Adansonia Digitata L – is a truly remarkable tree. Living for a thousand years or more, baobabs dominate parts of the African landscape with their root-like branches and massive trunks that can reach 25 metres or more in circumference.
The baobab’s velvety green fruits grow from beautiful white flowers that are pollinated at night by bats. Inside the hard coconut-like shell are the seeds which are coated in a pale powder that is sharp and tangy to the taste. It is this fruit powder that is used in food and drinks.
African people have been eating baobab for centuries. From Senegal to South Africa people use it in different ways, many of them mixing the fruit powder with water and sugar to make a refreshing drink.
It is not only delicious but popular as a boost to health, especially among pregnant women, children and the elderly. Baobab fruit is also said to help fight fevers and settle the stomach. The !Kung San bushmen of the Kalahari eat it to ward off winter colds and 19th century seafarers ate baobab jam to protect themselves against scurvy.
See scientific studies below to find out what the scientists have discovered about baobab fruit.
Elephant Pepper Baobab Gold Chilli Sauce
This unique blend of baobab fruit and delicious spices is the perfect accompaniment to seafood dishes, savory pickles, chutneys or casseroles.
Elephant Pepper Baobab Gold is available online via www.elephantpepper.com, www.yozuna.com in the UK and www.ecosysaction.org in France. You will also find it in supermarkets across the United States including WholeFoods
nationwide. In South Africa, Elephant Pepper can be purchased in up-market delis
across the country and at Cape Town and Johannesburg International airports.
As with most alchemy it must begin with magic ingredients and after much brewing of various potions Yozuna came up with this very special and delicious Baobab Lemonade. It’s definitely changed the water to a golden colour but the lovely smooth refreshing ultra Lemony taste was the Holy Grail and one of those eureka moments!
Find it in the baobab products section of www.yozuna.com
Yozuna Fairtrade African Baobab Fruit Jam
What does this Jam taste like? Think apricot, perhaps a touch of lime & lemon with an aftertone of orange and a lovely smooth texture of honey. But don’t just take our word for it. Give it a go and experience the amazing taste of the tree of life for yourself!!
Available in the UK from Selfridges and Wholefoods countrywide and also from www.yozuna.com.
Myths and legends about the baobab tree abound in African culture, many of them explaining how the tree got its mysterious “upside down” shape. The moral of this tale warns against never being satisfied with what you already have:
The baobab was among the first trees to appear on the land. Next came the slender, graceful palm tree. When the baobab saw the palm tree, it cried out that it wanted to be taller. Then the beautiful flame tree appeared with its red flowers and the baobab was envious for flower blossoms. When the baobab saw the magnificent fig tree, it prayed for fruit as well. The gods became angry with the tree and pulled it up by its roots, then replanted it upside down to keep it quiet.
Scientists have been studying the baobab superfruit and its nutritional properties for many years. Here are just some of their findings:
- “The seed and fruit pulp are excellent sources of potassium, calcium and magnesium … the high calcium content makes the baobab fruit attractive as a natural source of calcium supplementation for pregnant and lactating women as well as for children and the elderly.”
Osman. Chemical and Nutrient Analysis of Baobab (Adansonia digitata). Fruit and Seed Protein Solubility. Plant Foods for Human Nutrition (2004) 59: 29-33.
- “The baobab’s anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties make it valuable for a variety of applications in beverages, it has also proven to be an effective prebiotic ingredient.”
Gruenwald. Novel Botanical Ingredients for Beverages. Clinics in Dermatology (2009) 27: 210-216
- “The integral antioxidant capacity of baobab fruit pulp was more than ten times higher than that of orange pulp.”
Vertuani et al. Antioxidant Capacity of Adansonia digitata Fruit Pulp and Leaves. Acta Phytotherapeutica (2002) 2: 86-90.
- “It is very high in Vitamin C, up to 5000 parts per million.”
Sidibe et al. More on Baobab’s Homegrown Vitamin C. Agroforestry Today. (1998) 10 (4): 7-9.
- “The flesh of baobab constitutes an excellent source of Vitamin C and a good source also of calcium and thiamin.”
Wehemeyer. The Nutrient Composition of Some Edible Wild Fruits Found in the Transvaal. S.A. Medical Journal. (1966). 104: 1102