At the beginning of 2015 (seems like only yesterday, right?!) the Telegraph named baobab as a contender for superfood of the year. If you’ve never heard of it before, don’t worry; neither had I till just a few weeks ago. Oh, and apparently it’s pronounced bey-oh-bab. You learn something new everyday, eh!
The baobab is a tree native to Africa, and produces a fruit which dries naturally on its branches, creating a powdery, white interior that is incredibly dense with essential nutrients.
You don’t have to read about it for long to start thinking “right, I need this in my life!” I recently had one of those moments with hemp too (read more about that here). But back to baobab:
“It is a rich source of vitamin C, calcium, potassium and thiamin. It is also almost
50% fibre and has one of the highest antioxidant capacities of any fruit in the world.” (Source: Aduna)
Different countries recommend different amounts of vitamin C that we should be taking daily. Here in the UK, 40mg per day is recommended. A 10g serving of baobab provides over half of that (26.6g)! In fact, baobab outshines all of the things that typically come to mind when you think of vitamin C, calcium and potassium:
- Think of vitamin C and the first thing that comes to mind is oranges, right? Baobab has 6 times the vitamin C of oranges;
- Calcium = milk? Baobab has twice as much calcium;
- Bananas are the most potassium-rich food, right? Nope. Baobab has 6 times more potassium!
I was lucky enough to be sent some samples to review from Aduna. Since trying it, I am definitely interested in purchasing their baobab energy bar which is sweetened with dates and raisins (mmmm!).
The Aduna staff are really friendly and helpful, so I would highly recommend getting in touch with them if you have any further questions about the product. Being in touch with them kind of restored my faith in customer service, actually. I feel like I need to pen a separate post about a few of the ridiculously horrible experiences I’ve had recently!
In terms of price, its not the cheapest superfruit on the market; 275g purchased from Aduna directly costs £14.99. However, compare that to the price of Acai powder available at Holland & Barrett for £22.99 for just 110g! The nutrients available in both are also different, so I’m not suggesting one is better than the other; just giving you an idea of how much it will set you back.
But, this is one superfruit that is actually making a difference to the local communities it is harvested from. An article in Forbes points out that “women in Malawi are harvesting the fruits for commercial use and earning enough cash to pay children’s school fees.” How amazing is that? It goes on to tell the story of Esnati, a Malawian mother, who was able to send all her children to school, build a house, buy a bicycle and feed her family on the income provided by picking the baobab fruit!
Baobab for Babies?
If you follow my blog (or my Instagram feed) then you know that I’m all about introducing superfoods to babies and toddlers. Those little humans have tiny stomachs and only eat a small amount of food compared to us! I think its important to jam-pack that food with as many nutrients as possible, so I am extra keen on powders/seeds that can be added to things my daughter is going to be eating anyway!
Baobab comes in powder form and can be sprinkled onto practically anything. There’s one caveat; it has a sort of citrus-y flavour, so bear that in mind when trying it. I like the kind of tangy hit you get, but it might not be for everyone and might not go with every food either.
Khadija (my daughter) did not seem to mind it at all and has had it as follows:
- in her amaranth porridge (recipe below)
- mixed with smashed avocado, yoghurt, chia seeds and vanilla bean paste; and
- in overnight oats with blueberries and banana.
I’m going to share the recipe for Khadija’s amaranth porridge with you lovely people today. This is, of course, brilliant for breakfast but I like to give this to her for dinner sometimes too! The baobab was perfectly paired with the peach, and the whole thing is pretty damn tasty for adults too.
Amaranth Porridge with Peach, Yoghurt and Baobab
(Makes one adult portion, or two baby/toddler portions)
1/4 cup amaranth seeds
3/4 cup water
3 tbsp milk
1 tbsp maple syrup/honey (or to taste)
1 small peach
1 tbsp plain yoghurt
1 tsp baobab powder
Put the amaranth and water in a small pot and bring to boil. Then cover and cook on a very low heat for approximately 25-30 minutes. Check it often and give it a stir to ensure it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
In the meantime, peel and chop your peach and blend it in a blender according to the consistency you want (I pureed it completely for my daughter). Set aside,
In a seperate bowl, add the yoghurt and stir in the baobab. Set aside.
When the amaranth is ready (all the liquid will have been soaked up and the seed should be fully cooked with a very slight chewy texture), turn off the heat and stir in the milk. Feel free to use any milk you like (such as almond milk, hemp milk, etc; here, I have used full-fate cows milk). Stir it vigorously for a few seconds, till the amaranth becomes creamy. Then stir in the maple syrup/honey too.
To serve, put the amaranth porridge into a bowl and top with the peach puree and baobab-infused yoghurt. Give everything a mix and enjoy!
Note: as mentioned in the post, I was kindly sent some baobab to try and review from Aduna. I did not receive any financial compensation from them, and all opinions expressed are my own 🙂