I always try to promote eating local and knowing and supporting your local farmers but there are just some amazing foods that don’t grow in my Los Angeles backyard… of even in the United States for that matter. Although many fruits and vegetables that were once considered just tropically grown can now be found on certain US based farms and orchards, there are many super foods that do better in other climates, like Noni, Acai Berry and this new one… Baobab.
Far from new actually, Baobob trees are dated on the African Continent as far back as 1275 years and they aren’t considered matured until they are approx. 200 years old. (That’s quite some time to wait to harvest the Baobab fruit.) So, if we are looking to add some of these super foods into our diets but they aren’t exactly considered locovre from where you live, I would think the next best thing is finding a group that harvests the fruit sustainably through fair and ethical trade. That’s what the ladies at Bonga Foods did when they started importing Baobab about a year and a half ago.
Mary and Nancy (pictured here) along with partner Michaeline were looking for healthy snack alternatives for their families when their research brought them to the Baobab fruit. They started Bonga Food (Bonga means Gratitude in Zulu) and partnered with a fair trade group of women in Limpopo, Africa to harvest the fruit sustainably. And what started out as a search for healthy, sugar free snacks has turned into Bonga Foods supporting the local women in Limpopo, and the formation of the Bongo Foundation earlier this year. 10% of profits goes back to the foundation to support the harvesters further and to set up a guardianship for the ancient trees.
The Baobab fruit is surprisingly light to hold as inside is mostly fibers and seeds. The outside has an interesting velvety texture. The fruits are harvested from the ground and the powder from inside and covering the seeds is what most Baobab products are made from. Bonga Foods currently has two products on the market. A powdered fiber that is an excellent addition to smoothies, cereal, yogurt, etc… It is raw and organic and contains more antioxidant power then blueberries, pomegranate, goji or even acai. It has more calcium then milk and tons of fiber. And I love the Bonga Superfruit Chews. I wish these were around when my kids were little, but these aren’t just for kids. I keep them in my house and car for a naturally sweet treat and again, they are full of nutrients as well. I love, love, love these! They are also a great addition to trail mix. They come in four flavors: Mango, Pomegranate, Raspberry and Strawberry. This, again, uses the organic Baobab powder and 100% fruit purees, giving it a huge vitamin C kick, antioxidant boost and there are no fats or preservatives!
Mary and Nancy shared some recipes with me using the powder, when I visited with them recently. They whipped up a delicious smoothie and treated me to some superfood pops which I promptly went home and made for myself. I’ve been making these ever since for a cool summer snack for my family that also happens to be super healthy! (Just don’t tell my kids!)
This amazing smoothie consisted of the Bonga Superfood powder, banana, honey, coffee grounds, almond butter, coconut milk, coconut creamer, dark chocolate and a dash of cinnamon. Go here for the full superfood smoothie recipe.
The Superfood Smoothie pops were made with spinach, strawberries (or other berries), banana, Bonga Superfood powder, coconut water and honey. When I make them at home, I use whatever berries I happen to have in my ‘fridge and I often don’t even add honey. Do it to taste. For the best, smooth textured results, use a super duper blender. Go here for the full smoothie popsicle recipe.
For more recipe ideas, visit their recipe page. And if you happen to be in in the LA area, you can visit them at the Malibu Triathlon on Sept 13 and 14 where they will be set up with a booth and loads of samples!
But you know I got your back… the ladies at Bonga are doing a giveaway! Enter below for your chance to win a variety pack of the delicious chews, the powder and a t-shirt too!