Indian Food Recipes

Published on August 25, 2011 by Amy

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Native American Food in Albuquerque
Native American Food in Albuquerque

Many tribes, such as the Lakota, have handed down Indian food recipes from one generation to another. The Lakota were also known by the name of Sioux. A nomadic tribe, they only hunted and ate grass-eating animals. This was because they believe in the circle of life and when they died; their bodies became grass to feed the animals.

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The Lakota diet was high in protein and often the tribe either had much food to eat, such as after they killed a buffalo, or very little. One of the traditional Indian food recipes that the Lakota have passed through the generations was Wasna. Wasna is a Lakota word with the “wa” meaning “anything” and the “sna” meaning ground up, although non-Lakota people refer to it as pemmican. This dish consisted of dried buffalo, dried berries, and fat or bone marrow. The Lakota’s would grind the ingredients together with a pounding stone. Wasna was a very good source of protein and the Lakota valued this traditional recipe not only as a food, but also as a healing instrument. Therefore, Wasna is often seen as a sacred food and was often used in ceremonies and rituals. Buffalo meat has more protein and less fat than beef. It also has less cholesterol, yet a mere four ounces provides more protein than a half a dozen eggs. Wasna, because of the protein it contains, can raise a person’s iron level within 15 minutes. Today’s Lakota believe that their ancestors did not suffer from diabetes, heart disease, or cancer due to the healing powers of Wasna.

Another of the Indian food recipes that is a favorite is Lakota plum cakes. This recipe included dark raisins, purple plums, toasted hazelnuts, butter, flour, baking soda, cloves, honey, and maple syrup.

If you want to learn more about Indian food recipes the Lakota used in the past and still use today, there are many books available on the subject.

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Based on the collective work of, © 2015 Native American Encyclopedia.
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