WHY BAMBARA NUTSWhy Bambara nuts you might ask. Have you ever eaten or seen Bambara nuts before? Most people do know about this nuts, otherwise called Bambara beans. In this piece, we will reveal why the nuts are necessary-eat. Firstly, what is Bambara nuts? What are the nutritional value of Bambara nuts? Where can you purchase this natural nuts in quantity? Let us delve into it.



Bambara nut got its name from Bambara community in Mali, where it originated. Thus, Bambara nut is a West African nut. In Nigeria, great quantities of Bambara nuts are in Kwara State and other tropical Northern states. The Botanical name for Bambara nut is vigna subterranea and is a member of the family Fabaceae. The Igbos in Nigeria refer to it as okpa, while the Hausas in Nigeria call it gurjiya and Yoruba tribe goes with the name epa roro. Some people refer to this nut as Bambara beans, Bambara seed or Bambara groundnut. Whatever name it goes with is mere reflection of who is talking about it. Our interest is in what makes Bambara nuts unique and edible.

Bambara nuts have a good nutritional balance and are a rare example of a complete diet. It contains enough protein and carbohydrates to sustain human life. The Bambara nuts protein also contains more of the essential amino acid methionine than most other beans. Another great health benefit of this plant is its use in traditional medical treatments.

Below are the uses of Bambara nuts:


  • Bambara nuts can be boiled, pounded or crushed into powdered form, and usable as soup thickener.
  • Similarly, it can be grind into flour, which is an important food source in West Africa. See below how to make Bambara nut cakes.
  • Some people in Africa bake Bambara nut floor and swallow it with soups
  • Bambara nuts are usable to make Bambara Groundnuts, which are a popular snack in Nigeria, especially in the northern parts of the country.
  • Like other legumes, you can boil and eat Bambara seeds as beans.
  • Bambara nut is a rich source of high protein milk, useful in yogurts.

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Bambara nut cake is best prepared using a few ingredients, due to the nuts’ peculiar taste. Depending on preference, you can make Bambara cake with fresh pepper and Piper guineense leaf. Some people add other ingredients like onions and crayfish. Nevertheless, Bambara nuts are tasty and do not require too much to prepare.

The basic ingredients for preparing a family serve size of Bambara nut cake are as follow:

  • 5 cups of Bambara flour
  • 8-10 table spoonfuls of palm oil
  • 2 spoonfuls of grounded crayfish if desired – this is optional
  • 2-4 spoonfuls of blended fresh pepper
  • 3-4 cubes of seasoning to taste
  • 1-2 spoonfuls sliced Piper guineense (uziza in Nigeria)
  • Water to dissolve and clear lumps
  • Salt to desired taste
  • Bambara flour wrappers, which can be plats of plastic or stainless, banana leaves, or nylon bags.


  • Sieve the flour into a big bowl; add your crushed crayfish, salt, seasoning cubes and mix.
  • Pour the oil into the mixture and mold with your hands until you achieve unity in color, yellow.
  • Boil the water to a lukewarm level in pot.
  • Gradually add the water into the mixture while you mold. The amount of water you add depends on how you want the cake. For very soft, add a generous amount water. Otherwise, if hard, reduce the water content.
  • Add the blended pepper, sliced piper guineense into the mixture, and use a stirrer to mix not.
  • Make a boiling water in a pot, deep enough submerge the wrapped flour completely.
  • Ensure a clean wrapping material or plastics or any other material.
  • Wrap the Bambara nuts flour into sizes of your choice and place in the pot of steaming water.
  • Allow the cake to cook for about an hour and the food will be ready for shot serve.


  • Bambara nuts are usable by the Igbos in Nigeria to treat sexually transmitted diseases.
  • The consumption of roasted Bambara nuts is useful in the treatment of polymenorrhea in Kenya.
  • The chewing and swallowing of immature fresh seeds is used to stop nausea and vomiting;
  • Bambara nut is also useful to treat some malignancies and inflammatory disorders.

Other health benefits of Bambara nuts according to research are:

  • Its consumption can help in weight loss
  • Bambara nuts contain substances that can help lower blood sugar according to studies.
  • It is good for the heart.
  • These nuts have anti-cancer elements, which makes it useful in fight against certain cancers and ulcer.
  • Consumption of Bambara nuts can boost immunity
  • Bambara nuts aid digestion, and is recommended as natural therapy for those battling indigestion
  • This nature nut has anti-inflammatory properties and thus usable for wound treatments
  • Bambara seeds helps maintain bones is good for those exposed to osteoporosis

Furthermore, Bambara nuts have other direct and indirect health and ecological benefits to man. Studies has shown that Bambara nuts has potential to contribute meaningfully on the global fight against hunger. In addition, as a legume, this nature nut can fix nitrogen in the atmosphere, and thus contributing to good environment. Unfortunately, though, this African legume is underutilized.