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Ewedu Soup: All You Need To Know About Jute Leaf Soup

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If you are looking for a healthy, delicious, and easy-to-make Nigerian soup, you should try Ewedu soup. Ewedu soup is a traditional dish popular among the Yoruba people but can also enjoyed by other ethnic groups in Nigeria and beyond. 

In this article, you will learn what Ewedu soup is, where it comes from, its benefits, how to make it, and how to enjoy it. If you’re ready to know everything about Ewedu Soup, Let’s dive in!

Ewedu Soup: All You Need To Know About Jute Leaf Soup

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What is Ewedu Soup (Jute Leaves) 

Ewedu soup is a thick, slimy, green soup made from jute leaves, also known as ewedu in Yoruba. Jute leaves are a type of leafy vegetable belonging to the genus Corchorus, which has about 40-100 flowering plants. Jute leaves are also called molokhia, saluyot, lalo, or rama in other parts of the world.

Jute leaves have a slimy texture and a green colour, rich in anti-inflammatory properties, calcium, iron, phosphorus, and potassium. Ewedu soup is a favourite dish among the Yoruba people of the southwestern region of Nigeria, but other ethnic groups and countries also enjoy it.

History and Origin of Ewedu (Jute Leaves) Soup

Ewedu Soup: All You Need To Know About Jute Leaf Soup

This Soup has a long history that dates back to ancient Egypt, where jute leaves were used as food and medicine. It is believed that jute leaves were brought to Nigeria by Arab traders or Egyptian migrants. The Yoruba people then learned how to cook the Soup and added their own spices and ingredients. Since then, the Soup has become a staple food in many Nigerian homes, especially among the Yoruba people.

Jute Leaves Soup is usually cooked by blending the jute leaves with water. Some people use a traditional broom called ijabe to mash the leaves, while others use a blender. The blended leaves are then boiled with salt, seasoning cubes, crayfish, pepper, and locust beans (iru), which give the Soup a unique flavour and aroma.

Ewedu soup is a common food in many Yoruba homes and events. It is often eaten with stew, meat, and swallow foods such as amala, semo, pounded yam, or eba. 

Ewedu and Amala is a classic combination that is called Amala ati Ewedu. Ewedu soup can also be mixed with gbegiri, a soup made from beans, and ogunfe, a stew made from goat meat. This trio is called abula, a special treat in Yoruba cuisine. Ewedu soup can also go well with other swallow foods.

Ewedu soup is a delicious and healthy dish that shows the rich culture and history of the Yoruba people. It is simple to make and can be adjusted to suit your taste and preference.

What Are the Benefits of Eating Ewedu Soup?

Jute Leaves soup is delicious, highly nutritious, and beneficial for your health. Here are some of the benefits of consuming this soup: 

  • The soup is low in calories and high in fiber, which can help you feel full and prevent overeating. It can also aid digestion and prevent constipation. 
  • The soup contains vitamins and minerals, such as A, C, E, K, B6, folate, iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids. These nutrients can help boost your immune system, protect your eyesight, skin, and hair health, prevent anemia, strengthen your bones and teeth, regulate your blood pressure and blood sugar levels, and reduce inflammation.  
  • The soup has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that can help fight against free radicals and oxidative stress that can cause chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and arthritis. 
  • The soup has antibacterial and antifungal properties that can help prevent infections and diseases caused by harmful microorganisms. 
  • The soup has antispasmodic and analgesic properties that can help relieve pain and cramps caused by menstrual problems or digestive disorders.
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Ewedu Soup Ingredients

To make Ewedu soup, you will need the following ingredients:

  • Ewedu leaves (jute leaves): These are the main ingredient of the soup.
  • Potash: This is a type of salt that helps to soften the Ewedu leaves and make them slimy. (Optional)
  • Ewedu broom or blender: You will need either a traditional broom called ijabe or a blender to mash the cooked Ewedu leaves into tiny bits. (Very Important)
  • Water (Very Important)
  • Salt: You will need salt to taste.
  • Seasoning cube: You will need seasoning cube to flavour to the soup. You can use any brand of your choice, such as Maggi or Knorr.
  • Pepper: You will need some chilly pepper to add some spice to the soup.
  • Ground crayfish: You will need about four to five spoons of ground crayfish to add some richness and aroma to the soup.
  • Iru known as Locust beans (Optional)

These are the basic ingredients for making Ewedu soup. However, you can also customize the soup to suit your taste and preference. For example, you can prepare stew and mix it with the Ewedu. 

You can also add some meat, fish, or chicken to make the soup more appetizing and protein-rich.

How to Make Ewedu Soup

Making ewedu soup traditionally requires a few tools and ingredients. You’ll need a pot, a spoon, an ijabe (a special broom used for pounding Ewedu), and the following items: 

  1. Jute Leaves or Ewedu 
  2. Locust Beans (Iru) 
  3. Ground Crayfish (Optional) 
  4. Seasoning Cube 
  5. Salt to taste 
  6. A pinch of Potash (Kaun) (Optional) 

Here are the steps to make Ewedu soup:

  1. Thoroughly wash the jute leaves and remove them from the stems.
  2. Put the jute leaves in a pot, add some water and potash, and boil. Potash helps to soften the jute leaves and make them more slimy. 
  3. Cook until the jute leaves are soft. 
  4. Turn off the heat and use the ijabe to pound the jute leaves in the pot until they are smooth and slimy. If you prefer, you can use a hand blender instead of an ijabe. 
  5. Return the pot to the heat and add the locust beans, crayfish, seasoning cube, and salt. Stir well and allow to cook for about 2 minutes. 
  6. Turn off the heat and serve the Ewedu soup with stew and meat or fish.

How to Serve Ewedu Soup

Here are some of the best options to serve Ewedu soup with:

  • Stew: Stew is a sauce made from tomatoes, onions, peppers, and spices cooked with meat or fish. Stew adds flavour to Ewedu soup and makes it more enjoyable. You can use any meat or fish.
  • Fufu: Fufu is a soft and doughy staple food made from boiled and pounded cassava, yam, plantain, or cocoyam. 
  • Amala: Amala is another type of staple food made from dried yam flour cooked in boiling water until it forms a smooth. Amala has a dark brown colour and a slightly sour taste that goes well with the Soup; hence, it’s called “Amala ati Ewedu.”
  • Pounded yam: Pounded yam is similar to fufu but made from fresh yam that is boiled and pounded in a mortar and pestle until it becomes smooth.
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Below are other swallow foods you can enjoy Amala with:

  • Semo
  • Wheat
  • Garri (Eba)
  • Corn flour etc 

How to Store and Reheat Ewedu Soup

If you have leftover ewedu, you can store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to a month.

To reheat the soup, you can either microwave it in a microwave-safe bowl for a few minutes or heat it in a pot over low-medium heat until hot. Stir occasionally to prevent the soup from burning or sticking to the bottom of the pot.

Can a Pregnant Woman Eat Ewedu Soup?

Ewedu soup is a nutritious and delicious soup that can be eaten by pregnant women as long as they are not allergic to any of the ingredients. Ewedu soup can provide essential nutrients for the mother and the baby, such as iron, calcium, vitamin A, and protein. 

However, pregnant women should be careful not to overeat the soup, as it can also contain high amounts of sodium, cholesterol, and saturated fat, increasing the risk of hypertension, preeclampsia, and gestational diabetes. 

Benefits of Ewedu Soup in Pregnancy

Jute Leaf Soup has many benefits for pregnant women and their babies. Some of the benefits are:

  • It can help prevent anaemia, a condition where the blood lacks red blood cells or haemoglobin. Anaemia can cause fatigue, weakness, and low immunity in pregnant women and affect the growth and development of the baby. Ewedu soup is rich in iron, which is needed to make haemoglobin and red blood cells.
  • It helps strengthen the mother’s and baby’s bones and teeth. It is rich in calcium, which helps build and maintain strong bones and teeth. Calcium also helps with muscle contraction, nerve transmission, and blood clotting.
  • The soup can help improve the mother’s and baby’s vision and immune systems. It is rich in vitamin A, which is needed for healthy eyesight and skin. Vitamin A also helps fight infections and diseases by boosting the immune system.
  • It helps support the growth and repair of the mother’s and baby’s tissues and organs. Ewedu soup is rich in protein, which is needed to make enzymes, hormones, antibodies, and other essential substances for life. Protein also helps build and repair muscles, bones, skin, hair, nails, and blood.

Is Ewedu Good For Babies?

Ewedu is good for babies, as it can give them some essential nutrients for their growth and development. Ewedu is especially good for babies starting to eat solid foods, as it can help them with digestion and bowel movements.

Ewedu has a slimy texture, making it easier for babies to swallow and digest. Ewedu also has a mild flavour, making it appealing for babies new to different tastes.

However, Ewedu should not be given to babies younger than six months old, as they may not be ready for solid foods yet. Ewedu should also be cooked and blended smoothly to avoid choking hazards. It should also be given in moderation and mixed with other foods, such as rice or beans, to ensure a balanced diet for babies.

The Side Effects of Drinking Ewedu Soup

Ewedu soup is generally safe and healthy to drink, but it may have some side effects for some people. Some of the possible side effects are:

  • Allergic reaction: Some people may be allergic to Ewedu or some of its ingredients, such as locust beans or crayfish. Allergic reactions may cause symptoms such as itching, swelling, rash, hives, difficulty breathing, or anaphylaxis. You should seek medical attention immediately if you experience these symptoms after drinking ewedu soup.
  • Stomach upset: Some people may experience stomach upset after drinking Ewedu soup due to its high fibre content or its acidic or spicy ingredients, such as palm oil or pepper. Stomach upset may cause symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, gas, bloating, or cramps.
  • Drug interaction: Some people may interact after drinking Ewedu soup due to its high vitamin K content or effect on blood sugar levels. Vitamin K is a nutrient that helps with blood clotting and prevents bleeding. However, vitamin K may interfere with some medications, such as warfarin or aspirin, that affect blood clotting. 
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Can Ewedu Reduce Blood Sugar?

Ewedu may help reduce blood sugar levels in some people due to its high fibre content or effect on insulin secretion. Fibre is a carbohydrate that is not digested by the body and helps slow down glucose absorption into the bloodstream.

This can help prevent spikes and drops in blood sugar levels and improve blood sugar control. Ewedu may also stimulate the production of insulin, a hormone that helps move glucose from the blood into the cells, where it is used for energy. This can help lower blood sugar levels and prevent diabetes complications. 

Does Ewedu Contain Calcium?

Yes, Ewedu contains calcium, a mineral for strong bones and teeth, muscle contraction, nerve transmission, and blood clotting. According to the USDA FoodData Central, 100 grams of jute leaves (Ewedu) contain about 211 milligrams of calcium, about 17% of the daily value for adults. 

However, the amount of calcium in Ewedu may vary depending on the leaves’ type, quality, and preparation method. For example, cooking Ewedu may reduce its calcium content due to leaching or degradation by heat.

What Is the English Name of Ewedu Soup?

The English name for Ewedu Soup is Jute Leaf Soup. Jute is a plant that belongs to the Malvaceae family and is cultivated for its fibre and edible leaves.

Is Ewedu Good for Arthritis?

Ewedu may have some benefits for arthritis due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Ewedu contains phytochemicals such as flavonoids and phenolic acids that can help reduce inflammation and swelling in the joints by inhibiting the production of inflammatory mediators such as prostaglandins and cytokines. Ewedu also contains antioxidants such as vitamin C and beta-carotene that can help protect the joints from oxidative stress and damage caused by free radicals. 

However, Ewedu may not be enough to treat or prevent arthritis, as it is a complex and chronic disease that requires medical attention and lifestyle changes. Therefore, it is advisable to consult your doctor before using Ewedu as a natural remedy for arthritis.

Why Is Potash Added to Ewedu?

Ewedu has a slimy texture that can make it more appealing and easier to swallow. Potash can help increase the sliminess of Ewedu by breaking down the cell walls of the leaves and releasing more mucilage. Ewedu also has a mild flavour that can make it bland. 

Potash can help enhance the flavour of Ewedu by adding some saltiness and alkalinity. However, potash should be used sparingly and carefully as it can also have some adverse effects, such as reducing the nutritional value of Ewedu by destroying some vitamins and minerals, increasing the sodium content of Ewedu, which can raise blood pressure, or causing stomach irritation or ulcers if consumed in excess.

Conclusion

Ewedu soup is a delicious and nutritious Nigerian soup made from jute leaves, also known as Ewedu. Ewedu soup has many benefits for your health, such as boosting your immune system and much more, as mentioned in this article. Ewedu and Amala are one of Yoruba’s famous foods.

We hope you have learned something new about Ewedu soup from this article. Ewedu soup is a simple yet tasty dish you can easily make at home. Why not give it a try and enjoy its benefits? You will surely love it!