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8 Fruits Masquerading As Vegetables

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8 Fruits Masquerading As Vegetables | Fab.ng

While you may think you know the difference between fruits and vegetables, it’s more complicated than you think. Fruits and vegetables are different in a few important ways.

First, fruits come from flowers, while vegetables are any edible part of a plant, such as leaves, stems, roots, or bulbs. Second, fruits always contain at least one seed that can be used to grow a new plant, while vegetables may or may not contain seeds.

Some fruits are often mistaken for vegetables, such as tomatoes, avocados, peppers, eggplants, cucumbers, summer squash, pumpkins, and okra. This is because some of these fruits have a savoury flavour or are used in cooking like vegetables. However, botanically speaking, they are all fruits because they come from flowers and contain seeds.

Let us dig deeper into some of these fruits masquerading as vegetables below:

1. Avocados

8 Fruits Masquerading As Vegetables | Fab.ng

Avocados are really popular because they’re a healthy, plant-based fat. People use them on Mexican food, in Buddha bowls, and on toast. Lately, avocado fans have been coming up with new ideas like avocado frosting and avocado smoothies, and they taste great. This shows that avocados, even though most people think of them as vegetables, are actually fruits that go well with other fruits and can be used to make yummy desserts.

Avocado trees grow in tropical places. They have flowers before they make the fruit. The fruit is picked early and left to ripen after it’s picked. If you like soft, green avocados, you know they can be tricky to choose at the store. Learning how to pick ripe avocados will make your life much better. Avocados are often mistaken for vegetables because they have a mild taste and a green colour.

2. Tomatoes

8 Fruits Masquerading As Vegetables | Fab.ng

Tomatoes can be a bit confusing because even though we often use them in dishes as a spice, they’re actually a fruit. But what’s interesting is that tomatoes can also taste great when mixed with fruits like watermelon and peaches.

Many people like to grow tomatoes in their gardens because fresh tomatoes are wonderful, and they’re not too hard to grow. Growing your own tomatoes can save you money at the store. If you’ve ever grown tomatoes, you might have seen the pretty little flowers they produce.

There are different types of tomatoes that come in various colours, sweetness levels, and textures. For example, we often put cherry tomatoes in salads, but heirloom tomatoes are usually sliced and eaten raw.

3. Peppers

8 Fruits Masquerading As Vegetables | Fab.ng

When we talk about whether peppers are fruits or vegetables, they kind of have qualities of both. Veggies are usually crispy like bell peppers, and fruits are sweet and colourful, just like bell peppers. But because peppers grow from a flower and have fertilized seeds, they’re actually part of the fruit family.

Interestingly, the four different colours of bell peppers we see – green, yellow, orange, and red – are all the same fruit at various stages of growth.

Even though peppers might seem more like fruit, people often call them vegetables. We mostly use peppers in savoury dishes like stir-fries and pasta sauces, often with other roasted vegetables. But bell peppers aren’t the only spicy fruits out there. All hot peppers like jalapeños, chilli peppers, and poblano peppers are fruits too.

4. Winter Squash

8 Fruits Masquerading As Vegetables | Fab.ng

Winter squash is a fruit. This big gourd comes from huge, beautiful flowers, and the seeds are edible and tasty when roasted. If you think about it, winter squash can be really sweet, just like many fruits, and they come in lots of colours. Winter squash offers a lot more than just different colours. There are countless flavours, textures, and shapes to choose from.

Most winter squash can taste either sweet or savoury, depending on how you cook and season them. Usually, you can cut them in half, take out the seeds, and roast them.

For a savoury flavour, you can use olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and hot pepper flakes. If you’re in the mood for something sweet, you can use honey or maple syrup along with olive oil, coconut oil and ginger. And why not try both? Mix garlic, maple syrup, salt, pepper, and hot pepper flakes for a delicious sweet and savoury taste.

5. Egg Plant

8 Fruits Masquerading As Vegetables | Fab.ng

Eggplant has a unique texture that some people really like, while others don’t. But here’s a surprise: it’s not a vegetable; it’s a fruit!

What’s even more interesting is that eggplant is considered a berry because it has small seeds you can eat. Eggplants can be a bit bitter, so it’s a good idea to prepare them before cooking. You can sprinkle salt on them and let them sit for a while. This helps remove some of the bitter juice that you can then blot away with a paper towel before cooking.

People in different parts of the world enjoy eggplants in various dishes, especially in Mediterranean and Asian cuisines. If you’re a vegetarian or vegan, you can use eggplants as a tasty substitute for steak on the grill or roast them in the oven with the right seasonings. You can even turn thinly sliced eggplant into vegan bacon by frying it with ingredients like smoked paprika, maple syrup, garlic powder, black pepper, and tamari.

6. Pumpkin

8 Fruits Masquerading As Vegetables | Fab.ng

It might seem a bit confusing to mix up fruits and veggies, but it’s usually best to go with how most people think of them. You can keep these interesting facts in your back pocket for a fun conversation at your next dinner party. Or maybe you can talk about these differences if you run out of things to say on a first date. The reason is that the rest of the world treats these fruits as if they were vegetables, so it could get confusing at the grocery store if you try to stick to the technical terms.

Pumpkins, for example, are always found in the vegetable section of a store, even though they’re actually fruits pretending to be veggies. Pumpkin flowers are pretty, and they grow on vines that cover the ground with big leaves to keep the soil cool and moist. Their seeds, which are also called pepitas, are yummy. And as we all know, pumpkins can be quite sweet.

When pumpkin spice season arrives, you won’t need many conversations to convince anyone that pumpkins are fruits because they show up mainly in sweet dishes like pies, lattes, and muffins.

7. Okra

8 Fruits Masquerading As Vegetables | Fab.ng

This slimy vegetable from the South is also called lady’s fingers. If you don’t like the sliminess, there’s a way to cook okra that might change your mind. Instead of cutting it into little rounds, try slicing it lengthwise.

If you’ve decided you don’t like okra at all, maybe it’s time to rethink things because, as surprising as it may sound, okra is actually a fruit. I guess knowing that makes its slimy texture more acceptable, right?

Okra grows from a lovely yellow flower with a deep purple or pink centre, the kind that might end up in a wedding bouquet. It has a slightly sweet and grassy flavour that is nothing less than healthy.

8. Cucumbers

8 Fruits Masquerading As Vegetables | Fab.ng

It’s pretty interesting that these tube-shaped, refreshing veggies are actually fruits. When you think about it, cucumbers make sense as fruits because they’re watery, juicy, and have a bit of a flowery taste. Some people even say that if you sprinkle sugar on cucumbers, they taste a bit like watermelon. It turns out that cucumbers and watermelons belong to the same family, so they have some similarities in flavour and how they grow.

Usually, we slice cucumbers, but you can try something different by smashing them. This helps the fruit soak up flavours better, like the dressing or seasoning you add to it.

Now, if you’re a fan of pickles, this might surprise you because pickling a fruit can sound strange. And when you put those tangy, vinegar-soaked cucumber slices on burgers and sandwiches, it might seem even more unusual. But here’s a different way to look at it: Since cucumbers are technically fruits, pickling them is a clever way to get some of your recommended fruit servings without having to make a smoothie or eat an apple.

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FOOD

Make The Best Stir-fry Noodles With This Recipe

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How To Make The Best Stir-fry Noodles | Fab.ng

Do you ever get a sudden craving for something delicious, packed with flavour, and ready in a flash? Well, get ready to ditch those instant noodles because we’re about to create the ultimate stir-fry noodles dish.

This recipe will become your go-to hero, whether you’re battling late-night hunger pangs or whipping up a satisfying weekend dinner. So buckle up your taste buds and let’s dive into the world of quick and flavorful stir-frying.

Ingredients for stir-fry noodles

  • Noodles: Grab 200g of your favourite kind, whether it’s rice noodles, ramen, or something entirely else.
  • Veggies: Slice up a bell pepper, julienne two carrots, and chop a handful of spring onions for some freshness.
  • Protein: 200g of chicken breast, sliced into thin strips, will be our main star. But feel free to swap it for tofu, shrimp, or whatever your taste buds desire!
  • Flavour bomb: Mix 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of oyster sauce, and 1 teaspoon of sesame oil for a delicious base.
  • Aromatic duo: Mince up 2 cloves of garlic and a 1-inch piece of ginger to add some real depth of flavour.
  • Spice it up (optional): If you like things hot, throw in some chilli flakes to your liking.
  • Finishing touches (optional): For a bit of extra flair, chop some more spring onions or sprinkle on some sesame seeds before serving.

Now that you have everything prepped…

How To Make The Best Stir-fry Noodles | Fab.ng

Stir-fry noodles in 8 easy steps:

Transform your kitchen into a sizzling haven with this flavour-packed stir-fry noodle recipe. It’s quick enough to conquer weeknight cravings yet impressive enough to grace your weekend table. Let’s get deeper into this culinary adventure, step by step:

  1. Noodle prep: Follow those package instructions and boil your noodles to perfection. Drain them and set them aside, ready to join the party later.
  2. Veggies chop: Unleash your inner chef and transform your bell peppers into vibrant slices and carrots into thin matchsticks. Don’t forget to slice your chosen protein (chicken, tofu, or your adventurous pick) into thin strips; they’ll cook up beautifully.
  3. Flavour foundation: Heat some oil in your pan or wok, creating a stage for culinary magic. Toss in the minced garlic and ginger, and their aroma soon becomes an irresistible invitation. Sauté them until golden and fragrant, awakening their secret flavours.
  4. Protein power: Add your chicken strips or tofu to the pan, stirring with gusto until they’re perfectly cooked through. Imagine the chicken achieving a beautiful golden tan while the tofu basks in its savoury warmth.
  5. Veggie fiesta: Toss in the sliced bell peppers and julienned carrots, letting them stir-fry until tender yet retaining a satisfying snap. Picture the bell peppers releasing their sweetness, while the carrots add a delightful textural contrast.
  6. Noodle reunion: Add the noodles to the pan, along with the soy sauce, oyster sauce, and sesame oil. Stir-fry, ensuring every noodle gets coated in the delicious sauce and mingles harmoniously with the veggies and protein.
  7. Spice things up (optional): Feeling adventurous? Sprinkle in some chilli flakes, adjusting the amount to your personal preference.
  8. Grand finale: One last stir to ensure everything is perfectly heated and beautifully combined. Now, taste your dish and adjust the seasoning if needed.

Plate up your food, and don’t forget the finishing touches. Garnish with chopped spring onions or a sprinkle of sesame seeds for an extra layer of visual and textural delight.

Now, sit back and savour each delicious bite. Keep in mind that cooking is fun, so experiment, adjust to your taste, and enjoy the journey!

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FOOD

Nkwobi: The Delicious Igbo Delicacy Recipe

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Nkwobi: How To make The Igbo Delicacy | Fab.ng

Calling all food lovers! Are you a foodie? Are you among those who ask, “What is Nkwobi?” Nkwobi is calling your name. It’s a traditional Igbo dish from the eastern part of Nigeria, made with tender meat bathed in a flavorful broth. Get ready to explore its secrets, its popularity, and, of course, how to make it yourself.

Soon, you’ll discover the exact steps and ingredients needed to whip up this mouthwatering delight. We’ll even delve into different types of meat you can use to personalise your Nkwobi experience.

But before we get there, let me share a personal memory. My first encounter with Nkwobi was an explosion of taste. It was delicious, and yes, quite spicy (but hey, you can adjust the heat to your liking). The version I had featured chicken, but remember, the meat’s your choice.

Now, the ingredients you’ll need to create this masterpiece for 5–10 people…

Nkwobi ingredients for a flavorful feast

  • Protein: You can go classic with 1 kg of chicken or explore bolder options like wild meat, goat, or even cow foot. Go for an assorted meat mix for a taste explosion.
  • 2 Knorr cubes: Add savoury depth and complexity.
  • 10 utazi leaves: This herb brings a unique, peppery kick.
  • 1 teaspoon edible potash: Don’t worry, it’s not what you think. This special ingredient helps tenderise the meat and adds a distinct flavour.
  • 200 ml of palm oil: Rich and flavorful, it forms the base of the Nkwobi broth.
  • 1 cup ugba: These fermented oil palm seeds add a nutty, umami touch.
  • 6 Scotch bonnet peppers: Adjust the amount to your spice preference. They’ll pack a fiery punch.
  • 2 sliced onions: Aromatic and essential for building flavour.
  • 3 ehu seeds (calabash nutmeg): This unique spice adds a subtle aroma.
  • Salt to taste: Don’t forget the final touch. Adjust according to your preference.

With these flavorful ingredients, you’re well on your way to making a perfect Nkwobi.

Step-by-step preparation

Today, we’re making Nkwobi using cow foot, but you can use any meat of your choice.

Cow foot nkwobi

Here’s a breakdown of the steps:

1. Soften the meat:

  • Start by parboiling the cow foot with onions, stock cubes, and salt. Cook for 50–60 minutes until the meat is very tender. Nkwobi and Nigerian pepper soup traditionally use soft, easy-to-chew meats.

Nkwobi Ingredients

2. Prepping ingredients:

  • Slice the onions and utazi leaves. Some add them during cooking, while others use them as garnishes. Both ways are fine.
  • Boil the ugba in a little water for 2–3 minutes to remove any bacteria. (It’s fermented with harmless bacteria, but this step is an extra precaution.)

3. Cooking the Nkwobi:

  • Continue cooking the cow foot until the liquid is almost gone. Stir occasionally to prevent burning.
  • Did I mention that it’s important to cut the meat into small pieces before cooking?

Tips:

  • This recipe uses a mortar and pestle for some steps, but a pot works too if you don’t have one.
  • Nigerian food customs often have long traditions without specific scientific explanations. Embrace the cultural experience.

On to the next steps to create some delicious Nkwobi.

How to make Nkwobi

1. Dissolving the potash: Mix your potash with 250 ml of water, then filter half a cup (around 125 ml) of that mixture into the pot.

2. Creating the “ncha”: Pour in half a cup of palm oil and stir vigorously until you achieve a thick, yellow paste called “ncha”.

oil

3. Flavour fiesta: Once you have the “ncha”, add the ugba, a pinch of salt, a stock cube, and a pounded mix of utazi leaves, ehu, and peppers. Don’t forget two spoons of ground crayfish. Give it a good stir before adding the meat.

ncha

4. Meat and temperature: Keep in mind that hot meat can break down the “ncha” and turn it red. Let your meat cool for 20–30 minutes before adding it.

5. Utazi: Utazi plays a key role with its slightly bitter taste, an essential part of Nkwobi. Add the remaining sliced leaves for texture.

6. Final touches and serving: Give everything a final stir, and voila, your Nkwobi is ready.

Nkwobi: How To make The Igbo Delicacy | Fab.ng

Traditionally, it’s served with boiled white yam, allowing you to enjoy the extra sauce. Another option is serving it in a small wooden container as an evening snack.

With these steps, you’ll be creating authentic Nkwobi in no time. And remember to enjoy the cultural experience behind each ingredient and process.

If you liked this article, read more about food here.

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FOOD

How To Turn Milk Into Whipped Cream

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Whipped Cream: How To Turn Milk into Whipped Cream | Fab.ng

Who knew that with a few simple steps, you could turn ordinary milk into a delightful whipped cream topping for your favourite desserts? Even if you don’t have any heavy cream on hand, this handy trick is sure to come in handy for any foodie or kitchen enthusiast.

Here’s what you’ll need to gather:

  • One full cup of cold milk
  • Two tablespoons of your favourite white granulated sugar
  • A quarter teaspoon of pure vanilla extract adds a touch of sweetness and flavour
  • One tablespoon of cornstarch or corn flour to help everything thicken up nicely

Whipped Cream: How To Turn Milk into Whipped Cream | Fab.ng

Steps for preparation

  1. Make sure your milk is super cold because that’s going to help it whip up nicely later. Grab all your ingredients and have them ready to go, like a magician in the kitchen.
  2. In a small bowl, mix the cornflour with just a bit of the milk until it becomes a smooth paste. This little trick helps prevent any unwanted lumps in your whipped cream.
  3. Pour the rest of the milk into a pan and heat it up slowly until it’s just warm, not boiling! Remember, we want it gentle, like a summer breeze. Once it’s warm, whisk in your cornflour paste until everything is nicely mixed.
  4. Move the warm milk mixture to a bowl and let it cool down to room temperature. Then, pop it in the fridge until it’s super cold, like a snowman on a winter day. The colder it gets, the better it will whip up (it might take about an hour, so be patient).
  5. Grab your electric mixer and get ready to create some magic. Start slow and then ramp up the speed as you whip. While you’re whipping, add in the sugar and vanilla extract, just like sprinkling fairy dust on your creation. Keep whipping until you see stiff peaks form, similar to a fluffy cloud.
  6. Before you dig in, give your whipped cream a quick chill in the fridge for a few minutes. This helps it hold its shape better, especially on warm desserts like hot cocoa or a delicious sundae.

Whipped Cream: How To Turn Milk into Whipped Cream | Fab.ng

Remember these tips for the best-whipped cream ever:

  • Use the coldest milk you can find, it’s like the secret ingredient for fluffy magic!
  • Chill your mixing bowl and beaters before you start, like giving them a cool-down before the big show.
  • Want it sweeter? No problem. Add more sugar to your taste.

Now you’re ready to enjoy your homemade whipped cream on all your favourite treats. It’s not just delicious, but it also saves you a trip to the store and adds a special touch to your cooking. Whip it up and enjoy.

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