How many calories in a ball of fufu?

Fufu is a staple food in many West African countries, including Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Cameroon. It is made by pounding boiled starchy vegetables, most commonly cassava and green plantain, into a dough-like consistency. Fufu has a bland taste and starchy texture and is usually eaten with flavorful soups or stews.

A ball of fufu can vary in size, but is often around the size of a small orange or tennis ball. The number of calories in a ball of fufu depends on the ingredients used, size of the ball, and preparation method. In this article, we will look at the typical calorie content of different types of fufu balls.

Calories in Cassava Fufu

Cassava is one of the most common ingredients used to make fufu. Also known as yuca or manioc, cassava is a starchy, tuberous root vegetable native to South America.

To make cassava fufu, the cassava is peeled, boiled until soft, then pounded into a smooth paste. Here is the nutrition information for a 100g serving of boiled cassava:

Nutrition Facts Per 100g
Calories 160
Carbohydrates 38 g
Protein 1.4 g
Fat 0.3 g

As you can see, cassava is high in carbohydrates and low in fat and protein.

The size of a fufu ball can range from 50-150g. So for a medium 100g ball of cassava fufu, it would contain approximately 160 calories.

Therefore, the calorie content of a cassava fufu ball can range from:

– Small (50g): 80 calories
– Medium (100g): 160 calories
– Large (150g): 240 calories

Calories in Plantain Fufu

Ripe plantain, also known as yellow plantain, is another common fufu ingredient. Green unripe plantains can also be used.

Here is the nutrition information per 100g of boiled ripe plantain:

Nutrition Facts Per 100g
Calories 122
Carbohydrates 31 g
Protein 1.2 g
Fat 0.2 g

As you can see, plantain is also high in carbohydrates and low in fat and protein.

For a medium 100g ball of plantain fufu, it would contain about 122 calories.

The calorie range for plantain fufu balls is:

– Small (50g): 61 calories
– Medium (100g): 122 calories
– Large (150g): 183 calories

Therefore, plantain fufu tends to be slightly lower in calories than cassava fufu.

Calories in Cassava-Plantain Fufu

Many people prefer to use a combination of cassava and plantain to make fufu. This results in a softer, smoother texture.

If we assume a combination of 50% cassava and 50% plantain in a fufu ball:

– Small (50g): 71 calories
– Medium (100g): 141 calories
– Large (150g): 212 calories

The blended cassava-plantain fufu provides a balance of the nutrients from each vegetable and moderate calorie content.

Calories in Other Fufu Variations

While cassava and plantain are the most popular, other starchy vegetables and starches are also used in fufu:

Cocoyam Fufu

Cocoyam refers to any of several tropical food plants with edible, starchy tubers or corms. The most common varieties used in Africa are taro and tannia.

100g of boiled cocoyam contains:

Nutrition Facts Per 100g
Calories 112
Carbohydrates 26g
Protein 1.5g
Fat 0.2g

As you can see, cocoyam is lower in calories and carbohydrates compared to cassava and plantain.

So a medium 100g ball of cocoyam fufu would have around 112 calories.

Yam Fufu

There are many varieties of yams, which are a tuber vegetable. Some common African yams used in fufu include white yam, yellow yam and water yam.

Here is the nutrition data for 100g of boiled white yam:

Nutrition Facts Per 100g
Calories 118
Carbohydrates 28g
Protein 1.5g
Fat 0.2g

The calorie content of different yam varieties can vary slightly, but is similar to cocoyam fufu, around 118 calories per 100g.

Rice Fufu

Some regions prepare fufu using rice flour rather than starchy vegetables.

Here is the nutrition information for 100g of rice flour:

Nutrition Facts Per 100g
Calories 365
Carbohydrates 79g
Protein 7g
Fat 0.9g

Rice flour is much higher in calories and carbohydrates compared to other fufu options. A medium 100g ball of rice fufu would contain 365 calories.

Fufu Flour Mix

For convenience, some people use a fufu flour mix instead of pounding the vegetables themselves. These mixes may contain cassava, plantain and/or yam flour.

The calorie content can vary greatly among brands based on the flours used. Be sure to check the nutrition label, but expect a 100g serving to range from 160-400 calories.

Calories in Accompaniments

Keep in mind, fufu is usually served with soups or stews which will add more calories.

Here are some common traditional fufu accompaniments and their calorie content per 100g serving:

Accompaniment Calories
Light soup (goat, chicken or fish based broth) 45-60
Palm nut soup 360
Groundnut soup 195
Egusi soup 205
Ogbono soup 200
Vegetable soup 90

Soups made with palm oil, groundnuts or seeds tend to be higher in calories than light broths. Vegetable soups provide more nutrients with fewer calories.

Total Meal Calories

When calculating total meal calories, start with the calories in the fufu itself, then add the calories from soups or stews.

For example:
– 150g (large) ball of cassava fufu: 240 calories
– 100g palm nut soup: 360 calories
– Total meal: 600 calories

Here are some other sample meal totals:

– 100g cocoyam fufu (112 calories) + 100g light soup (60 calories) = 172 calories
– 100g plantain fufu (122 calories) + 100g ogbono soup (200 calories) = 322 calories
– 100g cassava-plantain fufu (141 calories) + 100g vegetable soup (90 calories) = 231 calories

As you can see, the total calories in a fufu meal can range widely, from around 170 for a lighter vegetable soup to 600 for palm nut soup.

Tips for Lightening Up Fufu

Here are some tips to reduce the calorie content of your fufu meals:

– Use vegetables lower in calories like cocoyam or plantain as the base instead of cassava.
– Avoid rice flour fufu as it is much higher in calories than vegetable-based fufu.
– Stick to a small or medium ball of fufu instead of a large portion.
– Choose low-calorie soups like vegetable, chicken or goat light soup.
– Use palm oil and groundnuts sparingly.
– Fill up on leafy greens and vegetables to add nutrients and fiber.


The number of calories in a ball of fufu ranges widely based on the ingredients used, size, and cooking method. On average, a medium 100g ball of vegetable fufu contains 120-160 calories. Adding stews and soups increases the total meal calories, anywhere from 170 to 600 calories. Sticking to vegetable-based fufu and lighter soups can help decrease the calorie density of this traditional West African staple food.

Leave a Comment