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Ghanaian on Whole30


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I started my whole 30 journey 4 days ago on June 1. I am from Ghana and cannot imagine living without my native staples. The book urges not to "paleo-fy" processed foods and I wanted to know if this applied to native dishes? I buy my ingredients from a Ghanaian supermarket who imports everything. Now i little background on the food. There are a lot of starch like plantains (sweet and green), yams and lots of rice. I know rice is out but what about the plantains and yams. The african yams are not yams you find here. It's a large/long vegetable tuber and very hard, even after cooking, and not sweet at all. we prepare the starches by, cooking, frying, or mashing into "dumplings" (fufu) but with NO FLOUR. we eat them with stews (sauces) or soups. Out soups and sauces are mostly tomato-based and all the ingredients are whole 30 can-haves an example of a soup recipe:


Light Soup


  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 habanero pepper
  • 2-3 garlic cloves
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1 potato, diced
  • 2 large tilapia filets, cubed
  • salt and pepper to taste

Roughly chop the tomatoes, onion, garlic, ginger, and peppers and place them all in a blender. Pulse until liquified.

Pour the contents of the blender into a large pot. Add the water salt and pepper and bring to a rapid boil.

When a boil is reached and a slight foam begins to form on top, add the potatoes and reduce the heat to a simmer. Let cook ten minutes.

After ten minutes, add the cubed tilapia. Let cook for about ten minutes more or until the fish is opaque and cooked through.

Serve with fufu!! 

Most of the sauces and soups have the same base but with different meat. I guess my question is, is it possible to "paleo-fy" my traditional dishes. ingredients are never processed (although they started making boxed fufu flour to import which may be processed but I don't eat anyway) 

I guess my question is, as long as the ingredients are all whole30 can-haves, can I have my traditional dishes from Ghana? My other question is about cooking processes: is pan-frying or deep frying proteins allowed?

thanks for any advice you are able to give me!


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Plantains and yams are fine. Your traditional foods that are vegetables would be fine. You can pan-fry or deep fry foods as long as you don't use peanut or soybean oil. Canola oil is not a good choice, but using it would not violate Whole30-guidelines. I pan fry plantains in coconut oil regularly.

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  • 1 year later...

So does this mean fufu is okay?  In my search for banana flour, I found fufu and wondered if I could use it in place of banana flour. 

Thank you!


It depends. If the fufu is made of cassava, it is technically ok, although I would use caution to avoid using it as a sub for non-compliant doughy or baked preparations. If it is made of maize (corn) or semolina (wheat), it would not be permitted.

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