Rediscovering Roots: Benefits of Breadnuts
Have you ever had pancakes made with breadnut flour?They’re fluffy, sweet, and taste a little like chocolate.SHARE staff Katy Strader and Sarah Hall had the chance to try pancakes and other products made from breadnut, or ojushte, during a training session for farmers who are members of small agricultural cooperatives at CONFRAS, a SHARE partnering organization that represents 6,000 rural farmers, Center for Research and Transfer of Agro-Ecological Technology (CIETTA).
CIETTA hosted the first of two workshops for cooperative representatives today at their small institute near the Costa del Sol. While it was certainly a hot day, the information and samples made up for the heat! Katy and Sarah tried pancakes, horchata, atol, coffee and fruit salad, all made with breadnut flour. Native Pipiles recognized the benefits of ojushte, gathering the nuts to add nutrients to their diet. During El Salvador’s armed conflict, ojushte was consumed when corn was scarce, as its nutrient-rich profile encourages cultivation and consumption. For example, horchata made with breadnut flour is richer in calcium than a glass of milk. See the recipes for Ojuste Horchata and Ojuste Pancakes below!
Maria Santos, a representative of the San Luis el Mañadero Cooperative, explained how her family used to eat the breadnut as a staple of their diet:
Why did you attend the workshop on ojushte today?
I came because the workshop was to learn about how interesting the ojushte product is. And since I have already received some training on elaborating and using this seed, I thought it would be very interesting to come because I know that everyone that would come today would learn about this product. Because the reality is that this is found in our communities, but most people do not consider it important. But this product is nutritious. And it is also sustainable when there is lack of other basic grains. For example, in my community, when I was a young girl, my whole family used to eat it. We would collect it. We would eat it with lime and avocado and that was it. It was enough. It was sustainable. We did not think of other things. We did not have beans or rice. We had ojushte, lime, and avocado. That could be breakfast, lunch and dinner.