It’s the fruit of the majestic baobab tree that is making a splash in the world. Baobab, a personal fave, recently made its debut on the international scene with health food stores touting it as a “superfood.”

Also Known As:

Scientific: Adansonia Digitata  Afrikaans: kremertartboom Arabic: hahar, tebeldis; fruit: gangoleis
Bambara: sira, n’sira, sito Burkina Faso: twege (Moré)
English: baobab, monkey bread, Ethiopian sour gourd, cream-of-tartar tree
 French: baobab (tree); pain de singe (fruit), calabassier, arbre aux calebasses
 Fulani: bokki, bokchi, boko Ghana: odadie (Twi, in the south), tua (Nankani, in the north) Jola: buback Kenya: mbuyu, ubuyu (Swahili); mwamba (Kamba); olmisera (Maasai); muru (Bajun); Malawi: manyika: mubuyu Malagasy: Bozo (Sakalava dialect) Mandinko: sito 
Ndebele: umkomo Hausa: kuka (dried leaves), miya kuka (soup) luru 
Portugese: imbondeiro Shona: mayuy, muuyu, tsongoro (seeds) Sudan: tebeldi, humeira Swahili: mbuyu, ubuyu, Tsonga: shimuwu Tswana: mowana Venda: muvuhuyu Wolof: bui, lalo (leaf powder) 
Zulu: isimuhu, umshimulu

How it’s eaten

Pulp:

Plain: Crack the hard shell and suck the chalky powder off the seeds. Spit the seeds out.
In Beverages: Soak the seeds in water, strain, discard the seeds and use the remaining liquid to make a refreshing beverage such as Bouye (Senegal)
In Lollipops: Soak the seeds in milk, strain, add sugar, pour in popsicle moulds, freeze and enjoy as a lollipop as kids do in Zimbabwe
Coated with Sugar: Coat baobab seeds in a sugar, chili powder syrup doused with red food coloring. Enjoy as a snack such a Tanzanian Ubuyu.
Seeds:  Roasted or churned into a butter.
Leaves: Baobab leaves can be eaten fresh or dehydrated as a leafy green vegetable and added to soups and stews.

Baobab in Traditional Medicine

Traditionally baobab is used to treat asthma, anemia and fever. It is also mixed with water and used as a rub for treating skin allergies and mosquito bites. Recently ethnic hair products started added baobab to their formulations because it is believed to strengthen the hair and add shine.

Why Baobab is “TAPN Approved”

  • Baobab is one of the healthiest fruits out of Africa. In addition to the fruit, the leaves, seeds and roots are edible and can be a source of nutrition.
  • 40 g of baobab powder provides the recommended daily amount for vitamin C giving the body a boost in its ability to fight disease, promote wounds to heal and skin to glow.
  • The leaves are high in calcium while the pup carries some phosphorus making them allies in the development of strong bones and teeth.
  • Good source of fiber-natures broom that sweeps out harmful substances from the body while keeping you full and helping control blood sugars.
  • The seeds are loaded with healthy fats
  • Both the fruit and leaves are filled with disease fighting antioxidants.

Interesting Fact

Baobab is often called the “Tree of Life”  because it stores water in its trunk and the wood from the tree is about 80% water. During periods of drought and famine people tap into its bark for water and survival.

 

Know more about baobab? Help us grow this database by leaving us information  in the comments section below.

Here’s to your health!

 

 

Sources:
Chadare, F. J., et al. “Baobab food products: a review on their composition and nutritional value.” Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition 49.3 (2008): 254-274.
Murray, Shawn S., et al. “Nutritional composition of some wild plant foods and honey used by Hadza foragers of Tanzania.” Journal of Food Composition and Analysis 14.1 (2001): 3-13.
NRC. “Lost Crops of Africa.” (1996): 59-75.
Baobab. Adansonia digitata L. ://www.prota4u.org/searchresults.aspCrit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2009 Mar;49(3):254-74. doi: 10.1080/10408390701856330.