The Benefits of Baobab, a Fruity Protein Smoothie + Review of Aduna Bars.

img_1319Baobab powder may be new to many of you. I’ve only recently begun using it in smoothies and on porridge and I really like it.

It has a mild, citrus almost sherbet taste and contains protein as well as calcium, iron, thiamin, vitamin C, fibre and potassium.

I use Aduna* brand as I like their ethos: they use vegan, organic ingredients and support small producers in Africa, many of them women (here’s a link to a good article in The Guardian about their business and the impact of growing baobab on local African economies).

I also use their moringa leaf powder which is a green herbal-tasting superfood, a bit like spinach, also with a high protein content, vitamins and minerals.

(My first order came with a personal handwritten thank you note and a couple of recipe cards, which was a nice touch).

(Coincidentally, after I had written and scheduled this post, I won a box of Aduna Moringa and Baobab bars! I have to say, the family love them. The 22 month old who won’t eat anything vaguely resembling a vegetable but loves all kinds of fruit gobbled up a Baobab bar. It has pineapple in and is very flavoursome with a strong citrus taste. I love the Moringa bars with their mango and slightly herbal flavour. They are both highly satisfying. My husband takes a Baobab bar with him on cycle rides). 

Ps Since this post was published I ordered some Aduna Cacao bars – they are lush! They have walnuts, cacao nibs and hibiscus in them and it’s a lovely fruity combination with a bit of a bite from the nuts ‘n’ nibs.

The bars are organic, vegan and gluten-free.

Fruity Protein Smoothie

img_2349This smoothie recipe is also vegan, gluten-free and organic.

If you have time, soak the oats and cashews for 15-20 minutes in the coconut water in the blender. This makes them more digestible.

The grapes and plum contain the anti-ageing reseveratrol, banana is a good source of potassium and energy, the oats and cashews have calming magnesium and the hemp seeds are a good source of protein and healthy omega oils.

Ingredients

Half a Banana

1 Plum

Handful Red Grapes (washed well, they are among the most sprayed crops in the world)

2 Heaped Tbsps Oats

Handful of Cashew pieces

1 Tbsp Baobab Powder*

2 Heaped Tbsps Hemp Seeds

Coconut Water – I used quite a lot this time as I wanted a thin smoothie.

Add all the ingredients to the blender and blend well.

https://aduna.com/

Copyright: Chris McGowan

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Vegan, Gluten-Free Plum Crumble – Nice, But Not Too Naughty!

You may remember in my previous post I was asked what I ate if I couldn’t have anything ‘naughty’ (see here). Well, that day, our neighbour gave us some plums from his garden and as our teenage friend was coming to visit again the next day – this time with his dad and dad’s partner – we decided to make a huge plum crumble. If you read the earlier post, you’ll understand why it had to be huge: teenage boy/growing/neverstopseating!

Here’s the recipe: no refined sugar, just a little maple syrup and a lot of natural flavour! Unfortunately, we didn’t weigh the plums, there were enough to fill a supermarket ice-cream box.

The topping can also be used for an apple or any other fruit crumble.

Ingredients

(Organic where possible, all quantities are approximate)

Plums, washed, stoned and cut in half

Cinnamon to taste

1 Tbsp Maple Syrup

A Few Tbsps of Apple Juice, but don’t drown them

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Topping

4 oz Gluten-Free Oats – if you prefer a finer texture, grind the oats and buckwheat flakes into flour

2 oz Buckwheat Flakes

2 oz Almonds, finely ground

(You could replace the almonds with desiccated coconut for an alternative flavour)

Approx. 2 oz Raw Virgin Coconut Oil, gently melted over warm water

1-2 Tbsps Maple Syrup

If you want a little more sweetness, you could add a small handful of raisins, either to the plum base or to the crumble topping.

Method

Place the plums cut side up in an ovenproof dish

Add Apple Juice

Sprinkle with Cinnamon

Add Maple Syrup

To make the topping:

Place all the dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix together

Stir in the coconut oil and maple syrup (and raisins if using)

Mix together well with a round-bladed knife and then through your fingers to create the crumble effect

Cover the plums

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Place dish in oven at 170C for a Fan oven for about 40-45 minutes. Keep your eye on it, it needs to be golden, not dark brown!

Serve hot or cold with custard or plain yogurt, or Nana Rhys Cream with Mango, Cacao & Peanut Butter – the men had custard, I had CoYo plain coconut yogurt. I think it’s even better the next day when the crumble has soaked up some of plum juice.

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Makes enough for about 6 or 7 servings.

Our teenage friend gave it the thumbs up and had his two servings as per normal!

Copyright: Chris McGowan