If you’re in need of some refreshment in the steamy Rainforest Biome this summer, try one of our unusual baobab smoothies.
They’re made from the pods that grow on Africa’s iconic baobab trees – the ones with the stout trunks and spreading canopies.
The trees in our Biome are only tiny, so the fruit in these smoothies come from communities in Southern Africa, who are harvesting the pods to increase their income.
Working in partnership with charity PhytoTrade Africa, families on the continent are harvesting the abundant fruits to help them pay for family healthcare, children’s education and household necessities.
Because they’re earning money from baobab they have an incentive to protect the trees – which is good news for baobab woodlands and the biodiversity that they support.
Traditionally, African people eat the leaves of the baobab, which can be pounded to make a relish. They also use the fibrous bark to make ropes, baskets and fishing nets. But PhytoTrade Africa is encouraging the commercial production of goods which come from the fruit and seeds only, so that the trees aren’t harmed by a large demand for their bark or leaves.
The fruits are large ovoid pods with a woody shell and a velvety yellow-green coating. Inside you can see large, oil-rich seeds, powder and fibres. It’s this powder that goes into the smoothies – and also into the Victoria Sponge cake we sell in several of our cafes.
Drop by our baobab smoothie stall in the Rainforest Biome and you’ll see some of the fruits on display.