February 7, 2023
Ugu smoothie recipe

Ugu smoothie recipe

Growing up in a Nigerian household my dad would always make us prepare ugu smoothie especially on weekends which we will all drink after dinner.  Over the years , every time I drink this smoothie before bed time the outcome is always the same.

A restful night and an energized morning is assured. So in this blog post I will be writing about how to make ugu smoothie.

The ugu smoothies we drank were of three (3) types and I will be sharing with you the recipe on how to make these three different types of ugu smoothies namely;

  1. Plain ugu smoothie
  2. Ugu and evaporated milk smoothie
  3. Ugu smoothie mixed with malt drink

Ugu smoothie recipe

If you are familiar with Nigerian cuisine surely ugu leaves cannot be strange to you.

This is because you must have encountered it once or twice while reading about the popular Nigerian egusi soup with ugu leaves recipe which you can also read here

Ugu or Ugwu – as some people spell it- is still one the most widely used vegetables in Nigeria. Ugu leaves in English is called fluted pumpkin leaves or simply referred to as pumpkin leaves.

Here are the names of some of the other vegetables we use for many other Nigerian delicacies ;

  • Amunututu leaves ( click here )
  • Edo Gbagba also called Efo Igbo (click here )
  • Hospital too far leaves also called Efo Iyana ipaja (recipe is here)
  • Efo Shoko or Lagos spinach
  • Efo Tete or amaranth green
  • Efo worowo
  • Bitter leaves or Ewuro
  • Efirin or Basil and so on

Although I should quickly state that if you want to have a good shopping experience in local Nigerian markets, simply ask for ugu leaves. As this will save you a lot of stress explaining what you want.

As I continue, first I will explain how to make plain ugu smoothie which is a base for the other ugu juice/smoothie types and then I will move on to explain how to make the other two delicious variations.

If you would also like to watch the video of this recipe on Youtube please click here

Ingredients

2 bundle of fresh ugu leaves (fluted pumpkin leaves)

8 cups of water

Yield: 10 cups of smoothie

Method 1

This method was mostly used to extract juice from leaves before the popularity of mechanical/electrical kitchen equipment such as juicers, food processor, blenders. This the reason why many people call it the old-fashioned method.

Preparation time: 50 minutes

  • Pluck the ugu leaves from the stalk and place the leaves in a big bowl
  • After detaching all the leaves, clean the leaves thoroughly with clean water
  • Clean the leaves at least 3 times to make sure that all the sand, dust, and other impurities are removed before moving on to the next step
  • Divide the leaves into two (2) batches and put the cleaned leaves in a different big bowls

using a big bowl is necessary so that the extraction process can be comfortable and easy for you.

  • Add 4 cups of water in the first bowl to add the extraction process
  • Grab a fistful of the leaves and move your fists in a swishing motion – like you are washing your cloth

To watch a video example of this method click here

  • You will gradually notice the water begin to change colour as it becomes greenish
  • Do this until all the leaves are completely shredded
  • And repeat this process until both batches of leaves have been processed
  • Get a big clean bowl and pour the blended ugwu paste into it
  • Place a cheesecloth over another big bowl and some of the ugu paste into it
  • Place a cheesecloth over another big bowl and some of the ugu paste into it
  • Squeeze the cheesecloth to extract the ugu juice and separate it from the chaff – do this until all the ugwu juice is extracted

Method 2

Preparation time: 30 Minutes.

Nowadays this is the most commonly used method because it is easy, saves time and also great for making large batched of Green smoothie or ugu Smoothie

  • Detach the ugu leaves from the stalk and place the leaves in a big bowl
  • After detaching all the leaves, clean the leaves thoroughly with clean water
  • Clean the leaves at least 3 times to make sure that all the sand, dust, and other impurities are removed before moving on to the net step
  • Get a chopping board and knife
  • Cut all the leaves into small sizes – you don’t have to cut the leaves individually. Simply hold a fistful of ugu leaves and slice

I always do this to make the blending process fast. Also, you should do this if you do not have a high-powered blender this will make it easy for your blender

  • Usually, I divide the leaves into two (2) batches
  • Put one batch the sliced leaves into the blender and add water – do this till all the leaves are blended
  • Blend till you are sure all the leaves have been blended
  • Get a big clean bowl and pour the blended ugu paste into it
  • Place a cheesecloth over another big bowl and some of the ugu paste into it
  • Squeeze the cheesecloth to extract the ugu juice and separate it from the chaff – do this until all the ugwu juice is extracted
ugu Smoothie for weight loss
Ugu Smoothie for weight loss

Whether you use the first method or the second one, the result will be the same.

A cup of this healthy green juice.

Benefits of Ugu Smoothie

I know you must be wondering what are the benefits of ugu smoothie. Some of the amazing benefits are listed below;

  1. Aids weight loss : Foods that are low in calories are usually recommended for weight loss and vegetables such as Ugu also known as fluted pumpkin contains little or no calories and this reduces the possibility of consuming more calories when eaten.
  2. Great Source of fibre : dietary fibre helps to maintain the digestive system by improving digestion and preventing health conditions such as constipation, bloating, irritable bowel movement,  and so on.
  3.  High antioxidant content : fluted pumpkin leaves are rich in antioxidants that boosts the immune system and offer anti-inflammatory benefits to our body. Ugu leaves are found to be rich in powerful antioxidants such as resins, alkaloids, flavonoids, tannins and many more.
  4. Aids blood circulation : ugu smoothie is high in iron and other mineral important for increasing blood production in the body and also the proper circulation of blood in the body. For effectiveness it is recommended that ugu smoothie be mixed with milk or malt drink.

This leads us to the remaining two (2) ugu smoothie variations

Ugu & Milk Smoothie (blood booster) Ingredients

  • 1 cup Ugu juice
  • 1/4 cup of eveporated milk/full cream milk

Preparation :  Mix ugu juice and evaporated milk together and drink

ugu and milk benefits
Ugu and MIlk

Ugu & Malt Smoothie (Blood Tonic) Ingredients

  • 1 cup ugu juice
  • 1/2 cup of malt drink of choice (no alcohol, No sugar)

Preparation :  Mix ugu juice and malt drink together and enjoy

ugu and malt
Ugu and Malt

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