I remember growing up in Zimbabwe as a kid, looking forward to going to the market for some delicious native fruits that were only available at certain times of the year. My favorites were the mazhanje (a sweet golf ball size fruit with yellow inside and dark brown inside which was only available in the rainy season), the masau ( a sour-ish grape looking fruit) and of course the mauyu – baobab – which we had to find a place to crack in order to enjoy the white powder that covered the seeds). These native fruits were so special first because they were so seasonal but mostly, because they were cheap. I never knew that in my adult years, I would end up working with those in the rural areas of Zimbabwe to import the baobab into the USA and more so, to make delicious products with it.
In those youthful years, I never knew that the baobab is an iconic tree of hot, dry areas of Africa.
African people have been eating baobab for centuries; but until recently, the fruit had never left the African continent. The fruit powder is exceptionally nutritious. The edible oil that the seeds can be cold-pressed for, is highly prized by the cosmetics industry for its skin and hair care properties. My company, A Gift To Africa supports the commercial development of baobab powder and oil for the local and export health food and cosmetics markets in the USA.
Where it can be found: In Zimbabwe, the baobab can be found at altitudes below 900 meters, exclusively in Natural Regions 4 and 5. An exceptionally hardy and long-lived tree, the baobab is abundant in many dry areas of the country where the production of food crops is severely constrained by lack of rainfall. The total number of baobab trees in Zimbabwe has been estimated at 5 million, of which 3.8 million are found in communal and resettled areas.
Harvesting time – What is harvested: For reasons of sustainability, A Gift To Africa encourages commercial production of products derived only from the fruit and seeds and not from the leaves or bark. The fruits (pulp – seed – fiber) are collected between May and September and can be stored and sold throughout the year.
Baobab fruit powder is exceptionally nutritious, containing high natural levels of dietary fiber, antioxidants, essential minerals including calcium, potassium, iron and magnesium, and vitamin C. The oil from the seeds contains Omega 3, Omega 6 and Omega 9 fatty acids, and exhibits potent skin moisturizing and skin-lightening activity. The powdery, nutritious fruit pulp (sometimes called “cream of tartar”) has huge potential as a food/health supplement (add to smoothies, juices, porridge etc.) or as an ingredient in cakes, biscuits and muffins, as well as ice cream, yoghurt, jams, sauces, chutneys, high energy foods (cereal bars, breakfast cereals and fruit nuggets) and in drinks. The seeds are mostly used as a thickener for soups, but can also be roasted for direct consumption, or pounded to extract oil. Although the oil is edible, its commercial use is primarily in the medicinal and cosmetics industry. It is used to produce soaps, cleansers, moisturizers, and colored make-up, hair and sun-care products.
Baobab: Nature’s Nutritional Miracle
Mother Nature was at her very best when she created baobab. She naturally dried the fruits of the iconic African baobab tree and we humans simply mill and sieve the dried fruit pulp into a tasty, easy-to-use powder with an amazing fruit that delivers a cornucopia of nutrition – antioxidants, fiber, essential vitamins and minerals. There aren’t enough accolades for baobab: a raw, whole food, gluten-free and uncompromised nutrient synergy, just to name a few. The baobab is just plain good for you.
Baobab: An Exceptional Fiber
Baobab consists of more than 50% fiber by weight. More importantly, the majority of fiber is the highly beneficial soluble variety. The soluble fiber creates a gel-like substance in the intestines, helping regulate blood sugar by prolonging the time the stomach empties and therefore releasing sugars more slowly.
Soluble fiber also helps soothe and regulate the digestive tract, stabilize intestinal-tract contractions, lower LDL and PH levels, and raise levels of the helpful superoxide dismutase (SOD) enzyme, a free-radical inhibitor. In all, soluble fiber is believed to lower inflammation related to obesity-related diseases, strengthen the immune system, and maintain healthy digestion.
Baobab: The Antioxidant Queen
The benefits of antioxidants are estimated to be abundant, and baobab delivers more of these powerful disease fighters than any other super fruit, including acai, Goji berries, blueberries, cherries and pomegranates. High levels of antioxidants combined with fiber may reduce inflammation and support a healthy immune system. There are 15,000 ORAC units in every 2-tablespoon serving of our pure Fruit Powder – 3 times more than the USDA’s recommended minimum of 5,000 ORAC units per day.
The baobab we import grows in Southern Africa where the unique properties of the environment and soil boost the fruit’s antioxidant capacity – 5 times the amount of antioxidants of baobab grown in other regions in Africa and other parts of the world.
Baobab: Nature’s Multi-Vitamin
Baobab packs a vitamin and mineral punch that is second to none. Exceptional levels of iron, magnesium, potassium and vitamin C are naturally present. Baobab is even a rare plant source of calcium. And because our powder requires an absolute minimum of processing, all of these nutrients remain in complete synergy.
EASY WAYS TO USE BAOBAB FRUIT POWDER
Because Baobab is rich in Vitamin C, here are other important health benefits that are derived from the fruit:
Get your Baobab Fruit Powder Here.
A Gift To Africa also offers a Gluten-Free baking and pancake mix – more delicious than any mix you have ever used. Looking for a unique and nutritious spread for your breads, crackers or fruit? Try our baobab fruit jam.
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