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Some ancient African plants boast a wealth of nutritional and health benefits, as well as unique, delicious taste.
Health & Wellbeing Writer
Luckily they are available to use in powdered form. They are easy to incorporate into your diet, a great way to get creative with recipes, and will make you feel amazing!
The Baobab tree which is also known as the ‘Tree of Life’ in Madagascar, where it originates from, has been used medicinally across Africa for centuries. Some Baobab trees are estimated to be between 5000 to 6000 years old. The fruit, which looks like a large green coconut, has a white powdery pulp and its seeds are dried and processed at a low temperature to preserve their naturally occurring nutrients. Its powerful nutritional profile, and citrusy taste mean that it is fast becoming popular around the world. Pure Baobab fruit powder can be used in a variety of ways. The fruit has impressively high levels of vitamin C, and strong antioxidant properties. Antioxidants neutralise the free radicals which can cause cellular damage, increase risk of degenerative disease and signs of ageing. Foods high in vitamin C may contribute to overall cardiovascular health, among other things. Adding Baobab to your diet can also supply you with a range of vital minerals, including calcium, iron, magnesium, and potassium. The best part is that it tastes delicious, and can become a key element in recipes.
The easiest way to use Baobab powder is to add it to your smoothies. It has a refreshing, tangy taste like a sweet grapefruit. Try this simple recipe for a delicious, healthy treat that will give you a burst of energy:
Brilliant Baobab Smoothie
- 1 frozen banana
- 1 handful of blueberries
- 1 tablespoon Baobab powder
- 1 cup of coconut water (or almond milk if you prefer a creamier taste)
- Blend, pour into a glass, and drink!
Alternatively, Baobab can be added to chia jam for a delicious, superfood alternative to your usual morning spread. Try this very simple concoction:
Baobab Jammy Treat
250g berries of your choice (blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries or a mix)
2 tablespoons chia seeds
2 tablespoons Baobab powder
2 tablespoons water
In a bowl, mix the powder and water to form a paste. Next, slowly mix in the berries, gently crushing and softening them as you mix. Pour the mixture into a jar, then add the chia seeds, mixing them through. You can add sugar or a natural sweetener if you prefer a sweeter taste. Place in the fridge and let it set overnight. When you wake up the chia seeds will have expanded, and you will have a jar of tasty berry jam, filled with protein, omegas, and vitamins.
The Moringa tree has long been used in Africa, India, and Central America as a medicinal plant. Almost the entire tree is edible, from the roots, to trunk, flowers and leaves. Moringa has high levels of vitamin C, iron, vitamin B, and calcium. It has been known to help with many ailments, including ulcers, tumours, malaria, and diabetes. Bursting with vitamins and minerals, it is great for sustained energy, glowing skin and an immune boost. The powder has a mild, earthy taste and can easily be added to smoothies, juices or soups. It can also be used to make a tea, for a healthy and invigorating brew. Add ½ a teaspoon of the powder to hot water, cover and let steep. You can also add stevia or lemon to change the taste.
Otherwise, it can be added to a delicious pesto sauce to transform your usual pasta dish. Try blending up these ingredients:
2 tablespoons Moringa powder
¼ cup fresh basil
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons pine nuts
2 cloves minced garlic
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to season
Combine all the ingredients and blend!
Add to pasta, toast, salads, scrambled eggs, or anything else you like!