Best Ways of Eating Baru Seeds

Hi folks! During our baru seeds demos a lot of people ask a crucial question:

“What can you do with them? How do you eat them?”

There are many ways of eating baru seeds. From having them a snack to coming up with elaborate dishes, your creativity is the limit!

LEVEL 1 – EASY

Just have them as a snack on the go, peel and all. Maybe salt them a little? Or add them to your favourite trail mix or bowl. Easy enough! This is the traditional way of eating them.

LEVEL 2 – INTERMEDIATE

Peel them. From there you can coat them with chocolate, grind them and turn them into pesto, butter, baru sauce or even barutella. Glaze them with maple syrup! Add them to rice recipes, or use them to replace peanuts or tree nuts in basically any recipe!

LEVEL 3 – ADVANCED

 

OPTION A: Soak them for a couple of hours. Then peel them. This enables you to make hummus or even baru burguer! When soaked they behave exactly like chickpeas.

OPTION B: Grind them coarsely and add them to your favourite recipes! They’re so versatile you can even make milk out of them.

On a future post we will look into using baru flour! Stay tuned 🙂

3 Ways Baru Seeds Impact The World Positively

Did you know baru seeds are much more than a snack? These are ways baru seeds impact the world and are beneficial to everyone:

    1. Socially
      The foraging of baru seeds generates revenue to local communities and creates a sustainable industry in the Brazilian savanna. It is a poor region of a country with a huge wealth gap. Baru takes power away from large agribusiness trading corporations as it creates self-employed families and co-ops. This stimulates the local economy and also shares revenue a lot more evenly than the corporations.

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      Baru seeds are individually handpicked and processed. This employs hundreds of communities and discourages deforestation as it generates income.

    2. The Amazon
      Baru seeds bring awareness to a little-known fact: the Cerrado’s deep connection to the Amazon rainforest’s water cycle. Baru trees, as other Cerrado deep-rooted species, allow rainfall to enter water tables, which eventually form major Amazon rainforest watersheds.  Thus, baru and other deep-rooted trees allow a massive water cycle to come full circle. Because this distributes humidity and avoids severe droughts, it hinders self-amplified deforestation actively in the Cerrado and passively in the Amazon rainforest.

      watercycle

      Water clouds come from the Atlantic Ocean (1) and enter the Amazon rainforest becoming flying rivers (2), heading south (3) towards Midwestern Brazil (4). This rainfall penetrates the soil through deep-rooted vegetation and integrates water tables that feed rivers such as the Tocantins, Araguaia, and Xingu (5), returning to the rainforest.

    3. Climate Change
      As published in several magazine articles, such as in Brazil: Urgent action on Cerrado extinctions: “(…)our findings show that a severe extinction episode is unfolding in the Cerrado, with plant extinctions projected to be an order of magnitude higher than all global recorded plant extinctions so far — yet in our view, this catastrophe can be avoided(..)”. Unlike the Amazon rainforest, there are very few laws protecting the mostly deforested Cerrado. There is also very little international awareness, and because of this, great vulnerability to the agribusiness lobbying. Several credible sources note the huge threat the collapse of the Cerrado could pose to the global environment and economy. Business-as-usual scenarios predict a collapse of the Cerrado, and by proxy the Amazon, by 2050. This is due to a feedback loop caused by the state of deforestation and consequent increasingly severe droughts. We are literally on the verge of living a Black Mirror episode.

      thousand-alligators-dead-brazil-2.jpg

      The Araguaia River saw in October 2017 the worst drought in its recorded history. Depicted, stranded alligators starve in the mud. Source: Globo Tocantins.

Resources:
Agribusiness seizes Brazilian power. New Internationalist, 1 Oct 2017.
Agronegócio acelera a devastação do Cerrado. 3 March 2017. Caritas Brasileira.
Anticipated changes to environmental law may jeopardize Brazilian natural resources. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. 15. 65-66. 10.1002/fee.1461.
Brazil’s Cerrado forests won’t be saved by corporate pledges on deforestation. 8 December 2017, The Conversation.
Brazil’s drought: Protect biodiversity. Science Magazine, 27 Mar 2015:
Vol. 347, Issue 6229, pp. 1427-1428.
Brazil’s indigenous people outraged as agency targeted in conservative-led cuts. The Guardian, 10 July 2017.
Brazil: Urgent action on Cerrado extinctions. Nature 540, 199, 08 December 2016.
Brazil’s Water Cycle: Effects of Deforestation on the Water Supply. The Nature Conservancy.
Com metade da área devastada, cerrado pode desaparecer ainda neste século. 19 Nov 2017, Correio Braziliense.
Como as raízes do Cerrado levam água a torneiras de todas as regiões do Brasil. BBC Brazil, 27 March 2017.
Devastação do cerrado gera desequilíbrio ambiental. Correio Braziliense, November 2017.
Dry land, full rivers. October 2009, FAPESP.
Hard times for the Brazilian environment. Nature Ecology & Evolution 1, 1213 (2017).
Moment of truth for the Cerrado hotspot. Nature Ecology & Evolution 1, 0099 (2017) | DOI: 10.1038/s41559-017-0099.
Soybean cultivation as a threat to the environment in Brazil. Environmental Conservation 28 (1): 23–38, 10 Oct 2000.
Fred Pearce. The Land Grabbers: The New Fight over Who Owns the Earth. Beacon Press, May 29, 2012 – Social Science – 286 pages.
Policies mix can avoid extinctions of historic proportions projected for the Cerrado, shows a study coordinated by Brazilians, published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. CSRIO, 23 March 2017.

Kickstarter for Baru Butter

Hi friends! We’re starting a Kickstarter for the production of baru butter in Canada. It tastes exactly like peanut butter but it’s peanut free and nut free, so it’s a really cool thing for kids, as well as the Brazilian Cerrado and the local communities living there. Please share and enjoy!

Is Baru Cross-allergenic?

Hi everyone! Today we’ll discuss a bit of the genealogy of Baru trees. A lot of people ask how close they are to other Legumes, particularly peanuts and soy, or even tree nuts due to allergy concerns. Is baru cross-allergenic towards peanut and tree nut sensitive people?

Well, short answer, no, and the answer to the Legumes question: barely related. Why? Bear with us. There’s more!

Our baru branch, Dipterygeae, is one of the basal tribes of the Papilionoid or Fabaceae family (the Legumes mega-branch). Dipterygeae branched out really early, and one could say baru is an “ancient” or “primitive” Legume! Check out the graph below to understand their branching:

 

dipteryxtreeYou can see more familiar Legumes, such as peanuts and soy, sharing a common ancestry and being phylogenetically “more recent” (~50 million years) in comparison to baru (~60 million years ago).

Having evolved in relative isolation from other branches, the baru tree developed its own traits, narrowly adapted to the savanna. It co-evolved over millions of years with local pollinators (Cerrado bees), and seed dispersers (birds and bats). It’s a one of a kind tree, completely immersed and woven in its ecosystem, the Cerrado.

IMG-20170414-WA0016

Baru tree (Dipteryx alata)

Ok. What about tree nuts?

“Tree nut” is an umbrella term that includes species from mainly Fagaceae (walnuts and hazelnuts), but also orders Rosaceae (almonds),  Sapindaceae (cashews) and Ericaceae (Brazil nuts). Other than sprouting from the ground, they have no relation with Dipterygeae or even Papilionoid, with distinct fruits (or not even), very different seeds and distinct physiologies.

It’s essentially comparing a bee to a bat and a bird: they all fly, but use very different means for that. Due to this genetic distance and unique nature, there are no known cases of cross allergies of baru and other Legumes or tree nuts. One could say they’re peanut-free and nut-free by default, but that also depends on how and where they’re processed along the supply chain.

Did you know? Baru Baron’s baru seeds are certified peanut-free and nut-free!

REFERENCES

Cardoso D, de Queiroz LP, Pennington RT, de Lima HC, Fonty E, Wojciechowski MF, Lavin M. Revisiting the phylogeny of papilionoid legumes: New insights from comprehensively sampled early-branching lineages. Am. J. Bot. December 2012 vol. 99 no. 12 1991-2013

Sprent JI. Evolving ideas of legume evolution and diversity: a taxonomic perspective on the occurrence of nodulation. New Phytologist, 2007, 174: 11–25. doi:10.1111/j.1469-8137.2007.02015.x

IBGE. Manuais Técnicos em Geociências número 1: Manual Técnico da
Vegetação Brasileira. Brazil: Rio de Janeiro, RJ, 2012.

Gupta S, Nadarajan N, Gupta DS. Legumes in the Omic Era. Springer Science & Business Media, 2013.

Oliveira MIB, Sigrist MR. Fenologia reprodutiva, polinização e reprodução de Dipteryx alata Vogel (Leguminosae-Papilionoideae) em Mato Grosso do Sul, Brasil. Revista Brasil. Bot., V.31, n.2, p.195-207, abr.-jun. 2008

Wojciechowski MF,  Lavin M, Sanderson MJ. A phylogeny of legumes (Leguminosae) based on analysis of the plastid matK gene resolves many well-supported subclades within the family. Am. J. Bot. November 2004 vol. 91 no. 11 1846-1862.