What countries are in central Africa?
Mbote (hello), and welcome to the Central African food overview where vegetarian African food is plenty, and the best meat alternatives don’t matter. Why? Because the food is just too good as is. Not saying you can’t add them. Central Africans aren’t defined as having a purely vegetarian lifestyle. So you’ll find some recipes with meat out there as well, but many don’t rely on animal proteins. But what countries are in Central Africa? Well, there are nine, and a few of them are Chad, Congo-Brazzaville, DRC, and Gabon. In Central African recipes, the meals are not complete without starchy carbohydrates. With that said, the main ingredients are plantains, potatoes, yams, and cassava. These are filling, give you energy, and can be made in many different ways! Then you can have your plant protein for balance. One of the most popular cooking methods for these plant proteins is stewing. And the good thing is, you only need a few ingredients to enjoy these delicious meals. Here, you’ll savor only plant-based cuisine.
Vegetarian African food
First, if you relish stews, Central African food provides a variety of ways to eat them. Thick or not. In fact, there are many ways to thicken them that you will find traditional in Central African recipes. For one, use African palm oil fruit or crushed peanuts. What countries are in Central Africa that don’t cherish red palm oil? None! They love it for its distinctive flavor, so being able to use the fruit as well is a bonus. Other thickeners include gourds like crushed melon or pumpkin seeds. West Africans call them egusi while Central Africans refer to them as mbika. Another thickener suitable for vegetarian African food is okra (gumbo). Or even crushed seed kernels of wild mango (odika, dika, or etima).
Did you know that kale, mustard greens, and collard greens have their roots in Africa? Greens in Central African food range from leafy collard greens to the seedy okra, or fruity pumpkin. Central African countries refer to them as ‘Feuilles’ which simply means leaves. Often, stews contain greens as the main ingredient. For instance, Pondu from the Democratic Republic of Congo is a simple meal of boiled cassava leaves. You can also spice it up, like in this Cassava leaves stew with bush beans. Enjoy pondu with fufu, rice, or plantain. You can even add in some of the best meat alternatives like tofu. Don’t be afraid to get creative and add your own special touches.
Best meat alternatives
Don’t like soy tofu? Try these alternatives. The best meat alternatives go beyond replacing chicken with something that tastes like chicken. They go as far as egg substitutes for vegans and finding similar textured foods to meat to add to your dishes, and you can use veggies like asparagus for that. Again, don’t be afraid to explore.
Central African recipes don’t end on stews. There is so much more. But we will finish with the drinks. For one, Congo has so many incredible drinks that we made a whole article on them. Check out the best Congolese drinks. Most keep in the vegetarian African food theme of having leaves as the main ingredients. But some also have locally sourced, zesty coffee or delicious coconut milk. Just know, once you taste them they will be at the centre of your heart.
Join us to sample Central African recipes
See why we said you won’t need any of even the best meat alternatives? Central African foods have many different ways of using various veggies and fruits to spice up your recipes. They allow you to explore Africa from the comfort of your home. Keep in mind that Central African recipes are as diverse as their countries and communities. But it doesn’t matter what countries are in Central Africa, we will explore them all and bring you the very best. So subscribe, sample them with us, and enjoy the journey! Curious about a no-animal-meat food lifestyle? Check out our Instagram page for real-life inspirations 😊.