BARU SEED: High Protein Superfood Nourishes Human and Environmental Health
Have you ever heard of baru? Even the hardiest adventurer will consider this a novelty. Wildcrafted from the world’s last agricultural frontier, this flavourful legume seed from Brazil is a new vegetable protein source in North America. Being low in carbohydrates, and packed with antioxidants, fibre, and several minerals, baru seeds are an incredible addition to any healthy diet as a snack, or ingredient for baked goods and smoothies.
They come from the South American Cerrado, considered the world’s richest savanna. It is a vast tropical ecoregion of Brazil, with core areas in the plateaus of the centre of the country. For the last 15 years, its vegetation has been reduced to a quarter of its original size by deforestation, and replaced mainly by GMO crops.However, the emergence of baru seeds could put this deforestation to a halt.
The baru tree is a tall, primitive legume that also presents a sustainable alternative to this agricultural expansion, as local communities forage the wild seeds as a source of revenue. The tree needs native pollinators and pristine water tables to bear fruits; so, the higher the demand for baru, the higher the incentives to preserve one of the oldest biomes in the world.
Currently less than 10% of the Cerrado is protected in Brazil – contrasting with over 40% of the Amazon rainforest. Brazil’s unrelenting crop expansion depletes water resources, and the resulting lack of deep-rooted trees stops rainfall from entering water tables. This generates a feedback loop called “self-amplified forest loss”, a phenomenon that currently affects both the Cerrado savanna and the Amazon rainforest. They both share a complex water cycle, covering half of South America. Take deep-rooted trees away, rainfall gradually fades out and desertification on both environments ensues.
Similar to large peanuts in shape and flavour, baru seeds are very versatile and can replace peanuts and tree nuts in any recipe. They are peanut-free and nut-free, a unique trait due to the tree’s evolutionary path. It precedes most known legumes by 10 million years, and does not share allergy-triggering proteins of later species such as soybeans and peanuts.
RECIPE: VEGAN GLUTEN-FREE BARU OATMEAL COOKIES
- 1½ cup quick oats
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ⅓ cup chopped Baru Baron baru seeds
- 2 Tbsp coconut oil
- ½ cup water
- 1 tsp lime juice
- ½ tsp baking soda
In a bowl, mix all ingredients until smooth. Preheat oven to 350°F. Place parchment paper on baking sheet. Roll dough in tiny balls and flatten them. Leave two inches apart, as they’ll grow. Bake for 25 min. Allow them to cool down. Enjoy!
We at Baru Baron are the first company to introduce baru seeds in the Canadian market. They are currently available online, and in these selected health food stores in Toronto:
- Essence of Life Organics
- 4 Life Natural Foods
- Alternative Thinking
- Whole Health
- Ginkgo Health Shop
- Evergreen Natural Foods (St. Clair and Bathurst / 161 Roncesvalles)
- Peachtree Health Foods
- Little Green Planet
- The Big Carrot
And in Vaughan:
Your shop doesn’t carry Baru Baron? Are you interested in selling Baru Baron products at your business? Would you like to work with them as ingredients?