The Amazing Baobab Blog

The digestive symbiosis of Baobab Fruit Pulp

Posted by David Goldman

Mar 4, 2015 1:12:41 PM

describe the imageThe Washington Post recently published a front page article on the role of beneficial microbes in achieving and maintaining overall health. Follow this link to find out about the far reaching health impacts that maintaining proper bioflora in your body can have.  It's not just about intestinal health, by any means!

Symbiotic Digestive Health

Baobab Fruit Pulp provides lots of prebiotic soluble fiber, which creates a nurturing environment for healthy probiotic bacteria in the intestinal tract.  Not only does this improve digestion and the body's ability to uptake important vitamins and minerals from food (including those present in Baobab superfruit), it can have wide ranging systemic effects from managing diabetes, to helping mental health, and beyond!  Check out the article to learn more!

Atacora Essential has lots of  Baobab and information on why it is the most super of superfruit on our site  please visit us and like us on Facebook!Wild harvested pure African Baobab Fruit Pulp from Atacora Essential

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Topics: digestion, baobab, wellness, health, digestive, pre-biotics, superfruit, pre-biotic

Fair Partnership, Indigenous Resources and Poverty Abatement

Posted by David Goldman

Oct 13, 2011 9:52:00 AM

Poverty is a shroud enveloping much of the global South that clings stubbornly despite efforts to throw it off.  My examples are from my experience in West Africa, but I have little doubt that the paradigm applies widely.

Ending poverty in Benin thru community developmentAID DEPENDENCY

In the last 20 years, I've seen international development organizations from all over working in the Atacora region of Northwestern Benin.  They always have nice work stations, houses and vehicles, and pay trained locals to "animate" rural villages about their "development" agenda.  They furnish materials, build and undertake "projects"...and this has been going on a long time.  Indeed, there are some results...some schools, health centers and the like, some environmental projects as well.  There have been some other results as well; results that may hinder more than help poverty abatement.

From local mayors' offices to health centers to village chiefs, the habituation to external aid as the primary engine of development is remarkable. This dependency is not sustainable, and insidiously robs people of the dignity of owning their futures.  People see a foreign face and all too often immediately claim to be suffering and practically beg for help.

RESOURCES AND POVERTY

The Atacora region (and many others) have some incredibly valuable and sustainable natural resources, as well as extremely capable and willing people who definitely want a better life and future for their offspring.  Yet despite these abundant resources, poverty has clung tightly.  Rural isolation, weak markets and free market exploitation engender substandard health care, nutrition and education, as well as degradation of the very natural resources that could help to improve conditions; furthering the vicious cycle of poverty and inequality. Notably, the disenfranchisement of women (a powerful force) from economic life restrains progress...Inequality breeds more Inequality.

FAIR PARTNERSHIP

I believe great strides can be made in this fight, starting at the local level, by introducing and enacting a new paradigm which I will coin Fair Partnership.  The principles of Fair Trade are at the root of this paradigm, yet it goes further by actively promoting stakeholder ownership of their future well-being.  here are a few principles of this emerging, non-static paradigm:Fair Trade Federation resized 600

  • Fair Trade standards

  • Enhancing local marketability and encouraging local ownership of these activities

  • Accessing global markets for enhanced profitability while focusing on sustainability and local benefit

  • Engaging with stakeholders in community driven development initiatives

  • BEING AN INTEGRAL PART OF THE COMMUNITY

Fair Partnership in Action

I will focus on some wild-harvested, sustainable resources from the Atacora region: Baobab and Neem.  These trees are dominant features of the landscape in the landscape of the Atacora, and provide valuable products which can be viable in markets both local and global.  Baobab Fruit Pulp is a highly nutritious superfruit valued locally and catching on in markets in 'developed' countries.  Baobab Seed Oil is very nourishing for the skin and is gaining universal appreciation. Neem Seed Oil is a near magical healing oil for the skin, with insect and disease repellent properties for garden use which is rather well known in global markets and is rapidly gaining appreciation locally in Africa.

donating medical equipmentRevaluing these sustainable resources by creating and providing market access can promote community development in the Atacora and improve health and wellness in African and other global localities by:

  • Direct, Fair Trade purchases of raw materials from local producers

  • Providing employment for women in Fair Trade transformation co-ops

  • Encouraging stakeholders to prioritize health, environment and education with these earned funds

  • Creating allocated funds for community driven development projects

  • Encouraging stewardship of previously undervalued natural and human resources

Here is a brief introduction to Fair Partnership, a new development paradigm that I'm proud to be a part of creating!

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Topics: sustainable, baobab, development, africa, community driven development, superfruit

Baobab Fruit Pulp for Digestive Wellness UPDATED

Posted by David Goldman

Sep 14, 2011 1:38:00 PM

Nutritious pulp of the Baobab FruitGet ready, Folks!  I'm going to deliver the goods about why Baobab Fruit Pulp is truly SUPERIOR AMONG SUPERFRUITS!!

In previous posts, I've explained that Baobab has a greater antioxidant capacity (ORAC = 650/gram) and more Vitamin C than better known superfruits such as Aςai and Goji, as well as good mineral content (calcium, potassium).  This is truly wonderful news, but better still is Baobab's capacity to better deliver these nutrients to the body due to its digestive benefits!

Many Americans' diets do not contain sufficient fiber and lead to poor digestion and  digestive ailments.  As much as 2/3 of the population suffers from one or more of these ailments, such as heartburn, Irritable Bowel Syndrome and ulcers.   When beneficial intestinal microflora thrive in the gut, these ailments can be mitigated or eliminated.  These beneficial bacteria, such as Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) and bifidobacteria are the most common types of beneficial microflora which are considered PROBIOTIC. Yogurt is perhaps the best known probiotic food, and has a special relationship with Baobab which I'll explain shortly.

PREBIOTICS are non-digestible carbohydrates ( soluble fiber) which ferment in the gut and stimulate the growth and activity of the beneficial PROBIOTIC bacteria in the colon that improve digestive health.  Insoluble fiber (roughage) is  metabolically inert, absorbing water as it moves through the digestive system, aiding digestion by adding bulk and regulating elimination,  Thus, a fiber-rich diet confers benefits upon host well-being and health.

Baobab Fruit Pulp is nearly half fiber; equally divided between soluble and insoluble fiber!!

The soluble fiber in Baobab Fruit Pulp is in the form of pectin.  In the digestive tract, it ferments and creates an environment conducive to thriving probiotic micro-organisms.  In a healthy gut where beneficial flora trive, mineral and vitamin absorption are enhanced.  The slowing of digestion by the insoluble fiber also increases the time that nutrition may be absorbed.  SO, Baobab's excellent vitamin and mineral content is rendered all the more effective due to these digestive benefits! NO OTHER SUPERFRUIT OFFERS THESE ADDED DIGESTIVE BENEFITS TO THIS DEGREE.

SYMBIOSIS

If you remember from my prior post on Baobab recipes, mixing Baobab with yogurt is especially delicious.  Yogurt is a rich source of healthy probiotics (Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus and Streptococcus salivarius subsp. thermophilus bacteria. Lactobacillus acidophilus, bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus casei), and these beneficial organisms' effects can be enhanced by virtue of the hospitable intestinal conditions created by the prebiotic pectin in Baobab Fruit Pulp.  This symbiosis further intensifies Baobab's superior nutrition!!

If you want to improve your digestion and benefit from Vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, including Baobab Fruit Pulp into your daily dietary regime may truly be a boon to your health!


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Topics: digestion, baobab, wellness, health, digestive, pre-biotics, orac, superfruit, pre-biotic

Delicious Baobab Recipes

Posted by David Goldman

Aug 13, 2011 1:50:00 PM

Fresh Baobab Fruit Pulp resized 600I've written quite a bit about Baobab Fruit Pulp's origins, nutrition and socio-economic implications, but I noticed that I only wrote one line saying that it tastes great!  In order for Atacora Essential to move our community development goals forward, we've really got to sell some Baobab, and folks probably will not be entirely motivated to buy it based soley on lofty ideals and background!  SO, WITHOUT FURTHER ADO, let's get into some ideas about how to incorporate this delicious product in your diet.

When I go to trade shows, or do demonstrations for people who do not know what Baobab Fruit Pulp is, I try to serve samples that really highlight its pure, original taste and texture.  For the following, start with a 16oz mason jar with a lid.

Add 2 big tablespoons of Baobab to about 12 oz of water.  Close the lid and shake well for pure baobab flavor

Again 2 big tbsp of baobab, but mix 8oz water with about 4oz rice, soy or regular milk.  Add sweetener to taste. I like sucanat, evaporated cane juice, but agave nectar, sugar, honey or whatever will do.  Shake well.  Some find the tartness of baobab needs a little something!

SMOOTHIES

First off, smoothies are a pretty broad category; fruit or fruit juice being the unifying factor I suppose.  They a a tasty vehicle with which to deliver a variety of nutrition-packed supplements or foods, and may or may not contain dairy or ice.  I'm no expert!  I have yet to try a smoothie that would not be enhanced in terms of flavor, texture and nutrition by adding Baobab Fruit Pulp.  You get all this and the added benefits of African Community Empowerment and environmental stewardship when you purchase and use Atacora Essential Baobab Fruit Pulp (shameless, I know)!

My typical morning smoothie:  One cup of yougurt, one cup of milk, half a banana, half a cup of fresh or frozen berries (I add a little ice if using fresh to chill it out), two big tbsps of baobab.  Zap it well in a blender, and Voila!

My new favorite, the Baobab Mango Lasse:  One cup yogurt, 1 1/4 cup Mango Nectar (I like Trader Joe's), two tbsps Baobab, half a banana if you like. Blender.  Keeping the liquid portion kind of thin really showcases the Baobab's ability to thicken due to the significant soluble and insoluble fiber it contains.  Thus, BAOBAB MAKES THE SMOOTHEST SMOOTHIE (TM)!

Adding Baobab to any smoothie at all is always an improvement, and I'm working on recipes that really feature the baobab flavor, without too many competing ingredients.  Ingredients like banana and ice, which are often used to thicken, are well replaced with a good dose of baobab, which brings the taste of African sunshine with it!  Smoothies have the ability to hide less pleasant tasting, but nutritious ingredients in a tapestry of other flavors (notably acai and goji berries, which do not taste very good to me). No need to hide Baobab!!  Not only does it bring great taste and texture, but its nutrition profile per serving is quite superior to those other superfruits!

A FEW DISCOVERIES I HAVE MADE

I had a lovely piece of fresh sturgeon on the grill, and was making a white wine reduction to put on it (Garlic and onion sauteed in olive oil and butter, then cook a little wine down in it) when I thought I wanted a more substantial sauce.  I was about to make a roux to add in, when I thought to try Baobab!  Hey, its texture is akin to flour, why not?  Considering I have several tons of the stuff, it seemed like a good idea.  So I just put a few scoops of it in the pan and started stirring.  "Hmmm, acts like flour, kinda clumpy, what if I add some wine little by little"?  WOW!  It made a lovely smooth sauce, and on the fish, it was fantastic!  The tartness of the baobab made it so that there was no need whatsoever to put lemon on the fish.

Sprinkled on top of, or, better yet, blended into ice cream or sherbet.
Add baobab to your favorite vinaigrette.  I seriously love this!

My friend made Baobab cake frosting/icing.  Oh my Goodness!  The Baobab made it taste as if there was citrus zest or juice in there...tangy and delicious!

It is great mixed with honey and spread on toast
The natural pectin in Baobab Fruit Pulp makes it a great ingredient in jams, jellies and fruit fillings.  It thickens and adds flavor, and eliminates or reduces the need for adding regular pectin or cornstarch.  I have not tried it yet, but I reckon it would be FABULOUS in apple pie!

OKAY!  So here are a few ideas for you to try!  WAIT!  First you need some Baobab!  Visit us at http://www.atacoraessential.com and purchase online, or just give us a call and order a 1 lb jar today.  If you mention the Amazing Baobab Blog, we'll give you a $5 discount!  We also sell jars wholesale to vendors as well as in bulk.  I'd love it if you made up some recipes and shared them here!  I'm always conjuring up new ideas!  I promise next week there will be no shameless commercialism on the blog :o);  Anyone out there have any anecdotes about Baobab, Africa, or anything else you see here, I welcome your comments.
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Topics: digestion, baobab, wellness, health, digestive, orac, superfruit, pre-biotic, recipes

Pre-Biotic Superfood

Posted by David Goldman

Jul 11, 2011 1:23:00 PM

Baobab transformation 1 resized 600The Baobab Tree provides myriad useful products for human consumption and utility.  During the rainy season, the young leaves are used as a nutritious and delicious vegetable.  In the Atacora region of Benin, they are cooked into a sauce in combination with traditional "mustard" made from the fermented seeds of the Nere tree (Parkia biglobosa).  The sauce is very sticky, like okra, and is eaten with porrige made from sorghum, millet or corn.

Baobab fruit are ovoid with a hard, brittle shell covered by a fine fuzz, and can range in size from 8-15 inches long and weigh as much as a kilogram dried. When the dried fruit is cracked open, one sees whitish chunks and reddish fibers.  The chunks are the dried mesocarp surrounding the seeds.  People often just pop a chunk into their mouths where the pulp dissolves and they spit out the seeds.  The pulp has a delicious sweet/tart flavor and is like wild candy!  Traditionally, the insides of the fruit are placed in a mortar and pounded to separate the powdered pulp from the seeds and fibers, and then sieved to yield a flour-like pure powder.  This is often used in sauces and beverages, especially when people need an energy boost.  Indigenous African medicine uses it for its febrifuge (fever reducing) properties, to aid digestion due to its fiber content and to treat dysentary.

Baobab Fruit Pulp is the latest and greatest superfruit!  A single 2 tbsp serving provides 80% DV of vitamin c, soluble and insoluble fiber (the pectin makes it prebiotic), calcium and other minerals.  As an antioxidant, it has an ORAC value of 650/gram, far surpassing better known superfruit such as goji, acai, and pomegranite.  AND, it actually tastes great!

Baobab Seed Oil is an extraordinary skin and hair treatment.  It contains vitamins A, D, E & F and Omega 3, 6, and 9 fatty acids.  It absorbs easily into the skin, and glides nicely for massage.  It is highly antioxidant, and is thus well indicated for aging skin.  It improves skin elasticity, and I have friends who love it when applied to their bellies during pregnancy to help avoid stretch marks.

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Topics: skin care, digestion, baobab, wellness, health, digestive, pre-biotics, superfruit, pre-biotic

INTRODUCTION TO THE AMAZING BAOBAB BLOG!

Posted by David Goldman

May 25, 2011 3:19:00 PM

The mighty Baobab tree is the king of the African savannah. It is by far the most revered tree in many African cultures, and its utility to people is unsurpassed in the plant kingdom.  Its majestic presence on the landscape is so visually striking, I'd like to focus this first post on images from the Atacora region of Northwesatern Benin, home of the Batammaba people and to an enormous population of Baobabs.We'll take a closer look next post!

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Topics: digestion, baobab, wellness, health, digestive, pre-biotics, superfruit, pre-biotic

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About the Author

Dave_GoldmanFounder and President, David B. Goldman (B.A., M.A.) served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Republic of Benin from 1992-1994. He is a twice certified Permaculture Designer. His graduate studies focused on sustainable development and Africa, earning him an M.A. in Environment and Community from Antioch University Seattle in 2007. A subsequent visit to Benin, specifically to Boukombé, solidified his commitment and capacity to co-create with local participants a novel and community driven strategy for economic and social empowerment. This is Atacora Essential!

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