When someone says snacks, there is an automatic image of commercially processed and packaged biscuits, cakes and cookies displayed in a supermarket. Nigerians seem to be jumping off the band wagon by revolutionizing their cuisine in recent times. Snack-wise, there have always been traditional snacks that have served their purpose and are gradually making their way back to the food scene.
On the other hand, for fear of poor nutrition and many health complications owing to the gross industrial/commercialization of food, moms often worry about the healthier option for their children when it comes to snacking. What kind of snacks should they go for? You don’t want them to get too addicted to commercially/chemically preserved food, so here it is, traditional and healthy snacks that will be perfect for you and your child. These Nigerian snacks have been there for ages, tested and trusted. Some can serve as food or snack, either way, they are finger foods that will not be found missing in Nigerian culinary. Though your choice might depend on the age group and activity level, these are typical Nigerian snacks that are easily home-made:
Puff-puff is often used as a typical snack and when in smaller sizes, is a perfect fit for the small chops used in Nigerian occasions. This is prepared by spicing up your batter especially with diced fresh pepper and then deep-frying in vegetable oil. These days, the snack is made with a little more sophistication, thus we have such delicacies as the puff-puff suzette. Though in slight variations, this snack is also seen in some other parts of Africa.
2. Coconut Candy
Coconut candies are chewable, crunchy or candy like and are easy to make snacks. Traditionally they could be thinly grated and fried but in time the caramel initiative came in. Coconut candies also serve as desserts or treats. The creamy or golden-brown color is dependent on the choice of adding water or not, respectively. With water you can determine the caramelizing level.
3. Chin Chin
Chin chin is a crunchy snack made with well prepared dough, flavored and deep-fried; chin chin could also be oven-baked. The size and shape of the snack is generally of individual preference.
4. Akara (Bean Cakes)
This is one of the most popular snacks/food in Nigeria. It is made from beans flour, spiced to taste and deep-fried into balls; they are taken with pap/custard, eaten with either plantain/yam/potato fries with stew. Whether or not as a roadside snack, it is best served hot; eaten alone or with bread, and of course accompanied with chilled fruit drink.