Life Story of the Baru Seeds
Baru seeds are a novel food from South America, more specifically, Midwestern Brazil. It’s arguably the most nutrient-dense seed currently known, but how did this come to be?
They come from a wild, primitive Legume (Dipteryx alata Vog.) known as the baru tree or Baruzeiro, a tall tree from the South American Cerrado savanna. This biome stores massive amounts of fresh water in water tables underground, but has a remarkably dry surface with poor soil.
This is important because several tree species here evolved to survive this initial harshness, in order to reach their source of nutrients – yup, you guessed it, the water tables. The baru sapling can’t rely on the soil to grow, having to reach water 2 meters deep for its survival. The tree thus evolved to pack as many nutrients as possible in its seeds, to ensure the survival of the saplings.
This is why this wild seed has such a high concentration of omega-3, omega-6, protein, and minerals such as potassium, magnesium and zinc. As a response to the stress of the environment, it is also packed with vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant. Baru seeds have the lowest fat content of similar edible seeds, but still high in calories as seeds need energy to sprout. They’re high in the unsaturated omega-3, omega-6 and omega-9, and low in saturated fats.
After being dry-roasted, the seeds have a “nutty” flavour and texture. This is an odd characteristic, since it’s not a tree nut, but from an ancient branch of Legumes. It precedes peanuts or soy, and as a consequence of its unique evolutionary path, it doesn’t trigger peanut and nut-related allergies.
Baru seeds have been studied in Academia for the last 25+ years, with peer-reviewed articles published in respected journals such as PLOS One, the Journal of Food Research and Food Research International, the latter ones Canadian.