If you stop by any trendy juice bar or pick up an eight-dollar energy bar at Whole Foods you’ll likely find baobab on an ingredient list. It’s got the sound of those of items that must be good for you simply by virtue of its name. In actuality, baobab has more than its name to recommend it.
What is Baobab?
Baobab (bay-o-bab) is the term for both a fruit and the tree from which it comes. The fruit looks a bit like a coconut on the outside with a smooth, hard skin. The actual edible portion of the baobab inside, also called “monkey bread” is comprised of small white chunks high in vitamin C. It’s been hailed as a “superfood” for its vitamin and anti-oxidant density, which made it a darling of the health food crowd. Although it’s appearance in the United States is relatively recent, as it was only approved for use as an ingredient in food in 2009.
Where to find Baobab
Baobab trees are native to the African savannah, the island of Madagascar as well as Australia. But as relatively hearty trees, they can also grow in North America and some of the warmer parts of the United States have been experimenting with them.
What does Baobab Taste Like?
On its own? Not great. It’s been charitably described as tasting like sour mango or grapefruit mixed with pear. But when mixed with other ingredients it can pack a nice tangy punch.
How to Eat Baobab
Again, probably not on its own. The skin is tough to break through—almost every other fruit out there is easier to eat. But, powder ground from baobab fruit is readily available now. Traditionally powdered baobab was simply dissolved in water or milk, while the leaves were used in sauces. You can also mix it into lemonade or oatmeal or try it in baked goods if you’re feeling crazy. And if you don’t want to dose it yourself, it comes in a lot of the aforementioned smoothies and energy bars.