Monday, 11 November 2013

Baobab on a plate

When someone mentions the word "baobab"what springs to mind? A mighty veteran of the African landscapes? Do you associate it with food? I confess I didn't until recently, when I was challenged to use the baobab powder in cooking. I received several sachets of the baobab powder and started looking for the recipes on The Eden Project page.

Photo courtesy of The Eden Project

The Eden Project has recently launched its Project Baobab. Its aim is to educate the Brits about the virtues of this wonderful African super fruit, which you can buy from their online shop at The Eden Project.

The Eden Project (photo courtesy of The Eden Project)

The Eden Project says: "Visitors can discover more about the African super fruit baobab, see a sapling Baobab tree growing in the Rainforest Biome, learn how to cook with it thanks to 'The African Chef' Malcolm Riley, and understand more about the important work Eden is doing to create a sustainable future for farmers in Africa."

"Baobab is a super-fruit that is grown in South Africa and is harvested and turned into a nutrient rich powder by the Eden Project in Cornwall. They sell it as a smoothie in their Rainforest Biome, and it is now available to buy in sachet form through their online shop. To celebrate the super-fruit, the Eden Project will also be hosting a 'Baobab Week' from 8th - 13th October."

What is it's nutritional values?
Smoothie with baobab powder

  • 2.5 x more calcium than milk
  • Six times more vitamin c than an orange
  • Five times more fibre than wholegrain bread
  • Three times more iron than red meat
  • six times more potassium than bananas (helps support muscle growth, the nervous system and brain function)
  • more antioxidants than pomegranates, cranberries and blueberries (good for fighting infection)
  • High levels of absorbic acid and pectin
  • B vitamins including B1, B2, B3 and B6

Some ideas on how to use baobab:
  • Stir a teaspoon into a smoothie or fruit juice and taste the difference
  • Zap up your breakfast cereal or oats porridge by adding a prickle
  • Blend into your low fat yoghurt to add an exotic twist. Serve with chopped fruit
  • Like homemade bread or jam? Mix some baobab powder in and boost the nutritional value of every slice of toast
  • Create healthy treats by adding it into your pancakes or homemade breakfast bars

I have tried adding the baobab to a few recipes. 
The first recipe I tried was the pancakes and blini. I make them every Sunday, and was eager to add all that baobab goodness to the typical Russian dish.

Pancakes with cream and cherry syrup
Pancakes (blini) recipe:

1 sachet of baobab powder
2 medium eggs
1 tsp of granulated sugar
4 heaped tbsp of standard self-raising flour
1/2 tsp of salt
80 ml milk
2 tbsp of soured cream or plain yogurt (optional)
butter for oiling the pan and for the blini themselves

Put all the ingredients into a mixing bowl and use a blender until you have a smooth batter. Use a pancake pan, you need to add some butter to it first. Once very hot, using a ladle, add the batter to the pan, or use a tablespoon if you like, about 2 tbsp per one pancake. You can make them big-sized too. Spread a bit of butter on top of the hot blini as you make them.

I must say my guys didn't notice the difference in taste, the baobab blended in well. I was glad to add a healthy boost to my dish.


I also added the powdered baobab to our usual after-dinner smoothie (a banana, a handful of blueberries, a small pot of yogurt or fromage frais and a 1 and a half glass of semi-skimmed milk). I thought the drink had a slightly powdery aftertaste. So, for the next time I have chosen a creamier kefir instead of milk, and it worked much better. 

Kefir smoothie with baobab powder

Kefir smoothie
380g kefir
1 sachet of baobab powder
a handful of blueberries
1/2 banana
Mix all the ingredients in the mixer/blender. Pour and drink.

For more inspiration check the recipes tested and created by fellow bloggers

A Mummy Too
A tropical smoothie
The African Chef


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