Preparing it is easy. You just add hot water and you eat. But that is not the big thing about this instant porridge.The big thing is that it comes packed with nutrition and a fruity taste—and it is made by three National University of Lesotho (NUL) nutrition graduates. “For six months,” said Joalane Mohale, “we poured our hearts and souls into the development of this product—until we got there.”
This product is now on sale. You can even buy and resell it. (Catch them here: +266 59888173).
It has many pluses. Here are a few of them (if you buy it, even just once, you will then live to tell us the rest.) It is made mostly from yellow maize and barley. And then you’ve got a couple of fruits and other ingredients, the combination of which will immediately send you to the seventh heaven.
If you are familiar with nutrition and good health, then you know why such a mix is important.
Let’s start with maize.
So you love the magical yellow colour of yellow maize? True, the colour may have been partly meant for decorating the maize itself. But that is not the main reason. The main reason is that the yellow pigments are actually carotenoids (where did you think yellow carrots got their name from?). These are substances that provide vitamin A and xanthophylls.
Don’t worry about what, on earth, Vitamin A and xamthophylls are. That is not important. What is important is that these things will make your eyes very, very healthy. “There are many other important nutrients packed in yellow maize that attracted us to make it part of the recipe,” Joalane said.
Barley, which is not a very familiar product in Lesotho, was included in the mix nevertheless. There is a reason Joalane and her partners, Limpho Ntoanyane and Xoliswa Sixishe decided to include barley in the formula, “this food is well-known for its ability to boost health,” she said. “It is very good for promoting a healthy heart by partly lowering cholesterol.”
And then there is a bonus to all this. Both maize and barley are high in fibre and bring a lot of roughage. “As a result, when you eat our product, you don’t get hungry quickly,” Joalane added. If you want to maintain a good weight, getting full quickly is helpful as you reduce the intake of calories.
Even better, foods with high fibre are not known to stay for more than their welcome in your stomach. They do they part and leave while still fresh.
By now you probably get the point. That is, this product was designed with you in mind.
As a Mosotho you know a thing or two about porridge (lesheleshele). Be it a sour porridge (motoho) or a normal porridge (lesheleshele), Basotho are in love with this thing. They drink it in the morning. They drink it after meals. They drink it at night.
They even give it to their babies and children after weaning.
But your love for lesheleshele and motoho as a Mosotho has not gone unnoticed. Yes, you attracted the attention of the commercial man who sought to replace your love for motoho with your love for a gluten laden thing he calls cereals [well, there is nothing wrong with commerce, but the commercial man lives for money]. And then he played a trick by manipulating your taste buds.
To a large degree, he won.
But some of these cereal concoctions leave a lot to be desired. First, most of them are made from the ever-present, all-powerful wheat. Not that wheat is too bad but (there is always a but) it is associated with a host of health problems. Plus, you can bet the commercial man has found a way to make it worse.
For reasons that only he can give, he often removes a nice wheat grain and rips off its fibre-rich bran, selling it for animal consumption. In the process he removes a lot of nutrients and fibre. As if that was not enough, he then proceeds to advertise the impoverished food as soft, nice and crispy.
Unlike the commercial man, “we don’t remove anything from our grains,” Joalane differentiated her products. “Instead, we buy the grains and mill them as they are, in local mills (“robella,” if you know what we mean?)”
Should we say anything about the importance of dried fruits in the mix? No we won’t. Some things are better left to speak for themselves.
But some of us don't eat to live, we live to eat. We also eat for taste. “We thought of that group too,” she said. “So with this product, you get both taste and nutrition in a single pack.”