain to make food, fonio grains will become “grain of life” to eliminate hunger. That’s the reason it is called ‘hungry rice’.
This grain that was once grown for nourishment, is currently consumed because of its taste as well as dietary characteristics. Fonio features a nutty taste and texture and is also effortlessly cooked. In Africa it is utilized in many forms in salads, stews, porridges, bread or any other recipes made out of fonio flour. Once rejected and ignored crop of Africa is once again gaining attention. Because of the mechanization that has made its dehusking of the small grains easier and cost-effective. Today Fonio can be found in markets in France along with other parts of Europe. This grain that was supposed to solve food security problem in Africa is now among the quickest growing cereals in other areas of world.
Three varieties of Fonio are well-liked throughout the world. White fonio (Digitaria exilis) is the most common variety. Black fonio (Digitaria iburua) is really a similar crop grown in parts of Africa including Jos-Bauchi Plateau of Nigeria, northern part of Togo, and Benin. Raishan (Digitaria cruciata var. esculenta) is grown in parts of Khasi hill in North east province of India. Its glutinous flour is utilized for bread and porridge.
Health benefits of Fonio
This particular historical grain have been typically utilized in regular food. Its nutrition and health advantages have been recognized to people. In spite of it being good for body, very little scientific studies are carried out on the cereal. Lets talk about some advantages of this particular cereal.
1. Fonio as energy food
Fonio has been utilized as staple food to meet the every day energy necessity. It provides 3.6 calories per gram of grain, that is similar to other cereals. Still it is simple to digest and doesn’t dramatically boost blood glucose levels. It is becoming more popular as breakfast cereal in Europe, since it is filling and simpler to cook.
2. Fonio is Gluten free
Many people throughout US along with other nations today have problems with Celiac disease. It’s because the intolerance to their body towards gluten. Only way of dealing with this ailment is always to prevent gluten food. The majority of the energy food we eat including wheat, corn etc. consists of gluten. Fonio provides a good option of gluten free energy food to individuals.
3. Fonio aids digestion
Fonio is simpler to digest and is also suitable for children and older people. It’s got sufficient quantity of fibers that are necessary to keep digestive system smooth. It will help in bowel motions and helps prevent constipation. Fonio is considered to encourage appetite as well as secretion of digestive juices. In certain parts of Africa, Fonio is provided as food to individuals struggling with stomach problems.
4. Fonio aids cardiovascular function
Fonio has got modest seeds and is also usually consumed in dehusked but whole form. Studies suggest that consuming whole grain decreases chance of cardio vascular problems which includes heart disease and stroke. The barn and germ of fonio are full of vitamins, minerals along with other nutrition which will help to keep our heart healthy.
5. Fonio is good for diabetes
Fonio have been long utilized as diabetic food. Fonio has got lower glycemic index. It really is absorbed in body gradually and therefore effect on blood sugar is gradual. Fonio is additionally thought to have insulin secreting qualities and helps with managing blood glucose levels in body. Earlier lab research also recommend benefits of fonio in diabetes because of its low GI when compared with other daily foods. Fonio offers body along with minerals chromium and sulphur containing amino acids that are considered to decrease inflammation and diabetes.
6. Fonio as weight loss
Fonio is promoted in west as weight loss food. This particular energy food provides great deal of fibers and provides a feeling of filled stomach. With low glycemic index, it can benefit body decrease food cravings whilst offering required energy required. As a result it may help with managing weight. However no direct proof is accessible when it has got any effect on fat metabolism or ability to burn fat.
7. Fonio benefits for women
Fonio is extremely full of important amino acids, folic acid as well as iron. As a result it plays important role in iron metabolism. It’s good in avoiding anemia. This particular nourishing food is typically suitable for pregnant as well as lactating women in Africa.
8. Fonio benefits for skin and hair
Methionine is sulphur that contains amino acid contained in fonio which can be essential for formation of cartilage. It strengthens your nails and hair. It helps in avoiding hair loss. Methionine has additionally anti-aging effect on the skin and helps with decreasing aging process. Similarly, amino acid cystine is building block for the skin and hair. It may also help in detoxification and therefore keeps the skin healthy. Cystine helps in healing wounds or burns.
9. Other benefits of Fonio
Fonio provide body along with sufficient supply of essential amino acids – Methionine and cystine. Jointly they help liver function and helps in detoxing process. A few earlier research point out to their benefits in preventing liver damage and colon cancers. They are useful in drug removal symptoms.
History of Fonio
Fonio is regarded as the oldest cereal in West Africa. Within the cosmogony of Mali’s Dogon people, the fonio grain, which is called po, is the “germ of the world”. (In opposition to the acacia tree that symbolizes primitive nature, fonio represents agriculture. All the crop plants are in germ in the fonio seed)In accordance with the famous French agronomist Roland Porteres (1906-1974), fonio is grown in between latitudes 8 and 14 North, from Senegal to Lake Chad. Further East, it is supplanted by finger millet (Eleusine coracana)
White fonio (Digitaria exilis) is mainly grown in Guinea, where it’s a staple for individuals residing in the mountain regions of Fouta Djalon. Additionally it is present in Mali, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Senegal, Benin…
Types of Fonio
1. White fonio (Digitaria exilis)
White fonio, D. exilis, also known as “hungry rice,” is an essential of a diverse group of wild and domesticated Digitaria species which are gathered in the savannas of West Africa. Fonio has got the tiniest seeds of all species of millet. It’s got possibility to improve nutrition, boost food security, foster rural development as well as support sustainable utilisation of the land.
Fonio has continued to be essential locally since it is both nourishing and one of the world’s fastest-growing cereals, reaching maturity in as little as 6 to 8 weeks. It is just a crop that may be trusted in semi-arid areas along with poor soils, exactly where rains are brief and unreliable. The grains are utilized in porridge as well as couscous, for bread, as well as for beer.The tiny grains allow it to be hard and time-consuming to eliminate the husk. Traditional methods include pounding it in the mortar with sand (then separating the grains and sand) or “popping” it over a flame and after that pounding it (which yields a toasted-color grain; this method is utilized among the Akposso). The invention of the simple fonio husking machine provides an easier technical method to dehusk.
2. Black fonio (Digitaria iburua)
Black fonio, D. iburua, is really a similar crop cultivated in Nigeria, Niger, Togo, and Benin.
Where to buy fonio
Fonio today can be found in several food stores in France and parts of Europe. Look for fonio cereals in local market which keep African food
Fonio is additionally referred to as hungry millet or hungry koos. In Senegal it is called fundi, findi, eboniaye or efoleb. Other local African names include fonyo, fundenyo, foinye (Fulani), Fini (Bambara), Acha, iburu, aburo (Nigerian), findo (Gambia), afio-warun, ipoga, ova (Togo), Fani, feni, foundé (Mali), foni (Burkina Faso),pende, kpendo, founié, pounié (Guinea), podgi (Benin), pom, pohin (Ivory Coast).
Having a varied food within your plate is important for healthy life. Attempt to add fonio in your breakfast and enjoy its taste and health benefits.
Culinary uses of Fonio
Fonio is recognized as esteem food for chefs. It really is becoming more popular because of its sensitive flavor and taste. Fonio is consumed in a variety of methods just like porridge, couscous. Fonio grain is utilized in a number of ways. For example, it is converted to porridge and couscous. Fonio flour is utilized for making breads, desserts or perhaps spaghetti or pasta. Tchakpalo is beer fermented from fonio in northern Togo. Wusu-wusu is couscous made from fonio in many parts of west Africa. Tuwo acha or kunu acha are porridge made out of white fonio in Nigeria. Boiled fonio is usually consumed along with vegetable stew, fish or meat. Fonio holds special place in Senegalese recipes.
Healthy fonio recipes
1. Fonio Pilaf
Heat 2 tbsp of oil in the pan and add some sliced onion, garlic, cumin seeds, peeled tomato, pepper, turmeric and meat peices. Add salt according to taste. Once onion is light brown add to this about 10 cups of water. Let the ingredients to simmer for some time. Then add recently cut cabbage, cauliflower, peas and carrot to mixture and let simmering for some time. Eliminate cooked vegetables aside. Add to the mixture, 2 cup of fonio and cook with meat for 5 minutes. Serve the fonio together with cooked meat and vegetables.
2. Fonio Cakes
To about 650 grams of sugar add about ½ liter of water and allow it to dissolve. Add 3 eggs, ½ cup of dried milk and ½ cup of margarine. Mix properly. Take about ½ kg of fonio flour and ½ kg of wheat flour. Add some flour gradually to mixture and keep kneading with a spatula, up until paste is smooth. Allow this particular paste to stay for half hour. Then take cake tins and grease it with a few butter. Add about 10gram of yeast to the flour mixture and after that fill cake tins. Preheat oven at 220°C. Put the cake tin in oven for about 10-15 minutes at 180°C. Let the cakes to cool and serve with a few hot chocolate sauce.