Ogbono soup is a Nigerian dish prepared with grounded dry ogbono seeds. The soup is known as ‘apon’ to the Yorubas. Although it has been said that ogbono is the local name for Irvingia. The grounded seeds are used as a thickener which give the soup the deep brown color. Apart from the ogbono seeds which of course is the major ingredient in the soup, it is also prepared with palm oil and water. However, other ingredients such as seasonings which includes chilli and pepper, vegetables which includes both leaf vegetables and other vegetables as well as meat or fish are also added to the dish which makes it much more delicious.

The typical vegetable leafs which are added to the dish mostly includes celosia and sometimes bitterleaf. However, some people prefer other types of vegetables such as okra and tomatoes. Other types of seasonings that can be added to the dish includes onions and fermented locust beans commonly known as “iru” to most Nigerians. The dish can also be prepared assorted meats like beef, bush meat, goat, chicken and even crayfish, shrimp or crab. leaf vegetables include bitterleaf and celosia. other vegetables include tomatoes and okra. The seasons may include chiles, onions, and iru (fermented locust beans).

Ogbono soup can be eaten with pounded yam, fufu, starch or wheat. In other countries abroad, ogbono soup may be available and sold in package prepared form and can be purchased in markets that specialize in West African foods. The texture of ogbono soup is slimy and is similar to okra soup.

Health Benefits

Ogbono seed is a small forest tree native to Africa. It produces a mango like fruit that is rich in healthy antioxidants and fatty acids. The soup is popular among the Igbo tribe of Nigeria, west Africa. Ogbono seed is one of the seeds in Africa that receives the most attention. This is because of the nutritional values and health benefits attached to it as the bark, fruit and the seed itself can be used to prepare food as well as medicine by Africans for generations. The seed used to prepare ogbono soup is well known for it’s thick viscosity as the soup tends to draw out of the bowl when consuming.

There are numerous health benefits of ogbono soup

In this section of the article, I’ll be letting you know about some of them.

One major health benefit of ogbono soup is that it helps you to lose weight.

Ogbono soup is widely known for its ability to assist general weight loss as well as fat burning. Various research carried out by scholars have shown that ogbono is endowed with the ability to cause an increase in adiponectin. Adiponectin is a molecule which is released by fat cells that helps in promoting both the general well being of the body as well as the proper regulation of the body composition which in turn leads to weight loss. Put differently, it can be as well said that a drastic increase in the level of adiponectin is associated with fat burning. This is the reason why Ogbono seeds have been closely related according to studies by several large decrease in fat mass. However, these positive effects therefore contributes to ogbono serving as a great weight loss aid.

Another important health benefit of ogbono soup is that it helps to reduce the level of cholesterol

Research has proven that ogbono soup is endowed with the ability to reduce the level of bad cholesterol, C-reactivr protein as well as triglycerides in the human body. Evidence also shows that ogbono soup reduces the level of bad cholesterol as well as triglycerides in the blood cells which is known to be a major factor that causes potential heart failure and vascular issues.

And yet another important health benefit of ogbono soup is that the dish is known to have the ability to prevent heart disease

Research has proven that a reduction in C-reactive protein are wildly known to protect those at risk of developing heart disease. This therefore simply that ogbono soup is a tool that helps to fight off the negative effects that a poor feeding habit can have on the heart. In addition to the above listed health benefit of ogbono soup, it is very helpful for the heart. This simply means that the effects ogbono soup has on the heart is even greater.

Another important health benefit of ogbono soup is that the dish helps in regulating blood pressure

Ogbono soup is endowed with the ability to regulate blood pressure which inturn leads to a low chance of heart failure, lessened risk of getting a stroke as well as clotting disorders.

Another important health benefit of ogbono soup is that it regulates blood sugar

Research shows that ogbono soup has the ability to regulate the blood glucose level otherwise known as blood sugar. Ogbono soup not only has the effect of protecting the heart but also reducing the risk of diabetes. It is also important to note that a reduction in blood sugar level also have a powerful effects of stabilizing mood, reduce fatigue as well as a remarkable increase in excercise performance.

Ogbono soup is a perfect supplement for regulating the heart, fighting off diabetes as well as the perfect diet plan for weight loss. Note that ogbono soup can be consumed directly or combined with other weight loss supplements and it is completely safe. Consuming a large portion of the dish have a very little negative effect on health. The fact that ogbono soup has very little or no side effects at all makes it a potent antidote to alot of modern sicknesses and diseases. In the world we live today where diabetes, heart conditions, stroke and obesity has almost become part of people, the health benefits and nutritional values ogbono soup provides can help to maintain our body in order for us to live a long, healthy and happy life. So therefore, it is important that you keep eating your ogbono soup together with your favorite swallow to harness these nutritional values and health benefits embedded in it and if you don’t eat ogbono soup, then I can assure you that you’re missing out on something highly nutritious and tasty.

Recipe:

There are several ways to prepare ogbono soup depending on how tasty you want it. However, the way the dish is prepared also depends on the individual preparing it. For instance, some people like their ogbono soup very plain. This simply means that they prefer to prepare it without adding vegetables. Others prefer it with some kinds of vegetables in it. Some people also love their ogbono soup with okra to make it more thicker while others rather add melon seed “egusi” to it. Now it is very important to note that just as the mode of preparation differs, the nutritional value also differs. Put differently, this is to say that some mode of preparation is quite healthier and tastier then others.

Ingredients:

1. Assorted meat and fish like beef, cow triple “shaki” , stock fish “oporoko” and dry fish

2. 2 handfuls ogbono seeds

3. 3 cooking spoons red palm oil

4. Vegetable. Your choice of vegetable may include frozen spinach, pumpkin leaf “ugu” or even bitter leaf

5. 1 onion bulb

6. 2 stock/ boullion or seasoning cubes

7. 2 tablespoons ground crayfish

8. Pepper

9. Salt to taste

Preliminary activities

1. Grind your ogbono seeds using either a spice, coffee or hand grinder. Be sure to grind seeds to powder.

2. Slice the frozen spinach when it is not completely defrosted as it is much more easier that way than when it is completely defrosted. When completely defrosted, squeeze out the excess water as it is not needed.

3. Cook the assorted meat with your stock cubes (preferably knorr) and onion. If you will use cow triple “shaki”, be sure to start cooking that first because it is time consuming, then add beef when shaki is almost done.

4. Grind your crayfish to powder together with the pepper.

5. Boil some water and set aside for later use.

Cooking Directions:

1. Pour little amount of  palm oil into a clean dry stainless steel or aluminium pot and set on the stove. Melt the oil at low heat. Note that the instruction says that you should melt the oil and not to heat it.

2. Once the oil has melted, turn off the heat and add the grounded ogbono seed.

3. Use your metal cooking spoon to dissolve the ogbono into the oil.

4. Do that till all the ogbono powder has completely mixed with the oil then add your meat and fish stock water from cooking the assorted meat and fish. Reduce the heat of your cooker and start starring. Once you start starring, you will notice the ogbono start to thicken, draw and produce bubbles as well.

5. Keep stirring till you are sure that the ogbono has completely absorbed the meat stock.

6. Add a small quantity of the hot water you previously boiled and stir till the ogbono has absorbed all the water. Be sure to repeat this process till you get a consistency.

7. Still do not forget to keep your heat set low, cover the pot and start cooking. Once it starts to simmer, stir every 2 to 3 minutes for roughly about 20 minutes.

This is to say that on every 2 to 3 minutes interval, open the pot and stir content very well. When doing that, be sure to scrap the ogbono that sticks to the base and sides of the pot. Cover the pot and cook for extra 3 minutes.

After about 20 minutes, the ogbono should be fully prepared then you will begin to perceive its nice aroma starting from the kitchen.

8. Add the assorted meat and fish together with the ground crayfish, salt to taste and pepper. After all these has been done, the ogbono may have become thicker from the cooking. If confirmed so, add a little bit more water and stir properly. Cover the pot and cook till the contents of the pot is well heated up.

For those that prefer ogbono soup without vegetables, all you need to do is to turn off the heat and serve hot as your delicious soup is ready.

For those that prefer to add vegetables, the cooking process continues below:

When the contents of the pot have heated up, add your vegetables (that is your spinach, pumpkin leafs, or bitter leaf if that’s what you prefer)then stir very well. Cover the pot and turn off the heat. Leave to stand for roughly about 5 minutes, then serve with any swallow of your choice.

How to cook ogbono soup with okra

This section is the one where Okra is added to the soup. The quantity of ogbono and okra may vary depending on how you want it.

Ingredients:

1. Assorted meat and fish like beef, cow triple “shaki” , stock fish “oporoko” and dry fish

2. 2 handfuls ogbono seeds

3. 3 cooking spoons red palm oil

4. Vegetable. Your choice of vegetable may include frozen spinach, pumpkin leaf “ugu” or even bitter leaf

5. 1 onion bulb

6. 2 stock/ boullion or seasoning cubes

7. 2 tablespoons ground crayfish

8. Pepper

9. Salt to taste

10. 200 grams okra

Preliminary activities:

1. Cut the okra fingers into tiny pieces.

2. Grind your ogbono seeds using either a spice, coffee or hand grinder. Be sure to grind seeds to powder.

3. Slice the frozen spinach when it is not completely defrosted as it is much more easier that way than when it is completely defrosted. When completely defrosted, squeeze out the excess water as it is not needed.

4. Cook the assorted meat with your stock cubes (preferably knorr) and onion. If you will use cow triple “shaki”, be sure to start cooking that first because it is time consuming, then add beef when shaki is almost done.

5. Grind your crayfish to powder together with the pepper.

6. Boil some water and set aside for later use.

Cooking directions:

1. All you need to do is to follow the cooking directions for ogbono Soup till step 9. Then add your vegetables and stir properly.

2. Add the okra and stir as well. Cover the pot and leave to heat up very well. Your ogbona soup with okra is ready.

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