Deep in Cerrado, the Brazilian Savanna, you will find baru trees. While greatly threatened by deforestation, determined efforts are being made for the preservation of these trees as their seeds are trending on the global culinary stage. This is for good reason, as baru seeds are packed with nutrition. Baru seeds are rich in the same kind of antioxidants that we find in spinach, avocado and almonds. They are high in protein and contain more fibre per serving than any other nut. Baru seeds are also even a great source of micro-nutrients such as iron, zinc, magnesium, potassium and phosphorus.
While that all sounds great, allow me to answer your burning question- YES, they taste great too! The best way to describe the taste of a baru seed is to imagine yourself simultaneously eating a peanut and a cashew. Since most brands also roast the baru seeds they sell, imagine an amplified nutty/buttery taste as well. Side note: roasting baru seeds helps to deactivate their trypsin inhibitor, an anti-nutrient. This allows us to more easily digest their protein content!
So, where can you buy baru seeds? Well, truth be told, they might be a bit tough to get your hands on as they are not widely available among mainstream retail outlets, other than on Amazon. However, brands like Baru Baron (www.barubaron.ca) and Organic Traditions (www.organictraditions.com) carry their own varieties and it is worth a trip to your local specialty food and health food stores to hunt them down.
Baru seeds can certainly be part of a healthy diet, including those with peanut and tree nut allergies. Baru seeds are actually legumes, in fact one of the world’s original legume varieties. Because they date so far back in the evolutionary chain, they do not contain the allergenic proteins of peanuts or soybeans, nor are they related to tree nuts.
A one-ounce (30g) serving of baru seeds provides us with 180 calories, 4g of fibre and 7g of protein, making them a very satisfying snack. I’ve been enjoying baru seeds myself for a while now, and my favourite way to eat them is double roasted with a hint of real maple syrup. Here is the recipe:
Double Roasted Maple Baru Seeds
3 tbsp pure maple syrup
1/2 tsp real vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup (~150g) roasted baru seeds
- Preheat your oven to 300 degrees.
- In a medium-sized bowl, whisk the maple syrup, vanilla and cinnamon together.
- Add the baru seeds into the bowl and stir until well-combined.
- Pour the seed mixture onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and sprinkle with the salt.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes. Cool before serving and enjoy!
Baru seeds can also be used as a substitute for other nuts and seeds in recipes such as homemade pesto, nut butters, and baked goods. Have you tried baru seeds yet? If you have, what is your favourite way to enjoy them?