Baobab, the Latest Superfruit!
We know by now that many of the produce items we buy on a regular basis can be considered “superfoods” because most fruits and vegetables are packed with a plethora of phytonutrients. Nonetheless, SupermarketGuru wanted to introduce you to the latest import that is popping up in granolas, snack bars, and even nutritional beverages. The baobab fruit.
The baobab is a tree fruit from the long cherished baobab tree – or Adansonia digitata. Growing prolifically throughout southern Africa, but currently commercially harvested primarily in Malawi, baobab fruits have a tart yogurt-like flavor that has been described as a cross between vanilla, grapefruit and pear. The fruit is white and powdery, and was the original cream of tartar used in baking. High in antioxidants, with six times as much vitamin C as oranges and twice as much calcium as milk, the baobab fruit is a natural source of vitamins, minerals, fiber and protein.
As well as being known for producing an extremely nutritious fruit, parts of the baobab are used to make rope, feed animals, provide shelter, and even make medicine in some African countries.
Adult baobab trees in their natural habitat are enormous – some can grow up to 30 feet in diameter and beyond. In Johannesburg, a massive, hollowed-out baobab tree even serves as a bar for locals!
According to Lucy Welford, Phyto Trade Africa spokesperson, “The baobab tree has become symbolic of the African continent. Up to now, its fruit has been Africa’s best kept secret. And because of its interesting nutritional profile and long history of culinary use, baobab is now ready to be shared with consumers world-wide.”
PhytoTrade Africa is the non-profit organization that made the application for FDA approval of baobab as an ingredient. The organization represents rural producers from across southern Africa.
So when you see this fruit on the ingredient list of your granola, you won’t wonder what it is but instead marvel at the nutritional profile and uses this wonderful tree produces.