The story behind our baobab smoothies

July 30, 2011
Author: Hannah

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.

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26 responses to The story behind our baobab smoothies

  1. Hannah Jay says:

    Can you please tell me how you make your Baobab smoothies? I’ve tasted it at the stall in the Rainforest Biome and it was delicious and so ordered some Yozuna Baobab powder but I’ve tried making smoothies with it and they taste disgusting! What is your secret???

  2. Hannah says:

    Our chef has suggested you try these two recipes, which he uses here at Eden. Good luck.

    Baobab drink
    500ml coconut milk
    1 litre pineapple juice
    5g chopped fresh mint leaves
    15g baobab powder
    40g caster sugar
    70ml water

    1. Chop the mint.
    2. Blend the coconut and pineapple juice.
    3. Boil the sugar and water, add the baobab powder and mix to a smooth liquid, then blend in to the coconut mix.
    4. Divide into three containers and divide the chopped mint between.

    Baobab smoothie
    200ml apple juice
    100ml natural yogurt
    1 banana, frozen
    180g blueberries
    10-20g baobab fruit pulp
    1 tsp flax seed (optional)

    1. Add the yogurt and apple juice together in a food blender, and blitz until smooth.
    2. (Flax can be added now. Please note that it my have a slight gritty texture when consumed but the health benefits will outweigh this.)
    3. Add banana, baobab pulp and blueberries and blend until smooth.
    4. Pour into tall glasses.

  3. Mary Di'Iorio says:

    The Baobab drink i had was delicious and decided when i get home to make some, i have seen your receipe however this would make a large quantity and would be too much as i live on my own.
    Could you suggest what measures i would need to get the same taste for a much smaller amount for instance 500ml – 1 litre in total. (a can of coconut milk is 400ml) in.
    Also how long would it last if kept in the fridge and is canned coconut milk ok?
    Appreciate your advice otherwise i may be spending alot of time & money trying to get anything similar in taste due to incorrect measurements.
    Thank you

    Mary

  4. Paul Jenkins says:

    I loved your Baobab smoothies that I tried on my visit to you. I recently purchased more Baobab Powder from Minvita on their website http://www.minvita.co.uk and have been really enjoying taking it every day. Thank you for introducing me to this amazing fruit.

  5. Sarah Smith says:

    Am also enjoying Babobab powder every day. Also purchased from Minvita and sprinkle on my cereal in the mornings. Sarah

  6. David Goldman says:

    I think the sweet/tart flavor of Baobab is yummy! I like to keep my smoothies simple to feature the taste.
    1 cup yogurt or kefir
    1 cup milk (dairy, soy or rice)
    3/4 cup fresh or frozen fruit (mango, banana, blueberries)
    15 grams baobab
    Blend well.
    Baobab is prebiotic, so mixing it with probiotic yougurt, etc. can really boost digestive health.
    Also, it can really help to promote gender equality and social justice in producer communities in Africa. Visit http://www.atacoraessential.com for more details!

  7. sylvi kendall says:

    Loved the Baobab smoothie in the Med Biome and was out the next day to buy the baobab powder at Holland & Barrat. Thanks for the recipe brilliant result.

  8. Julie says:

    Just loved the drink at Eden you can buy Baobab powder at Greenlife in Totnes http://www.greenlife.co.uk

  9. Kaz says:

    HIya is Baobah powder safe for kids 4 years old bought some form holland and barrat too, But just worried because its so high in differant vits is there a possiablity of taking too much vits if having that as well as a averagely heathy diet. HELP please and how much would be an appropiate dose?

  10. Gloria says:

    I grew up in a town with huge Baobab trees. I don’t recall thinking much of it apart from occasionally helping ourselves as children to a baobab fruit and enjoying the powder. It is wonderful to see it now being enjoyed internationally and also as a source of income generation to lift people out of poverty. I hope though that in the long term the Baobab will not become an endangered species due to corporate greed.

  11. Kelly says:

    Hi loving the Baobab drink. Does anyone know if it is possible to save any leftover for the next day? (not that there is most of the time!)

  12. Malcolm says:

    We would like to say a BIG thank you to the Eden Project for helping the rural communities in Africa and supporting us with everything you have been doing with Baobab. http://www.theafricanchef.com

  13. Hannah says:

    We’d say that if you keep it in the fridge it would last about 3 days. We wouldn’t reuse it the following day if it hadn’t been in the fridge.
    The tip is to just take out of the fridge what you are going to drink there and then.

  14. Evelyn says:

    Please help me how to make sugar-coated coloured baobab seeds.

  15. Lyndsay says:

    We enjoyed our smoothie so much that we are sat in the Eden Deli looking up the recipe! Thank you.

  16. Emma says:

    Came to Eden a few weeks ago and loved the drink. Bought the powder from Holland and Barrett and made the drink tonight. It is delicious!! I made the smaller amount with the pineapple juice and coconut milk which makes about 1 litre and it tastes just like the one we tried in the biome

  17. Rachel Monger says:

    We loved the smoothie … and since we live in Tanzania, I have been looking for months for a Baobab tree with some fruit on it! Finally got some and just tried making the smoothie from scratch in a remote village! It was delicious … and we can talk to people here about the nutritional benefits for them! Thanks for the heads-up on this! I would never have tried cracking one open if I hadn’t had one of the Eden Project smoothies! See the photos on our blog (http://themongers.blogspot.com) Rachel Monger

  18. Hannah says:

    Well done! How funny that we should have inspired an idea all the way over there in Africa…

  19. Ulisa Fletcher says:

    Every time I come to Eden with a visitor I introduce another person to the Baobab drink – so far I have 6 converts. Smoothies are best as you can mix any fruit with it. But a spoonful in cakes, on cereal gives you the vitamins too.
    What a find!

  20. Hannah says:

    Good to hear! If you’re interested, we’ve got a mini Baobab Festival running here 8-13 October as part of our 2013 Harvest Food Festival: http://www.edenproject.com/visit-us/whats-on/other-activities/harvest-food-festival-in-cornwall

  21. Brian Jones says:

    My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed our day at Eden , in particular the Baobab Festival. The demonstration in the Marque was good fun and very informative. The Chef was so good , hilarious too.

  22. Lorraine says:

    Hi

    Loved the Baobab, bought some back and gave some to my diabetic husband. He went on to have a bad hypo in the night requiring medical treatment. Hopefully this was a coincidence but has anyone studied the suitability of Baobab powder for diabetics?

  23. Hannah says:

    Yes we do hope this is a coincidence too! But we have passed your story on to the nutritionist we are working with.

  24. Star Khechara says:

    As a botany geek, eco-warrioress and nutritionist I LOVE the Eden Project and always look forward to having a few Baobab smoothies. Last time I bought the powder in the shop too.

    My recipe is (for 1 litre):
    1 ripe pineapple
    3 organic apples
    half a can of organic coconut milk
    10g of baobab powder
    Ice

    Juice the pineapple and apples then blend with the coconut milk and baobab powder and ice.

    You can also juice a lime (with skin) to pimp it up too. *zing*

  25. Sara says:

    The smaller amount of baobab drink recipe above posted by eden for Mary doesn’t seem to feature the right amount if baobab powder – it states 25g whereas the larger recipe only states 10g! Can we have the smaller recipe corrected if need be so that couples can also enjoy the drink using one can of coconut milk?

  26. Hannah says:

    Sara, our recipe posted on 22 August 2011 has the correct amount of baobab powder in. It is as follows. We believe that if you use a 400ml can of coconut milk, this recipe will work just fine anyway.

    500ml coconut milk
    1 litre pineapple juice
    5g chopped fresh mint leaves
    15g baobab powder
    40g caster sugar
    70ml water
    1. Chop the mint.
    2. Blend the coconut and pineapple juice.
    3. Boil the sugar and water, add the baobab powder and mix to a smooth liquid, then blend in to the coconut mix.
    4. Divide into three containers and divide the chopped mint between

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