Baobab Fruit: The Next Superfood

Exec. Prod. of Franchises & Series. He previously reported for HuffPost, L.A. Daily Journal, and Biloxi Sun-Herald.
baobab_fruit
They look mild enough, but the baobab packs a nutritional wallop. (Photo: Creative Commons).

It's got six times as much Vitamin C as an orange, and twice as much calcium as milk. And pretty soon, you'll be able to mix it in everything from smoothies to ice cream.

Shove over, acai berry; make room for the baobab fruit

Say wha?

The baobab is one of the iconic trees of the African continent. It's known as the "upside-down tree" since its long, straight trunk leads up to root-like branches and leaves at the very top.

Baobabs live for about 500 years, and they are found in 31 countries, with huge concentrations in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Madagascar, Mozambique and Zambia.

While few outside of Africa have enjoyed baobab, it's now been approved by regulators in the E.U. and U.S. Baobab fruit powder is headed for Western shelves.

National Geographic reports that women in Malawi are already harvesting the fruit for commercial purposes (and earning enough to pay their kids' school fees). Experts estimate the worldwide baobab fruit industry could earn $1 billion per year.

So the most important question: what does it taste like? 

Well, those who have eaten baobab fruit describe it as a cross between grapefruit, pear and vanilla.

Right now it's sold in hot sauces and jams in some U.K. markets (at one point Whole Foods was carrying baobab products, although there's no trace of them at the moment). You can also purchase baobab fruit powder through Amazon.com.

When you get your hands on the stuff, a site out of the U.K. has some tasty-looking baobab recipes.

So keep your eyes peeled at the grocery store for the Next Big Thing in healthy eating. 

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