What is (or are) Egusi?
Wikipedia has this to say about the lauded seed from West Africa:
“Egusi seeds are the fat– and protein-rich seeds of certain cucurbitaceous (squash, melon, gourd) plants. Authorities disagree whether the word is used more properly for the seeds of the colocynth, those of a particular large-seeded variety of the watermelon, or generically for those of any cucurbitaceous plant. The characteristics and uses of all these seeds are broadly similar. It’s name derives from the Yoruba language. Which is the Yoruba word for Melon.”
The following is from godandwheatgrass.com
go to http://godandwheatgrass.com/2013/07/egusi-an-organic-miracle-food/ to read the article in its entirety
Egusi (“Citrullus Lanatus”) is a melon that looks exactly like watermelon on the outside, but completely different on the inside–with it’s bitter white flesh and seeds. It grows wild in warm, arid regions of Africa and Asia. The people of “Nigeria” and “Congo” call it wild watermelon, Egusi melon, or Ibara. Egusi can grow just about anywhere: humid gullies, dry savannahs, tropical highlands. This makes it a great source of food for farmers in even the worst conditions.
Eguis is composed of nearly 50% healthy fats and 30% protein. Whoa! Nutrition! A great dietary supplement that can be a staple in a vegetarian diet. The seeds taste a lot like pumpkin seed
Ways to eat Egusi Seeds:
- Shell and eat as a snack
- Soak, ferment or boil and add to soup or stew
- Roast and ground into nut butter (tastes like pumpkin seeds)
- Soaked or boiled seeds can be ground and meshed into high-protein patties
- Baby food: blend seeds with water and fresh cane juice or natural sweetener and use when breast milk is unavailable (in areas where malnutrition is prevalent)
Growing & Storing
The egusi plant is highly resilient to pests and diseases (reminds me of hemp). It also blankets the ground as it grows so–especially when planted with other foods–it helps to reduce the growth of weeds. Ko nii tete baje, as Yorubas would say, or, it takes long for egusi to spoil: in the field or on the shelf (dried seeds). The mouth watering egusi I ate all last week was made with seeds I’ve had for two years.
Egusi, Scientific Name Citrullus Lanatus
Health Benefits of Egusi
Some have purported that egusi is so high in cholesterol that we should cut back on it. I say, nonsensical nonsense.would slap you.