Baru Nuts

By EAT-SMARTER
Updated on 24. Apr. 2020

Those who like peanuts will love this new superfood. The baru nut from Brazil is said to be the healthiest nut in the world.

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Baru Nuts

Baru Nuts...

  • ...support a healthy intestine. Barus provide us not only with dietary fiber but also with healthy fats. Together they help our intestines by supporting the growth of healthy bacteria.
  • ...are particularly good for vegans/vegetarians. The nuts contain all essential amino acids that few vegetable foods provide.
  • ...protect our body cells. Free radicals that are involved in the aging process can be intercepted and rendered harmless by antioxidants found in baru nuts, which help keep us young and fit.
  • ...have a low water footprint. Most nuts need a lot of liquid to grow, but baru nuts get by with rainwater and therefore have a good water balance.
  • ...are slim nut alternatives. Even though Baru Nuts contain a proud 467 calories per 100 grams, they are low in calories compared to nuts and have less fat.
  • ...are not nuts. The name suggests otherwise, but the Barus are not nuts — they are legumes. They are also rich in protein, similar to beans and peas.
  • ...must be imported. As healthy as the barus are, they come from Brazil, meaning they have to be imported, which drives up CO2 emissions.

What You Should Know About Baru Nuts

Strictly speaking, the barus are not nuts but, like peanuts, they are pulses. The advantage of this is that, like all pulses, they are high in protein and at the same time lower in fat than nuts.

The barus grow on trees in Brazil, and due to intensive clearing of the trees to create pasture for cattle and agricultural land for soya, the trees are now considered endangered and must therefore be protected.

The tree reaches nearly 100 feet in height and bears large, round fruits after about eight years. Only about five percent is the baru nut we can eat.

Origin

The baru nuts only grow in certain areas of Brazil and parts of Bolivia.

Season

Harvest is once a year from about August/September to November. The nuts are available year-round.

Taste

The Barus resemble peanuts, cashew nuts and almonds in taste. Notes of cocoa and coffee can also seem to be present. Roasting not only makes the barus edible, but this also intensifies their aroma. The consistency is somewhat harder than that of a peanut.

How Healthy Is The Baru Nut?

Claims are made that the baru is the healthiest nut in the world. It does contain the essential amino acids our bodies need, and about 24 percent of its weight is protein. Baru nuts are therefore, like all pulses, a good source of protein and an ideal alternative to animal protein, especially for vegetarians and vegans.

Since it is not a real nut, the fat content in barus is also lower. Only about 26 percent of the calories come from fat. In addition, the barus score points with plenty of roughage — for every 100 grams there are about 13.5 grams, which makes it similar to almonds.

The dietary fibers make us feel full and keep our intestines healthy, as they are food for our intestinal bacteria. The shell is especially rich in this fiber, so you should eat the baru nut with the brown skin. A large part of the antioxidants are also found in the shell, which gives us another reason to eat the barus unpeeled. Antioxidants are, among other things, secondary plant substances that protect our body from free radicals and thus counteract oxidative stress. 

Baru nuts are a good source for a colorful mix of minerals. Although they do not excel in any single mineral, they do have a bit of everything and therefore contribute ideally to a balanced diet.

Allergy sufferers should be careful with barus, because anyone who reacts to peanuts will most likely also react to the nut as an allergen and should avoid it.

Nutritional values of baru nuts per 100 grams  
Calories 467
Protein 20 grams
Fat 33 grams
Carbohydrates 40 grams
Fiber 17 grams
Iron 3.3 grams
Potassium 932 milligrams
Calcium 153 milligrams
Magnesium 220 milligrams
Zinc 3.3 milligrams

What You Should Know About Baru Nuts

Unlike many other nuts and superfoods, barus not only score points for their added health values, but they also support sustainable economic activity in Brazil. Because the profitable harvest prevents the endangered trees from being cleared for the cultivation of soya. Local farmers are also supported as the nuts are fairly traded.

Why does it seem like nobody knew about the baru nut until recently? For a long time it was not possible to crack the hard shell quickly and easily. New technologies make it possible to open and thus sell the nuts.

Baru nuts, like any superfood, must be viewed critically. A significant disadvantage is the price. The nuts cost about $2.50 per 30 grams. 

Shopping and Kitchen Tips For Baru Nuts

Shopping

Up until now, the nuts have been difficult to obtain. Barukas.com offers the nuts roasted, with sea salt, in practical portion packs and the pulp.

Storage

Store baru nuts in a well closed container in a dry and not too warm place. You can judge the shelf life of nuts by their smell and taste, because spoiled nuts smell and taste rancid.

Preparation

The barus are only sold cracked, so preparation is relatively easy. You can crush the nuts with a knife or lightning chipper or grind them in a mixer.

What To Make With Baru Nuts

The nuts can be used similarly to peanuts. You can enjoy the baru nut as a small snack (about 30 grams), grind them in a blender and distort the paste on a loaf of bread, sprinkle the raw nuts as a topping over a salad or add them chopped to an oatmeal. Or make a nut spread from the barus. For example, you can make the breaded tofu with barus instead of almonds. Whether sweet or savory, there are no limits to your creativity.

Knowledge To Go

Baru nuts are protein-rich pulses from Brazil. They complement our range of nuts and are a low-fat alternative to peanuts. The profitable cultivation of the nuts protects the endangered trees on which they grow.

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