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Baobab is a multi-purpose tree found in the savannas of Africa, locally known as Kuka in Hausa and Ose in Yoruba. Baobab is commonly used in making miyan kuka soup in Northern Nigeria.


Every part of the tree – the leaves, fruit pulp, leaves, bark, roots and seeds – is used as food, and in traditional African Medicine, for treating a wide variety of ailments. Though not widespread, oil extracted by pounding the seeds can be used for cooking. Traditionally, the young leaves are eaten raw or used as vegetable and can be dried up and crushed into fine or coarse baobab powder and then added to soups or stews as a thickener or flavouring agent. Likewise, the seeds are eaten fresh, dry, roasted and eaten as snacks or ground and used as a thickening agent in soups. They can be fermented and used as a flavoring agent. The fruit pulp can be dissolved in water or milk and used as a drink, a sauce for food, as a fermenting agent in brewing, or in baking, similar to cream of tartar. Baobab powder and other products can be incorporated into smoothies, salads, fruit juices, cereals, granola bars, yogurts and dairy products.

Nutritional Benefits

It is rich in vitamin C, potassium, calcium, carbohydrates, fiber, protein, lipids and phosphorus as well as other nutrients such as alpha and beta-carotene. Baobab Seed Oils are important sources of nutritional oils, industrial and pharmaceutical importance. They contain antioxidant Vitamins A, D & E as well as Omega 3, 6 & 9 essential fatty acids and are a soothing, rejuvenating skin care serum.

Health Benefits

The health benefits of baobab include improving digestive health, supporting the immune system, general hydration and skin health. It is believed to have antimicrobial, antiviral, anti-oxidant, antimalarial, and anti-inflammatory properties and useful in treating or preventing anemia and asthma. Traditionally, baobab leaves, bark, and seeds have been used to treat malaria, fever, microbial infections, cough, anemia, toothache, wound healing, and constipation. The most common medicinal use of the Fruit Pulp is to treat diarrhea. It also has a pain relieving effect comparable to aspirin.  
Sources:  Pandavita, Medical News Today, Baobab.Baobab, and Science Direct.

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This article was first published on 21st August 2018


An Environment Resource Management graduate of Abia State University with her Masters in-view, Chinwe is also a Columnist, an OAP, a sought-after motivational speaker and writer with special interest in food and the balance of diet.

Comments (3)

3 thoughts on “The Origin Of Nigerian Food – Baobab”

  • Wow Awesome,
    Many people need to know about Baobab and it’s benefits. Consuming 2-3 spoons in your meal everyday gives you 60% of your daily nutritional requirements (Vitamin C, Calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, phosphorus and antioxidants).

    I know a company (SharkBite Foods-social Enterprise) who produces the fruit Powder and Oil based in Gombe State and also present in Lagos.

    You can visit their website on or call them 07062904714

  • Tried the Baobab powder with Date Powder as a smoothie drink 2 weeks back. It’s something else.

  • Leaves can be processed many things quite well when dried. Do you love video games? Try playing geometry dash and experience more of this fun game.

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