Wednesday, 28 May 2014


Dear Olivers and Olivienes, I told you from the last post that we shall look at other families of ginger, so our next stop is Garlic.

Its central Asian origin has not prevented this pungent smelling bulb from finding its way into the culinary and medicinal cook book of Europe, Africa and the Mediterranean region.

Garlic has proven to be strong and unique even with its close association with popular bulbs like Onions. It is majorly used alongside onion and ginger. Various species of garlic exist with one specie surviving better in temperate or almost temperate region and the other type can be cultivated near the equator.



Garlic can be extracted by peeling out the skin and eating fresh, by roasting, crushing or by cooking



Always buy fresh garlic. You can discover how fresh the garlic you’re about to buy is by pressing it in between your fingers. Make sure it is hard and not soft or damp.

Garlic can be stored at room temperature in a cool dry place away from heat.

Some people would peel garlic and freeze it but this is not necessary as garlic can remain fresh for as long as one month.


Garlic produces an active chemical ingredient called allin and allicin that is effective is many conditions like;

1.       Garlic has been found to have positive cardiovascular effect and it reduces cholesterol collection in the body

2.       Garlic is also known to help regulate blood sugar including preventing complications for patients with diabetes mellitus

3.       It has been found to have good antimicrobial activity (very effective as a mouth wash)

4.       It’s also a very effective disinfectant

5.       Garlic is used to relieve chest pain, indigestion and fungus infection

6.        Its helps in the absorption of thiamin hence helps you not to have beriberi

7.       It has high Vitamin C content

8.       It has also been found to prevent scurvy

9.       It was successfully used to treat AIDS patients with Cryptosporidium in an uncontrolled experiment in China

10.   Garlic supplements is effective in boosting testosterone

11.   Garlic has been found to be superior to placebo in treating uncontrolled hypertension

12.   Its juice can be used as glue and adhesive for glass and porcelain

13.   It is environmentally friendly herbicide and insecticide approved for use in Europe

14.   Mixed with cinnamon, garlic can be used as food preservative in as high a temperature as 120 degrees Celsius

15.   It is believed to help prevent food poisoning

16.   It is also believed to help reduce the chances of having cancer

17.   Garlic is known to help relieve and prevent harden of arteries; as we age, our arteries tend to lose its elasticity garlic helps relieve / prevent this condition

18.   To increase the health benefit of garlic let it sit a while (about 30seconds) after chopping before changing the temperature or ph

19.   It aids the digestion of iron into the body


To cook garlic make sure you add it to the food towards the end of your cooking so that you do not lose all the healthy benefit lost over prolonged heating.

Garlic can be used to spice soups and to stuff poultry or game

The leaves can be chopped and used in frying eggs or garnishing dishes


Fried eggs garnished with garlic leaves


Eggs: 4


Groundnut oil

Garlic leaves




Break your eggs and beat till even, add seasoning and leave then heat your oil and add pepper after frying a bit pour your eggs and garlic leaves and onions with some seasoning to taste. Leave to simmer and you can eat with bread, yam….


1.       Garlic is known to cause bad breath and pungent sweat, so if you take garlic take it along with milk. This has been found effective in reducing the smell than plain water mushroom or anything else.  

2.       It is preferable to cook your garlic before consuming because one of the side effects of eating raw garlic especially the old mature bulb is that it could cause inflammation in the spine area

3.       Some people may be allergic to garlic. Symptoms include diarrhea, ulceration, and nausea. This class of people usually also are allergic to onions, ginger and even banana

4.       Don’t use raw garlic to treat acne or other skin issues because it has been known for causing burns. One way to test this is to apply a low concentration of garlic to a small area of the skin to see how you react. Whichever way it turns don’t apply raw garlic to body cavities

5.       Patients on insulin should not take medicinal dose of garlic unless prescribed by their doctor because it usually interacts with medicines.

6.       Garlic is could lead to bleeding and blood loss at surgery (stop consuming garlic at least two weeks before a schedule surgery) though cooked garlic is generally safe

Till next time stay healthy wealthy and wise.



Friday, 23 May 2014


In the next few posts we will discuss some popular condiments and find out how we can get the most out of them.


Ginger is an old plant which originated from China from whence it has spread to different parts of the world including West Africa.  Ginger is a root tuber plant that is widely used for a variety of things. Approximately 2,000 years ago ginger was an export product from China and Ancient India to the Roman Empire. During medieval times Ginger became popular in the preparation of sweets around Europe and around this period in England 1pound weight of ginger is equivalent to one sheep.
Ginger can be preserved by drying it out and then stored in an air tight jar. The shelf life is further increased by storing up in a refrigerator this way it can last as long as one (1) year. Another way is to store the fresh unpeeled ginger, here the trick is to buy fresh, young organically grown ginger and store in about 5 degrees in the freezer and this can keep the ginger fresh for between three (3) to six (6) weeks.
Ginger can be used in various ways and along with this is a long list of researched and even ongoing research on the benefit of consumption of ginger;


  1. Ginger can be boiled with palm tree juice (palm wine) and taken to prevent flu.

  1. "Ginger eggs" is made by dicing ginger root into scrambled eggs this is a home remedy for cough
  1. Ginger has been known to be useful in the treatment of inflammation and osteoarthritis
  1. In India it is common to paste up ginger and apply it to the temple to relieve headache.
  1. It is known also to reduce fatigue and control poor dietary habits
  1. It can be sometimes used to flavor tea and used to relieve sore throat.
  1. It is also used to prevent morning sickness in pregnant women, ovarian cancer, asthmatic symptoms, painful menstruation and muscle pain
  1. Ginger can be boiled up in water for treating stomach aches
  1. Ginger is believed to aid blood circulation
  1. Ginger is good for firing up your appetite. If you don’t feel hungry even though it already lunch time then eat a fresh piece of ginger root
  1. Ginger helps in the absorption and assimilation of nutrients in the body
  1. Ginger tossed in honey is a great way to cure nausea.
  1. Ginger helps to reduce flatulence
  1. Ginger also helps overcome post-surgical nausea, morning sickness and chemotherapy nausea. It has been found to be more effective than placebo but not found to be better/superior to placebo on general terms
  1. It has some aphrodisiac properties hence helps in curing Bedroom blues
  1. Ginger acts as a good food preservative
  1. Ginger has been promoted in western world to keep tumors from developing though there is no scientific evidence to support this believe. Ginger has been researched and found to slow down the growth of tumors in animals. But it is not known if it has the same effect in human beings.
  1. It has been researched and found to be effective on treating diabetic cataract and ovarian cancer
  1. It stimulates the production of saliva which makes swallowing easier
  1. It is used to treat burns on the skin



Juice from old ginger roots are more potent than other types of ginger however, the time you add ginger to your recipe would generally determine how gingery you want your dish to taste. Add ginger (fresh/ powdered) to your dish at the beginning of preparation and you will get a mild taste of ginger when it is done. But for a gingery dish add ginger towards the end of your preparation and leave to simmer.
Children under 2years of age should not be given Ginger, also pregnant women should take less than a regular portion for an adult because ginger is mutagenic (there are conflicting study results on this) and may affect the foetus.
Ginger is also known to interact with medications used in treating diabetes, blood thinning and high blood pressure
With powdered ginger you may experience bloating, gassing, heartburn and even nausea.
 You may also experience allergies in form of rash.
RECIPE; Ginger, Carrot and Apple Juice
1 bulb of peeled fresh ginger
6 carrots
3 apples
250cl of water
Sugar (optional)
Slice the ginger, carrots, pineapple and apples and blend.
Pour out paste add 250cl of water and sieve. You can also add sugar to taste
Serve; chilled. 

Now that our ginger juice is ready come join me in enjoying this cold glass of ginger juice.
Finally, for those with the entrepreneurial mind you can produce and sell ginger juice commercially. It’s a great way to generate income. Wink* till next time people let’s continue to embrace and enjoy this newly found tuber.

Till next time, stay healthy wealthy and wise.





Monday, 19 May 2014


It’s a beautiful Monday morning and the stage seems set for action. Hope you took my advice over the weekend and you’re well rested?
In order to keep the energy pumping all through the week let us look at a very special sweet food, one that can be eaten raw, added to drinks like tea or even water, used for baking, as medicinal treatment or as a spread. It is even recognized in some religious practices. Its use is so versatile and intriguing.


This food is called Honey.


We all know that honey is formed by bees. But we may not know that there are various species of bees like the bubble bees and stingless bees all these make honey too but the most popular honey for human consumption is made by honey bees. This is also because honey farmers would almost always opt to rear a honey bee instead of any other kind of bees except for mayan people who use the stingless bee honey for culinary purposes.


So how is our favourite naturally sweet food made? Honey is made by bees who use the nectar of flowers (various types of flowers) to produce honey through regurgitation. Yes. What we regard to as honey is the end product of partially digested saccharides by a group of bees. Though after regurgitating there is still water present in the honey produced.  Evaporation method is used by the bees using their wings to fan the honey to drain it of water. Enzymes from the insect’s digestive system then acts on the product In order to prevent fermentation. They then store this honey in combs in their hives (bee house).


The taste of honey would usually depend on the material (combination of types of flowers) from which it is made. So this would generally explain why the last honey you bought tastes or feels a little different from this new one (for those with a sensitive tongue).


Honey is best kept in airtight containers at 5 degrees centigrade (keep in a fridge). Keep honey covered in airtight cans or bottles because they have a tendency to absorb water in a humid environment and once a substantial amount of water is absorbed, they start to ferment. However, when well preserved and kept, honey can last for decades even centuries.


Honey composes mostly of sugar and very few vitamins like vitamin C, and other minerals though these component would depend on the nectar from which the honey is formed.



1.    It is used to treat sores and burns; honey produces some form of hydrogen peroxide that helps to treat and heal wounds and burns 

2.    When mixed with warm water it is believed to cure asthma  

3.    Honey is generally used to treat diabetic ulcers where the patient cannot use antibiotics.  

4.    Increase athletic performance; modern studies, shows that honey is superior in maintaining glycogen levels and improving recovery time than other sweeteners in athletes.

Caution! Honey sometimes contains dormant endospores of the bacterium Clostridium, which can be dangerous to infants, as it can transform into toxin-producing bacteria in infants' immature intestinal tracts, leading to illness and even death.



Various home and commercial recipes are made with honey


1.    honey can be added to a cup of coffee or tea even corn meal(ogi, akamu) or even cassava flakes (garri) as sweetener

2.    it could be used as a spread on freshly baked bread, toast bread, biscuit  or sandwich
3.    you can use it to bake cake, and a variety of pastries
4.    Do you want a little different taste in your baked beans or cooked beans instead of adding sugar add a small portion of honey and the great and unique taste of the dish would be memorable to your guest’s pallet.
5.    Commercially it is used to produce Honey wine or mead/ honey beer. The production takes about four to six months.
About seventy percentage (70%) of honey sold is not pure authentic honey. How then can we tell if honey purchased is pure honey?

1.    Honey is naturally heavier than water and viscose in nature so it is expected that a drop of pure honey would sink in a glass of water in drops of spherical shapes and not dissolves before getting to the bottom of the glass. So when you put a drop of honey in a glass of water and it settles at the bottom of the glass in drops/bulk there you have a high quality pure honey.  
2.    You can also pour the honey on a plate and then tilt the plate to let the honey pour out of the plate. If the comes out in a snake like form then it is pure honey but if it scatters and spreads all over the plate it is impure.
3.    An immediate test you can use just before buying a bottle of honey is to stain your clothe with it. Pure honey does not leave a stain on fabrics so if you see a stain after putting it on your clothes then it is impure honey.
4.    Another method is the fire test; if you put honey on a thread or ragged clothe and put it in fire if it catches fire instantly then you’ve got pure honey in your hands.

So in all of this I hope I have been able to help you to know the kind of honey to buy and how to identify good quality honey.

In reality honey is not just a food item to be kept in the home, it can also serve as first aid for burns, injuries, sore throats and so on. And because its shelf life is really long, there is no fear in stocking your house full with it.

 Till next time stay healthy wealthy and wise Chao!