Blue band and I come a long way. I’ve spent quite a significant amount of my education life in boarding school and a constant in my opening day shopping was Blue Band. In school, we obviously didn’t use it for cooking, but rather for topping foods and mixing it in what we called mukorogo. The recipe for this was simple. Mix sugar and cocoa, add blueband to make a paste and feast away. Those who could afford powder milk (safariland) would make the paste even tastier by adding it. Other things we did with blueband in school were to add it to our morning porridge, githeri, rice, and even spread it on Ugali. Sigh. Anything to add some punch to the often bland boarding school food.
Now I’m grown and I certainly do not make the blueband paste any more like we did in boarding school but I still use it around the house. I still top my githeri and other foods with it. I could however make that mukorogo for old times sake! Here are my more grown ways of using blueband around the house.
Here is a simple recipe that you’ll get hooked to right away. Crush some garlic until smooth, mix it with blueband, spread on one side of bread and bake in the oven until slightly browned. By this time the garlic will have cooked away and the blueband will have melted, sinking the garlic flavour into the bread. The bread will be crisp and brown on both sides. This way you get to consume nutrients from garlic and those from blueband in a tasty way. You can get creative and experimental with this recipe and add toppings like cheese and coriander or other herbs.
I love mashed potatoes for ease of cooking, taste and nutrition. I mean, what could be easier than boiling potatoes, mashing them up and servicing? Sometimes I mash potatoes with just a little bit of salt but most times I add a few dashes of milk and a dollop of blueband to make them tastier and creamier. With the added nutrients in the new blueband, I also get to add nutrition in terms of Omega 3 and 6! Feel free to get creative with the mash and incorporate herbs, cheese, onions, garlic, and whatever else falls within your taste.
I’ll admit that I don’t make porridge a whole lot at my place but back home in the village it is almost a daily ritual to have porridge in place of the so called four o’clock tea. My mum is still a diehard fan of porridge and besides, when we’re home for breaks there are always little nieces and nephews around who consume lots of it. It is an age old habit of mine to add blue band to ready porridge before consuming. I prefer it this way than cooked in.
I inherited a lot of things from my mother and one of those that I’ve kept alive to date is baking. To date we still bake with Mum, sharing recipes and adding experimental twists to the older ones. Baking and blueband for us have always gone hand in hand.
I’m unable to keep up with steamed stuff and more so vegetables. Sure, I do get into health fits and steam just about everything but I fall off the bandwagon soon enough as I find them a bit too bland. To add a little flavour and make them more palatable, I often fry a small dollop of blueband before adding the vegetables. I also fry eggs and pancakes in blueband every once in a while for added flavour and essential oils.
I’m specifying dough nuts because this is what I make most often. I also make other pastries once in a while and especially mahamri but with my coastal roots, for those I use coconut milk. But for dough nuts it is always always blueband.
And how can I not have bread and blueband on this list? It is after all the most common use of blueband in most households. For a tasty browned exterior to toasted bread and toasted sandwiches, spread some blueband on the exterior of the slices – the side that is in contact with the toaster.
Blue Band now comes with added nutrients – the better for us and our kids!