Most of us who grew up in African households have inexplicable bonds with ‘swallow’. I do apologise if I’ve lost you – ‘swallow’ is the term used to describe the malleable ball of carbs, usually served as an accompaniment to a variety of vegetable and protein-filled soups and sauces.
This is a West African staple, and is prepared from a variety of carbohydrate-rich sources : cassava, yam, plantain, semolina, rice etc. The problem with a regular intake of these kinds of swallow, is that while they are very filling, they have a high carbohydrate count of about 79g of carbs per 100g of cassava.
To combat this problem, some clever person has devised a way to swap carb-heavy ‘swallow’ for vegetables. This means that you replace your carbs with veg and in essence you’re eating veg with veg – genius! You can easily do this with any keto-compliant veg that you like the look of (some people prepare this with eggplants, instead of cabbage), a small affordable hand blender like the one pictured below and some psyllium husks. The psyllium husks are the magic ingredients. Beside binding the pureed vegetables together, but they also help to keep you full, while adding the necessary fibre to your diet.
Here’s how to prepare your cabbage swallow:
- 1 medium cabbage
- 2 – 3 tablespoons of psyllium husks
- Chop the cabbage into small pieces
- Place cabbage pieces in a sauce pan, cover with water and boil for 10 mins
- Drain water from cooked, softened cabbage and blend with a hand blender
- Add a teaspoon palm oil for colour (optional)
- Add 2 – 3 table spoonfuls of psyllium husks per medium cabbage
- Keep blending with the hand blender until the mixture reaches a suitable texture
I have started using this Kenwood food processor for this, and it is absolutely amazing. All I have to do is ‘load’ my cooked cabbage into the processor and blend to a pulp. This probably only takes around 1 – 2 full minutes. I start adding psyllium through the aperture and the processor mixes and turns the whole mixture until it becomes a little hard. That’s it! Here’s a video of me using it to make my swallow in 1 minute: