I am in a never ending search for unique, exotic, and little known foods from ethnic cultures around the world. This search includes finding the best ever superfruit. In doing so, I stumbled onto this amazing fruit that grows on the majestic, indigenous to North Africa, Baobab Tree.
The Baobab tree (common name for the 9 species of trees in the genus Adansonia) looks like a giant, standing alone, high above the shrubbery in vast plains. And they are, indeed, very large trees. Adansonias often attain heights of nearly 100 feet and the diameters of their monolithic trunks will grow as large as 36 feet.
Immensely popular in Africa, particularly in the northern regions, Baobab fruit has been the planet’s “best kept secret”, when it comes to healthy foods, for centuries. I did some Google searches for keywords such as:
“top 10 superfruits list”
“best ever superfruit”
“top 20 superfruits”
“most nutritious superfruit”
And never, on the first or second page of Google ranked sites, did I find the Baobab fruit even so much as mentioned – let alone counted as a “top 10 or 20”. If you keep digging, yes, you will find that Baobab is starting to become recognized as a fruit so nutritious, and so chocked full of goodness, that forward-thinking Western nutritionists and health dieticians are heralding it as the true Queen, the absolute best ever superfruit in the world.
Africans have, of course, known this and been nourished by this best ever superfruit, Baobab, for centuries – probably millennia. Way before modern day scientific scrutiny could analyze foods and their nutritional and health values, North Africans had pragmatic evidence of the many benefits baobab fruit delivers to the human body.
They have, since antiquity, eaten the fruit raw, and have utilized it in juiced form, and also dried and powdered, taking the dehydrated flesh pellets and grinding them into a powder with a mortar and pestle.
Here are some enlightening facts about Baobab (pronounced, “bay-oh-bab”):
- Baobab contains six times as much vitamin C as oranges.
- Baobab contains twice as much calcium as milk.
- The fruit contains plenty of B vitamins, magnesium, iron, phosphorous, and antioxidants.
- It is a fruit that nature has designed so perfectly, it maintains maximum nutrient synergy and potency, while requiring almost no processing.
- Baobab has more antioxidants than any other superfruit, including blueberries, pomegranates, and yes, even the much vaunted (and deservedly so) acai fruit.
- It is a raw, whole food.
- The fruit of the Baobab tree is always 100% pure organic – the Baobab trees have never been “cultivated”, pesticides have never been used on them; they produce fruit that is perfect and blemish free without the use of any unnatural processes.
- They have exceptional fibrous content – more than half of each fruit is uber-healthy, soluble fiber.
- They are harvested ethically and sustainably.
And to top it all off, the taste?
About the size of a coconut, with a soft, velvety shell, the inside flesh is a marvelous taste treat. A fabulous pairing of sweet and tangy, with a flavor reminiscent of pears, awaits your palate when you get ready to eat the fruit of the Baobab tree.
Africans can pick and eat them raw, those lucky people, but it is extremely difficult to get fresh, raw Baobab fruit outside of the continent of Africa. Until fairly recently, not even the powdered form of Baobab was available anywhere other than in its native continent. But that situation is starting to improve.
Legislation from 1997 in the European Union (EU) dictated foods not commonly consumed in the EU had to be formally and legally approved before importation of such foods could be allowed. Therefore, Baobab, fresh, or in fruit powder form, was not available there. However, in 2008, the EU finally did approve Baobab dried fruit pulp, and fruit powder, acknowledged it as a safe food ingredient, and authorized its importation. The USA followed suit shortly thereafter.
So now at least the powdered form of Baobab is available in Europe and the United States, and people who are becoming aware of its fabulous taste and health benefits are finding it makes great smoothies, blended fruit drinks, health/power drinks, and is an excellent ingredient in super healthy sweet-tooth satisfying dishes.
The powder can also be used as a healthy alternative jam and gravy thickening agent; it goes great in porridge recipes, can be sprinkled on cereals, and some people find it useful as an ingredient in their homemade hot sauces, liking the unique, tangy taste in imparts into the recipe.
In Tanzania, dried Baobab pulp is blended with sugar cane and utilized as an aid in the fermentation of beer. As much as Americans love their beer, I have to imagine that particular use will catch on rather quickly.
Also, if you would like to buy Baobab fruit powder, you can do so in our online food store – just Click Here.
So there you have, now, some introductory information about the true Queen of all Superfruits, the amazing, best ever superfruit, Baobab. If you’re like me, you will start pestering your local ethnic foods markets to start carrying some fresh Baobabs, as well as the other healthy products derived from it.
Chow Y’all, and please be sure to leave a comment. We are always interested in feedback, suggestions, questions, and will respond to and engage with anyone who drops us a comment, okay?
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