Up until a few months ago the only knowledge whatsoever that I had about baobab was a not-so-fond memory of it from Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s “Le Petit Prince” read in my high school French class. I still remember the drawing of the prince standing atop his little planet of interlocking trunks of three monolithic baobab trees.
I had no idea that this amazing tree was fruit bearing or that this fruit could be turned into a powder to make the most delicious, chewy, good-for-you chews. These naturally flavored little morsels are being included in trail mixes, cereals, candy mixes or eaten on their own, and, what’s more, baobab is rich in antioxidants, potassium, magnesium and soluble fiber. The powder can be added to beverages, granola bars, cookies, nutritional supplements and more — the possibilities are endless.
Often referred to as the “Tree of Life,” the baobab is Africa’s best-known tree. Africans have been eating the baobab fruit for centuries for its high levels of nutrients. It turns out that this little nutritional powerhouse contains more antioxidants than pomegranate, goji berries or even acai, and its low glycemic index acts as a “satiating ingredient” because of its low sugar and high fiber content.
After its great taste and texture, what hit me was the fact that this fruit is sustainable, organic, kosher and ethical (the cash income from harvesting this fruit makes all the difference in the lives of rural families in Southern Africa). I am certainly no pundit when it comes to predicting food trends, but this “new” ingredient seems to be on the launch pad ready to skyrocket its way into everyday products.
As a matter of fact, Pepsi is already marketing a baobab beverage in Asia. Could this be the next big thing to rival coconut water?