The downside to moi moi: Beans without the fiber

Moi moi or Moin-Moin is a Nigerian steamed bean pudding made from a mixture of washed and peeled beans, onions and fresh ground peppers. It is a protein-rich food that is a staple in Nigeria. Beans provide a myriad health benefits. They are digested slowly, which helps keep blood glucose stable, and may curtail fatigue and irritability. Beans are high in antioxidants, fiber, protein, B vitamins, iron, magnesium, potassium, copper and zinc.

- Folate helps the body form red blood cells and may reduce risk of birth defects. - Fiber helps reduce risk of heart disease and certain cancers and also helps maintain a healthy intestinal tract. - Manganese is needed for building bones and for metabolism of protein, fat and carbohydrates. - Protein is essential for growth and maintenance of bones and muscle. Magnesium is needed for building bone and releasing energy from muscles. - Copper is key for iron absorption and efficient use of oxygen. - Iron helps to carry oxygen in the blood. - Potassium aids in maintaining healthy blood pressure.

Eating beans regularly may decrease the risk of diabetes, heart disease, colorectal cancer, and helps with weight management. Beans can be peeled and processed into various forms and incorporated into different dishes, including soups, bean cakes, desserts, snacks, akara, moi-moi, dahl, hummus, and so on to avoid monotony and overfamilliarity. It is to be noted that any kind of processing alters the nutritional quality of grains depending upon type and severity.

Peeling the entire outer shell of the cowpea is a step that many deem essential in the pursuit of perfect Moi Moi. This process is known as dehulling. Dehulling is believed to produce moist and tender Moi Moi. Although the hull is the outermost part of the cowpea, it contains disease fighting antioxidants, essential B-vitamins and more importantly, dietary fibre – a nutrient sometimes called “Nature’s Broom” because it removes waste and cleans the colon. Fibre improves stool quality, promotes its regularity and decreases constipation. In addition, adequate intake of fibre promotes satiety and has been demonstrated to help prevent obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and various forms of cancer.  The World Health Organization recommends that adults consume approximately 27-40g of fibre every day.

Dehulling decreases significantly the soluble and insoluble dietary fiber, phytic acid, and tannin in beans. Phytic acid may have several positive health effects, acting against both kidney stones and cancer. Dehulling results in maximum reduction in polyphenols indicating that whole grains have a higher content of antioxidant components than their "naked" counterparts. Polyphenols are micronutrients with antioxidant activity that play an important role in preventing and in reducing the progression of diabetes, cancer, and neurodegenerative and cardiovascular diseases. Polyphenols also act as prebiotics, increasing the ratio of beneficial bacteria in your gut, which is important for health, weight management, and disease prevention.

Recipe for moimoi with undehulled beans (9jafoodie) Ingredients: Brown beans (oloyin or drum) – 2 cups Medium onion – 1/2 ?  (chopped) Red bell pepper (Tatashe) –  2 (chopped) Scotch bonnet pepper (ata Rodo) –  1 Eggs – 4  (boil, peel & slice 2) Ground crayfish – 1 Tablespoon Palm oil- 2-3 Tablespoons Bouillon cube (Maggi) – 1-2 cubes Salt (to taste) Other : Aluminum loaf or muffin pan for steaming, aluminum foil

Directions 1. Cover beans with generous amount of water and leave to soak overnight. 2. Combine beans, peppers, onion and 1.5 cups water in a blender, blend to a smooth? batter. Leave batter to rest for  about 5 minutes and blend again. 3. Pour batter into a large bowl, crack in raw eggs. Set aside. 4. Dissolve salt, palm oil, crayfish and maggi in 2 tablespoons of boiling water, set aside to cool. once cooled, add to batter. 5. With a turning pin  or electric mixer- Mix the batter thoroughly (this is to incorporate air into the batter and fluff the resulting moi moi).  mix for about 5 -10 minutes. 6. Taste and adjust for seasoning. 7. Add 4 cups water to a large pot, set on high heat and bring to a boil. 8. Oil the pan (cupcake pan in this case). Portion moi moi batter into pan and top with slices of boiled eggs . Cover the loaf pan tightly with some aluminum foil. 9. Place the batter filled loaf pan in the pot of water ( it shouldn’t be covered in water), place a tight lid over the pot and reduce the heat to medium. Steam for 45-60 minutes (alternatively, steam for 45 minutes in an electric steamer).

If you do not have time to soak beans overnight. Cover with very hot water for 20 minutes. When making moi moi, the batter consistency is critical to the density of the end result. Your batter should not be too thick, it should be very close  to the batter pictured. If you find that your batter is thicker, add water and mix it some more. Make use of Red beans, Black eyed beans will leave black spots in the moi moi. It is important that you rest the batter after the first blend, this enables the beans to absorb more water and fluff up during cooking.

Finally, it can be said that nutritional quality of grains is influenced by pre-processing treatments. Processes which retain all parts of whole grains are beneficial for health and consumption of highly refined products should be discouraged!


Writer at The Healthwise...daily health tips