What is Semolina?
Semolina refers to the dry, coarse milled products of durum wheat . It is used to make swallows (eaten with African soups), pasta, puddings,bread, biscuits and other innovative food products.
Originally, it exclusively refers to middlings of durum wheat but now, the word is being used for middlings of maize and rice.The difference is however in the colour; semolina from durum wheat is yellow or off white while semolina from maize and rice is white.
The word “semolina” can also refer to sweet dessert made from mixing chilled semolina and milk.
Where does semolina originate?
Dating back to around 7000BC, it is originally from Central Europe and current geographical areas of Western Asia, Turkey, Egypt with the Sinai Peninsula.It is obtained from durum wheat,hard wheat.
The word ‘semolina’ originally has its root from the latin word ‘simila’ which means flour and later an italian word ‘Semola’ which means bran which by 18th century had given rise to The Italian word “Semolino” . Now popular as Semolina even though there is a slight difference between semolina and semola
What is the difference between Semolina and Semola?
Semolina and Semola are not exactly the same thing even though they are both made from Durum wheat (Triticum turgidum). The difference is in the size of the wheat after grind; semola is ground more times into very fine particle sizes; hence its popular Italian description “Semola rimacinata di grano duro”which means fine ground grains of Durum wheat that us twice milled”.
Semolina is however coarse and its particle sizes are closer to that of cornmeal than the fine particles of flour.
How is semolina different from flour?
Semolina is actually like a type of flour made from the bran,endosperm and germ of durum wheat. The main difference is that semolina is a coarser while flour is fine powder. Semolina in colour,is yellow or off-white darker and more golden in color than white flour.
Is semolina healthier than flour?
Not really.It depends on the type of flour your are comparing semolina with, for example, the germ flour does not contain brain but just the endosperm and the germ whereas, semolina contains bran, making it richer in protein and fibre and lower in fat.
What is the nutritional content of Semolina?
They can vary in fibre content while some are even fortified with some vitamins.
For example, a typical 100 grammes of fortified semolina has a nutritional content below:
Crude fibre: 1.0
Calories: 352 kilocalories
Micronutrients per Kg
Vitamin A: 2.0mg
Vitamin B6: 6.0mg
Vitamin B12: 0.02mg
What are the Health Benefits of Semolina?
1. Improves the efficiency of the digestive system.
It contains the fibre rich bran of the durum wheat grains. This makes semolina rich in fibre which help retain moisture in the swallowed food as it undergoes digestion when moving through your digestive system.
It thus help to improve bowel movement and prevention of constipation and the likely consequences of constipation like hemorrhoids.
The fibre also help to improve the natural microflora of the gut so that beneficial microbes in the gut continue to flourish to the disadvantage of pathogens so your body can achieve an efficient digestion, metabolism and body immune system function.
2. Helps in Weight Management
Semolina has good amount of calories per meal but with its high fibre gives bulk to the contents of the gut thereby taking long for the digestion of the meal to be completed. This means that if you consume few grammes, it makes you filled for long. Takes long to digest so your body feels satisfied for long hours making you feeling full and not hungry.
This is helpful to you if you are trying to reduce the calories you consume daily.
3. Contains vital minerals, vitamins and micronutrients.
Apart from the major food groups of fiber, protein, fat and carbohydrates present in semolina,it also contains the following nutrients.
Iron is an essential part of hemoglobin production, which is the iron-protein complex, attached to red blood cells that is responsible for carrying oxygen around the body.
Zinc is essential for boosting immunity.Semolina also has calcium, phosphorus, which along with Calcium and Phosphorus help with bone development.
Folic acid is required for production of DNA and RNA and plays a vital role in amino acid metabolism. High consumption of folic has been reported to help with the reduction of heart disease risk by 38% and it’s deficiency in pregnant women can increase the chances of Spinal bifida in a foetus.
Vitamin B6 helps the body turn food into energy.
Vitamin B12 is a water soluble vitamin that helps keep the body’s nerve and blood cells healthy, helps make DNA, the genetic material in all cells and helps to prevent a type of anemia called megaloblastic anemia that makes people tired and weak.
Vitamin A helps to maintain eye and heart health.
, and zinc: all of which are essential for bone growth and development.
Niacinamide acts as an antioxidant, can improve skin layer barrier function, reduce skin hyperpigmentation and improve skin elasticity.
Selenium acts as an antioxidant that protects the cell membrane DNA from the degradation arising from attacks by free radicals floating around in the body.
This makes selenium help keep the skin healthy and protected from premature aging.
4. Protein source
Semolina contains protein, which is the primary sources of the amino acids used for building up protein like substances in the body like enzymes, cell membranes, antibodies and globin in the hemoglobin.
5. Controls Cholesterol Level
Fiber in semolina may help lower inflammation, Low-density Lipoprotein, LDL (the bad cholesterol) and thereby reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases. 23 grams of fibre (from whole grains e.g semolina) every day for 3 weeks has shown evidence of lowering LDL level by up to 5%.
How to Prepare Semolina
1. Semolina swallow
1. Pour 2 cups of water into a clean pot then place on gas stove and heat to boil.
2. In a bowl, pour a cup of dry Semovita and add half cup of water into the bowl. Stir with wooden spatula the water and Semovita mixture continuously until you get a smooth thick consistency.
3. Turn the gas stove knob to reduce the heat of the stove then carefully but quickly pour the mixed Semovita into the boiling water and stir.
4. Continue stirring for 5 minutes until the texture is thick and consistent then allow to cook on low heat for about a minute.
5. Turn off the heat and transfer into small flat plates.
Other foods you can use Semolina to Prepare.
How do you eat semolina?
You can eat the semolina swallow with African soup like Okra and vegetable soups.
It can be mixed with milk and served chilled.
Semolina can also be chilled for up to 24 hours then eaten cold.
What are examples of Semolina brands
Honeywell Semolina, Golden Penny Semovita,Dangote Semolina
How To Get Dangote Semolina for free?
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