In Summary
  • The fruit is an excellent source of vitamin C. It contains the vitamin 10 times that of an orange, while leaves are high in calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, phosphorus, zinc and pro-vitamin A.
  • The dry pulp is either eaten fresh, mixed with milk as a drink or used in cooking as a seasoning component and appetiser. Besides food uses, the fruit pods are burnt to obtain ash for soap making.
  • The hard fruit shells are used as pots for beverages and food. The wood is a poor source of fuel; the fruit shells are used instead.
  • Optional ingredients that are used to improve flavour and add fragrance are chilli or ground black pepper, ginger, ground nutmeg, ground cardamom and rose water or other types of essence.

African baobab (Adansonia digitata L.) is a tree that lives for many years and has various uses.

Some of the trees are thought to be over 1,000 years old. They are neither grown agronomically nor properly domesticated yet they provide food, shelter and clothing as well as material for hunting and fishing.

Every part of the baobab tree is useful. The tree has an extensive root system and high waterholding capacity. It has tender roots, tubers, twigs, fruit, seeds, leaves and flowers all that are edible and are common ingredients in many food dishes.

The fruit is an excellent source of vitamin C. It contains the vitamin 10 times that of an orange, while leaves are high in calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, phosphorus, zinc and pro-vitamin A.

The leaves are a major food item in some parts of this continent. They are usually boiled with tubers and mashed, used as fresh vegetables, for soup and sauces and added to meat and fish stews.

The fruit pulp is one of the most important parts of the tree. It is used to make a refreshing drink with fermented flavour. It is also added to aid fermentation of sugar cane for beer making.

The dry pulp is either eaten fresh, mixed with milk as a drink or used in cooking as a seasoning component and appetiser. Besides food uses, the fruit pods are burnt to obtain ash for soap making.

The seeds are used as a thickener in soups or a flavouring agent when fermented for roasted food dishes. They can also be roasted and used as a substitute for coffee.

OTHER USES

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