• 2 medium sized butternuts
  • 1 tbsp margarine (or butter depending on preference)
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter
  • 60ml fresh milk
  • Pinch of salt
Nhopi is one of those healthy and really filling snacks that I like. Traditionally in the Zimbabwean context it is made using nhanga (pumpkin) but if that is not available (due to seasons or access) a butternut as in this case will work perfectly.This is one of the reasons why I chose to share with you this butternut nhopi variant.

You may recall that nhopi used to be a hit for many people during school days.

You could for sure count on your mother or mbuya getting some really nice nhopi prepared for your early morning indulgence or anytime of the day for that matter. Oh my Oh my…good old days! According to its nutritional facts, butternut is one food that is great for the good health of your heart. It is one of those heart healthy foods. So really, you are in safe hands.

Butternuts are a great source of dietary fibre, folate and vitamin A. These aid in keeping your heart healthy. Fibre, as you may already know, works wonders for your digestive system, especially when you are constipated!

Peanut butter which is accompanying the butternut nhopi am doing today is an excellent source of protein, which among other things helps to keep you feeling fuller for longer. So you can really count on nhopi to keep young ones and even yourself fuller for some hours to come. Our mothers knew the trick! 🙂

You may count on the dairy milk added to the nhopi preparation to supply some calcium which is good for your child’s bones and teeth (and even yourself). So when you indulge in this snack/meal, if your body and heart could speak, they would thank you for it!! Bon Appetite.

Quick Instructions

1. Gather the ingredients together and get ready to start.
2. Wash butternuts (2 medium sized butternuts) and peel then wash butternuts again.
3. Cut, de-seed and cut the butternut into rough chunks.
4. Put butternut chunks into pot, add water and sugar (2 tbsp brown granulated sugar).
5. Add pinch of salt, cover and cook for 20 minutes. or until they’re soft and easy to pierce using a fork, mash butternut then add margarine (1 tbsp) or butter.
6. Pour milk (60 ml)  and mash. Add peanut butter (2 tbsp) and mash.
7. Your nhopi is ready!

Pictorial Detailed Instructions

Step 1

Gather the ingredients together and get ready to start. This helps you to have absolute precision when cooking (having everything ready and you don’t have to stop looking for an ingredient). See full list of ingredients above.


Step 2

Wash your butternuts and begin to peel them. One of the easiest ways to peel a butternut is by first cutting it in half then cutting it sideways as illustrated in 2 (b) and (c). Once you’re done with the peeling, wash the butternuts (d).


Step 3

Cut and de-seed the butternut as shown in 3 (a) and (b). Proceed to cut the butternut into rough chunks as shown in 3 (c) and (d)


Step 4

Put butternut chunks into pot (a) and add 1 cup cold water(b) and two tablespoons sugar (c).


Step 5

Add pinch of salt, cover and cook for 20 minutes (a). After 20 minutes, use a fork to check if butternuts are ready (b) (they should be soft and easy to pierce through with a folk). Begin mashing your butternuts (c) until all the chunks are mashed up as shown in (d), then add your margarine or butter (d) if that is your preference


Step 6

Pour your 60ml of milk (a) and mash (b). Add your peanut butter(c) and mash (d) as illustrated.


Step 7 - Click to enlarge

Your nhopi is ready to serve! You can serve it as is or with a drizzle of milk or fresh cream.




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Let me know how it goes in your kitchen. Come and drop me a comment below!

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