The wonders of Baobab: The New Super Food?

I have been meaning to write about Baobab for a while now; something I have been in love with ever since I discovered it at Eden a couple of years ago. This delicious “super fruit” has been the subject of many exhibits at Eden over the years; from Baobab smoothies in the rainforest biomes and its own spotlight appearance during Harvest festival, to the baobab chocolate they sell in the Eden shop. I personally have been sprinkling baobab power on my cereal for a while now; as a way to add some extra sweetness to my breakfast, and harvest some of its super food value.

But in my traditional procrastinating style I had put this post to the side; never quite getting around to it! That was until the Guardian pipped me to the post (literally) and recently shared a fabulous article: Baobab holds out promise for Malawi’s farmers and forests. So I did a little lazy girl digging to find out once and for all about this wonderful fruit, and why Baobab is fast becoming the biggest super food extraordinaire….

So what is Baobab?

baobab_tree_13 Also known as the “upside down tree” – due to is root-like branches – baobab is a native tree of Africa and the national tree of Madagascar. Through pollination of bats, it produces large green or brownish pods whose hard shells are cracked open to reveal a powdery fruit pulp inside. This is traditionally milled and separated into a coarse and fine powder which tastes like a delicious blend of melon and pineapple. Traditionally African’s eat the leaves of the baobab, which can be pounded to make a relish.

The new super food

Gram for gram, Baobab has over six times more vitamin C than an orange and more calcium than a glass of milk. It also contains three times more iron than red meat (good news for us veggies/vegans!), six times as much potassium than bananas, and more than three times as the antioxidants of blueberries! Since being licensed for the European food market, just over six years ago, baobab has been proclaimed a superfood to rival quinoa, blueberries and kale.

superfood baobab

So the small sprinkle of baobab powder on my cereal each day might be the next best thing to adding berries or banana. What’s more, its powder form means you can add it easily into smoothies, soups and cakes. But I personally think the best way to enjoy fruit is in a cocktail, so why not try this “nutritious” version of a Pina colada?”

Baobab Pina Colada

Ingredients

• 500ml coconut milk
• 2 shots of rum
• 1 litre pineapple juice
• 5g chopped fresh mint leaves
• 15g baobab powder
• 40g panela (unrefined whole cane sugar)
• 70ml water

Method

1. Chop the mint.
2. Blend together the coconut and pineapple juice.
3. Boil up the sugar and water, add in the baobab powder and mix to a smooth liquid. Add this to the coconut mix.
4. Divide into three containers and top with the chopped mint.

Next week is Boaobab week at Eden Projects Harvest Festival; inclusing food demos, cocktail bars and talk with Baobab farmer froms Malawi. So if you fancy exploring this super fruit further, pop down and say hello!

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