Origin of Efo Riro
Efo Riro is the glory soup of the Yoruba people in Nigeria. It is a rich vegetable soup made with lots of leafy greens like waterleaf, assorted meats and lots of oil. It can be eaten with plantain, pounded yam or even rice.
Depending on the leaves, proteins (meats) and oil used to cook, Efo Riro can be very healthy. But here’s the calorie content of this meal when cooked and served as pictured above. Bear in mind that we used the exact ingredient list used for the meal and this numbers are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Calories: 612 of which 345 are from fats!!!
- 3 bunches spinach (2 packs of Frozen spinach)
- 2 lbs beef
- 1 lb tripe
- 1 lb goat meat
- 5 medium tomatoes
- 3 scotch bonnet peppers
- 1 medium onion
- 200 ml palm oil
- 3 tablespoons seasoning
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- vegetable oil (To Fry)
Normal values for a healthy adult
Below is a chart that shows the healthy numbers for a healthy adult consuming 2000 and 2500 calories daily respectively. It is recommended to consume not more that 65g of fat of which not more than 20g of saturated fat, approximately 2400mg of salt and 300g of carbohydrates (depending on physical acticity level). See the picture below.
The disadvantage of cooking this way
If you take a look at the nutrition facts above you will notice that:
- about 1/3 of your total daily calories are consumed in just one meal (excluding plantains, yams, garri or rice to accompany this efo)
- more than half of the calories are from fats!!!
- 16g of saturated fats are consumed in this dish. That’s almost your daily portion for saturated fats.
- this meals contains alot of salt (sodium =2015g).
- Half of your daily cholesterol needs are consumed with this soup
Ways to make Efo healthier
- Reduce the oil content from 200ml to 50 ml or about 2 tablespoons. This way you will significantly reduce calories, fats and subsequently saturated fats
- Use more tomatoes to get the saucy effect without extra calories.
- Reduce salt by half
- Choose lean cuts of meat or trim visible fat from beef.
- Boil beef and drain fat from stock to reduce fat and calories.
What do know the calories in your favorite heritage food? Comment below.