This Baobab Spinach Smoothie combines healthy greens with the Baobab fruit powder to create a delicious and nutritious breakfast smoothie.
If you haven’t heard of the African Baobab, then you probably have been living under a rock. In the last few years, the rest of the world have come to know what we have known in Africa for centuries – the amazing benefits of the Baobab fruit. Back home in Africa, the baobab fruit is used as a treatment for everything ranging from malaria to gut issues. When I lived in the northern part of Nigeria, some of my friends from this part of the country swore by this ancient fruit. If one ever complained of stomach ache, fever or just felt slightly poorly, fruit peddlers selling heaps of Kuka (which is the Nigerian name for Baobab), would be summoned, along with steaming bowls of Miyan Kuka (a vegetable soup made from Baobab leaves). Baobab was the answer to every ailment! Recently, there is a growing plethora of scientific research that validates the health benefits and nutritional value of this remarkable fruit.
What is the Baobab fruit? The Baobab fruit comes from the Baobab tree which is native to Africa, and Madagascar. It is a tall, sturdy and ancient tree, with carbon dating showing mature Baobab trees as old as 1000 years. Even more remarkable is the fruit that grows from the Baobab. The Baobab fruit is a pale-coloured, hard-shelled pod which resembles a coconut, and on average, it weighs about 1.5 – 2kgs. The insides contain the Baobab fruit, which is a powerhouse of nutrients. The Baobab fruit is a potent mix of antioxidants and in fact has antioxidant levels more than double that of goji berries, and more than six times that of cranberries, blueberries and blackberries.
Most of the potential health benefits of baobab fresh pulp and powder is as a result of its content of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and dietary fibre content. A nutritional analysis of the baobab fruit powder showed 100-gram of baobab powder to contain up to 500 milligrams of vitamin C – that’s nearly 10 times the amount of vitamin C found in a 100g serving of fresh oranges. Similar analysis also shows that the fibre contained in Baobab is higher than that in apples, bananas and peaches. Baobab also contains sugars, no starch and is rich in pectin, which in addition to the high fibre content, is beneficial for maintaining a healthy gut.
Traditionally, across Africa, the fruit is used as an integral part of a health drink for children and pregnant women, or eaten fresh as a snack. The seeds are also used to thicken soups, and as a fermenting agent in the production of local brew, and the leaves cooked as spinach in stews and sauces.There are many ways to incorporate Baobab fruit into your daily regime – mix it into mueslis and porridges as breakfast, add it to yoghurt as a snack. For the more adventurous, try adding some baobab to your pancake mix for baobab pancake. One little tip – do not try to stir this straight into water. Because of the high fibre, it will not dissolve straight away in water.
One of the quickest and most convenient ways of making smoothies is by using the fruit powder. This is a great way to get your daily dose of antioxidants first thing in the morningbefore you hit the road. From a taste point of view, Baobab is tangy – a little bit tarty and a little bit zesty – and slightly sweet too – so it really lends itself well to smoothies. One of my favourite smoothies is this Baobab Spinach smoothie which combines healthy greens with Baobab fruit powder. Quick and easy, and super nutritious!
Update Dec 2017
If you like this smoothie, you should try the Baobab Coconut Smoothie
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