Baru Nuts Are The Tasty Superfood You'll Want To Toss Into Your Smoothies

Chances are you've yet to taste the trending new superfood source, baru nuts, which is a popular type of nut in many countries. The baru, also referred to as barukas, is now finding its place on American menu boards, especially as a flavorful and health-boosting ingredient in smoothie drinks. It is technically a seed of a wild-grown Brazilian legume in the Cerrado, commonly referred to as the Brazilian Savannah, which also spans portions of Bolivia and Paraguay. 

The nut is valued for its unique earthy taste and is a tiny powerhouse of nutrition. Close to a whopping 30% of the baru nut's weight comes from protein, according to the Brazilian Confederation of Agriculture and Livestock, and it harbors large pockets of iron, vitamin C, and flavonoids, as well as fiber, antioxidants, anti-inflammatories, and a host of other beneficial components. Smoothie fans recognize the healthy component these Brazilian nuts bring to their cups, but the flavor likely keeps them coming.

Baru nuts are rarely eaten raw, instead going through a roasting process before making their way to consumer markets. Roasting creates a rich toasty color, crunchy texture, and a deep nutty flavor resembling cashews, almonds, and peanuts, with subtle or mixed reflections of each. Many snackers note tinges of cocoa, which shines through in creamy food applications such as cold smoothie drinks.

Create your own baru nut smoothies

With a nut-forward taste and loads of nutrition, baru nuts, sometimes called baru almonds, can easily take the place of more traditional nuts such as walnuts, pistachios, and cashews in daily or occasional smoothie drinks. Incorporating a new flavor opens endless possibilities when blending barus with fruits, vegetables, spices, grains, dairy, and other nuts and seeds. Experiment outside the proverbial box with potentially compatible additions such as maple syrup, peanut butter, chocolates, coffee, dried apricots, or fresh plums.

If you have a favorite vitamin shake or smoothie recipe, such as a vanilla fig smoothie, toss some into the mix along with the figs, almond milk, almond butter, cinnamon, maple syrup, and ginger. Forego the slivered almonds in this recipe in favor of baru nuts. When mixing with a blender, it helps to first finely dice or crush them or even grind them into a ready-made powder for on-demand access.

In addition to smoothies, you can mix baru nuts into yogurt, ice cream, hummus, and couscous or even sprinkle the crushed nuts over salad greens. Barring any concerns about legume allergies, there's really no limit to using these Brazilian beauties in ordinary eating routines. However, finding them could be a challenge. With the growing acknowledgment of their health benefits and tasty flavors, it's getting easier, especially with hundreds of new baru trees being planted in the Cerrado of Central Brazil. For now, your best bet is online venues, including ones devoted entirely to the barukas nut.