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How To Prepare Oil Free Efo Riro And Benefits

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How To Prepare Oil-free Efo Riro And Benefits

A Nigerian vegetable soup without oil? Hmmm… A lot of Nigerians will baulk at the idea. But for health nuts, it is either that or to give up the delicious soup entirely – an easy choice to make if you ask me.

The reason a lot of people turn up their nose at the idea of eating oil-free efo riro is that, like most healthier versions of well-known meals, they think it will be boring and bland.

Your healthy meal does not have to be. Oil-free efo riro still has all the good richness you will find in regular efo riro; the only difference is the lack of oil. That’s it. There is no extra gimmick to it.

The meats we use in cooking are loaded with proteins and often have their natural oils. Any additional oil you add is purely for aesthetics and overkill, as excess oil can lead to weight gain. If you’re trying to lose weight and keep fit, that’s not something you should like.

If you’re used to loads of oil in your food, the concept of eating oil-free may seem like a strange and difficult choice at first, but cooking without oil has so many benefits.

Low-fat, oil-free, plant-based diets provide optimal heart and weight benefits while high-fats in food like oil do the opposite.

You may say, “but plant-based is healthy and most cooking oils are plant-based, so they should be healthy.” Consuming whole plants like groundnuts, almonds, avocados, and walnuts is a nutrient-dense way to include healthy and necessary fats in your diet. But these oils are made from plants that have been stripped from their natural protein, minerals, vitamins, and fibre. They are dense on calories but empty on nutrients asides fat.

Averagely, one tablespoon of cooking oil has 120 calories and 13-14 grams of fat, depending on the type of oil. Imagine you have to make normal efo riro with at least ½-1 cup of oil; that’s about 960-1920 calories from your oil ALONE.

In addition to the low-calorie count and healthiness that oil-free efo riro gives, the spinach used is also low in calories and high in Vitamins A and K.

Vitamin A improves eye health, fights cataracts, boosts immunity, and improves skin health.

Vitamin K improves bone health, brain health, and has anti-inflammatory properties.

Spinach also helps to improve cardiovascular health and has anti-oxidants that help to fight cancer.


  • Spinach or any other vegetable (5 bunches chopped)
  • Red bell pepper/Tatashe (4)
  • Scotch bonnet peppers/ata rodo (4)
  • Onion (1 medium chopped)
  • Shredded smoked fish (2 cups)
  • Locust beans/Iru {2-4 tbsps) optional
  • Assorted meat (500 grams)
  • Chopped shrimp or red prawns (1/2 cup) optional
  • Crayfish powder (2 tbsps)
  • Seasoning cubes (2–3)
  • Salt to taste


Gather all your ingredients.

Step 1

Chop the bell peppers, scotch bonnet, and half the onion. Combine in a blender and pulse to a rough coarse consistency. Pour mixture into a strainer and rest to remove excess fluid.

Step 2

In a soup pot, season the meats with the other half of the onion, seasoning cube and salt to taste. Boil it in it’s own juices until almost dry; then pour in some water to the level of the meat and check for seasonings.

Step 3

Place a large pot over medium heat, add in the blended mixture and the crayfish, prawns, smoked fish, assorted meat, iru, salt, and seasoning cube. Cover and leave to simmer for 10-15 minutes.

Step 4

Add in the spinach. Stir well to combine. Taste and adjust for seasoning. Simmer covered for another 3 - 5 more minutes.

Serve on rice, yam, boiled plantain, or with your choice swallow.

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BeYAH Fitness
BeYAH Fitness
BeYAH Fitness was born out of a desire to reach, educate and inspire a greater number of people than those we coached and worked within our own local community. It gives us the chance to connect with individuals from all over the world and in a form that still personalizes the approach to bring each person what they need for their nutrition at that point in time.