Say hello to this Acha (Fonio) Breakfast Bowl which is highly nutritious, delicious and super easy to make!

 

Acha (Fonio) Breakfast Porridge Bowl

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There really isn’t a more exotic or nutritious way to start your day than one of these Acha (Fonio) breakfast bowls. Have you heard of Acha? If so, skip over this bit and head straight for the recipe, which is quick and easy to make. If you have never heard of Acha (Fonio), then allow me the pleasure of introducing you to what some call “the most nutritious grain on earth!”. Move aside quinoa. You’ve just been upstaged by a relatively obscure and ancient grain from the heart of sub-saharan Africa.

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In Northern Nigeria, Fonio goes by the name Acha. Fonio belongs to the millet family, and it is a superfood based on its nutritional profile. Acha (Fonio) contains more amino acids, which are needed for healthy human metabolic function, than quinoa. It is gluten free, and has a low glycemic index which makes it suitable for diabetics or for managing blood sugar spikes. Acha (Fonio) also contains high levels of zinc, magnesium and calcium, all macronutrients essential for developing children.

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Acha (Fonio) grains are so small. You’d also be forgiven for mistaking it for sand, as it looks quite similar. But it is worth the pain and actually worth more than its weight in nutrition as it is packed with a host of minerals and vitamins.

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Acha (Fonio) Breakfast Porrdidge Bowl

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My affair with Acha (Fonio) started in 1997 when I was a poor student living in Nasarawa State in Northern Nigeria for a month-long work experience. To celebrate my arrival, my host family decided to serve a local dish made with acha. The significance was not lost on me.

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Because Acha (Fonio) was (still is) a very special food to my hosts, Fulani people of Northern Nigeria, who sometimes reserved it for important occasions such as weddings or naming ceremonies. The Fulanis are not alone in that respect. The Dogon people of Mali also consider acha sacred. To them, Fonio takes on an even greater significance, almost spiritual, as they believe the world was created from a grain of Fonio.

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Acha (Fonio) Breakfast Porridge Bowl

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My hosts served the prepared Acha (Fonio) with sorrel leaves and garden eggs. We all sat on a clay floor, reminiscent of my grandmothers’ kitchen floor.  I, the stranger and a kind family, around an unassuming earthenware gourd full of good, honest food. Morsels of Acha travelled from our hands to mouths at varying speeds, and soon the gourd was empty. To the world, we were not strangers, we were family.

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I’ve gone on since to enjoy Acha in so many ways – this fonio and papaya smoothie bowl and Fonio boats come to mind. But today,  I am bringing you this simple but nutritious Acha (Fonio) breakfast cereal. In the true spirit of afro-fusion, I have topped my African acha porridge with Middle-Eastern figs. I call this a marriage made in heaven for the eyes and stomach!

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Acha (Fonio) Breakfast Porrdidge Bowl

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Acha (Fonio) Breakfast Porridge Bowl
Acha (Fonio) Breakfast Porridge Bowl
Print Recipe
Add to Meal Plan:
This recipe has been added to your Meal Plan
A quick and easy breakfast porridge with the nutty-flavoured and nutritious fonio grain.
Servings Prep Time
1 person 5 minutes
Cook Time
5 minutes
Servings Prep Time
1 person 5 minutes
Cook Time
5 minutes
Acha (Fonio) Breakfast Porridge Bowl
Acha (Fonio) Breakfast Porridge Bowl
Print Recipe
Add to Meal Plan:
This recipe has been added to your Meal Plan
A quick and easy breakfast porridge with the nutty-flavoured and nutritious fonio grain.
Servings Prep Time
1 person 5 minutes
Cook Time
5 minutes
Servings Prep Time
1 person 5 minutes
Cook Time
5 minutes
Ingredients
Units:
Instructions
  1. Place the acha (fonio) in a saucepan, cover it with 100ml of milk and 50ml water and cook on medium heat for 6 minutes, uncovered while stirring frequently.
  2. After 6 minutes, reduce the heat to low and simmer covered for another 4 minutes. By this time, the fonio should have absorbed all the milk and should appear quite solid.
  3. Take off the heat, add the remaining 50ml of milk to the porridge to bring it to your desired consistency. Enjoy with any toppings of your choice.
Recipe Notes

no notes for this recipe

 

Make it Vegan

For my 30-Day African Vegan Challenge, I vegan-ized this recipe by substituting the milk for coconut milk.

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Is this recipe good for you?

 

Nutrition Facts
Acha (Fonio) Breakfast Porridge Bowl
Amount Per Serving
Calories 286 Calories from Fat 108
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 12g 18%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.3g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 15mg 5%
Sodium 62mg 3%
Potassium 221mg 6%
Total Carbohydrates 50g 17%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Sugars 8g
Protein 5g 10%
Vitamin A 3%
Calcium 18%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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The information shown is an estimate, and does not replace a professional nutritionist’s advice.

 


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Did you make this recipe?

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Please let me know how it turned out for you. Leave a comment below and share a picture on Instagram with the hashtag #africaonyourplate.

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Emem
Afro-fusion Food Lover.
Sustainable Food Advocate.
Completely nuts about Avocado.

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