Fledgling food brand ōForest has introduced to the UK its first portfolio of products harnessing the benefits of the ‘newest superfood secret’, the madhūka flower.

The ingredient comes from the Madhuca longifolia tree – native to the forests of India, Nepal, Myanmar and Sri Lanka – and is described as having a naturally nutty, caramel-like taste and rich nutritional benefits.

High in fibre, vitamins, nutrients and minerals including potassium, manganese and vitamin B3, the line of products is 100% natural, organic, gluten-free and vegan and comprises nibs, powders and teas.

Madhūka Nibs, which can be eaten as a snack or topping for breakfast dishes, yoghurts and desserts, have a crunchy texture with a sweet, delicate flavour that’s balanced with darker, maltier notes from being roasted.

Madhūka Powder is designed to add a nutty, caramel flavour to drinks and smoothies and is perfect for porridge as well as being a great addition to home baking as it brings a natural sweetness.

The five-strong collection of caffeine-free Madhūka Teas comprise: Earth – a calming cup of 100% organic and natural, mellow madhūka; Air – a refreshing brew of madhūka, fennel and peppermint; Space – madhūka partnered with zesty lemon; Water – a relaxing cuppa with madhūka, clove and cinnamon; and Fire – which combines madhūka with sea buckthorn and ginger.

A natural superfood, it possesses many health properties that local people have benefitted from for thousands of years

ōForest works in partnership with local farmers to sustainably source premium grade madhūka which is hand harvested and sun dried before being roasted to intensify the flavour, ensuring the nutritional benefits of the flowers are retained.

“ōForest has been created as an umbrella brand for sourcing unique ingredients from the world’s forests and creating exciting new products that are good for you, good for local communities and good for the planet, with sustainability at its core,” says co-founder Meera Shah. “We chose to launch with madhūka after we stumbled upon it on a trip to India in 2020 and instantly recognized its potential. A natural superfood, it possesses many health properties that local people have benefitted from for thousands of years, particularly in Ayurvedic medicine. Not only do the products possess a multitude of health benefits but also, most crucially, taste delicious. Launching entirely new ingredients is like gold dust, so we can’t wait to hear what people think.”

For the production of its madhūka, ōForest has designed harvesting nets which help local farmers, their communities and the surrounding environment. The nets enable  a better quality of product to be harvested, quadruple productivity, protects the local environment and reduces wastage and carbon emissions.