The most preferred flour in baking is certainly wheat, but do you know that you can also utilize various other flours perfectly well and end up with amazing results.
This is a secret Nancy Kendi knows too well and she is using it to make tasty and mouth-watering value added products at her business in Chuka.
The 29-year-old runs the business some 800 meters from Chuka Girls where Mkulima Young finds her busy mixing dough ready to bake.
“I make cakes, chapatis and doughnuts among other products from sorghum, banana, pearl millet and cassava,” Kendi explains.
She started using the flours to stand out in the business and to respond to the needs of health-conscious consumers who are in need of gluten-free products.
“I also figured out that instead of using the usual boring approach of mashing, boiling or roasting these foods, why not bake them, which is more appealing,” she says.
To make cakes, it all starts with turning the sorghum, wheat, millet and bananas into flour by milling them when they are dry.
She then takes the milled flour of any of the products and mixes with wheat flour which has binding properties unlike the rest.
“The blending ensures that one does not use wheat alone which has glutten that makes some people uncomfortable. It then gives the product a unique test,” she says, adding that once the flours are mixed, baking in the case of cakes follows the normal process.
From the flours, Kendi makes and sells banana chapati at Sh35 each, a 1kg banana cake at Sh1,000 and 1kg beetroot cake at Sh1,200.
She also makes 100g banana chevdas which go for Sh100 and same quantity of banana crisps that sells at Sh100, with the business earning her up to Sh45,000 in a good month.
Kendi, an entrepreneurship and marketing graduate of Kenya Methodist University, observes that the alternative flours are quite rich in nutrients and provide sustainable quantities of nutrients especially to the poor, aged and the young.
To perfect her art, Kendi undertook numerous trainings offered by the Ministry of Agriculture and enrolled for online baking classes.
“Unlike wheat, these alternative flours are gluten-free, locally available, and easily digestible and are highly nutritious. They also contain a wide range of health benefits as they are a major source of macronutrients especially for low income groups,” Kendi explains adding that, “They also contain high levels of minerals, calcium, dietary fibre and protein contributing significantly to vitamin and fibre intake.”
Kendi, who sells
her products on online platforms like Facebook
and Mkulima Young
, adds that no meal should be boring especially if it can be repackaged differently.
“Whether it is for children or the whole family, there are still some pastries individuals can enjoy without feeling uncomfortable as they are packed with whole grains,” says the entrepreneur, who sells her products in Meru, Embu, Nakuru, Mombasa and Tharaka Nithi.
She encourages the youth to take up agribusiness as that is where the future lies especially when it comes to job creation.
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