Hailed for centuries as being a source of natural wellbeing, this trendy fruit – pronounced bay-oh-bab – is coming into its own. Here’s how to get baobab-ing …
If you’ve spent mere moments with a health food hipster this year, they'll probably have uttered the word 'baobab'.
If you’ve been politely nodding along while they recount tales of the virtues of this new tropical power player, but you don’t actually have a clue what they’re talking about, you’re in the right place.
Here’s what you need to know about the fruit that looks set to take the health craze crown from kale and chia seeds.
First things first: how do you say it?
Well, that would be 'bay-oh-bab'.
What on earth is it?
So, you know the fruit that hangs from Rafiki’s tree in the Lion King? Well, that would be a baobab. Often referred to as the “upside-down tree” as many believe it was flipped over by an angry god, this West African fruit bakes in the sun for about six months before it's harvested between February and May.
Its white insides are then powdered to make what health advocates say is one of the most nutrient-dense foods.
What does it taste like?
Well, it looks like lemon sherbet but sadly, it's pretty tasteless. The baobab really needs a partner in crime and is best mixed into things. Baobab jam, which is made from the pulpy bit in the middle, looks a bit like honey and tastes a bit like lemon curd.
I’m tempted. Where can I get my hands on the stuff?
Prep time ...
You probably won’t see the baobab fruit sitting on the shelf in your local shop but that doesn't mean its pre-prepped insides can't be used in your home. The skin is rather tough and it’s a messy job as the fruit inside is dry and sticky, so it’s better suited to being used as an ingredient. That means buying the powder is the way forward.
So, what do I eat it with?
Stir into smoothies, porridge, salad dressings – we’re talking as an alternative to lemon in a simple olive oil and balsamic combo – flapjack, scone and ice-cream mixes, and even cheesecakes.
It also works well in jams and chutneys as its pectin content makes it a natural setting agent.