There are a number of reputable health and wellness sites and organisations out there at the moment, but I am yet to come across one with a more just, honest and world-embracing vision than Farafena.
Farafena means ‘Africa’ in Bambara, the native language of Mali, the land where Farafena’s founder was born and raised. Oumar Barou Togola, as he is otherwise known, is the mind behind this company and it’s unique vision of sustainability and empowerment for the people, in particular the women of the western region of sub-saharan Africa.
After moving from Mali to Canada for schooling at the age of 16, Oumar has established a life for himself in Vancouver, B.C., continuing his tertiary education in Business Administration and marrying Canadian-born Fariba Wilson. Together, and inspired by their Baha’i beliefs of gender equality, the elimination of extremes of wealth and poverty and the unity of mankind, Oumar and Fariba’s far-reaching vision comes from a natural desire and motivation to be a part of something constructive and meaningful on a humanitarian scale and to give back to the land Oumar calls home.
Tapping into their awareness of the nutrient-rich foods in Mali and other nearby regions of Africa, Oumar and Fariba have planted the seed for Farafena. Highly nutritious grains such as Fonio, and other plant-based superfoods such as Baobab and Moringa are largely unnoticed in the areas of the world outside of Africa, and there is an obvious and current demand in many parts of the western world for unique superfoods such as these.
Currently, the Farafena team are working hard to take their products across the retail market in North America. They are, in turn, helping to develop and support existing women’s co-operatives, by empowering them and providing the tools that will give them the capability to educate the next generation. A crucial piece of the puzzle that is piecing together a poverty-free Africa.
I was lucky enough to be a small part of this process, by creating this gluten free Fonio Fudge Brownie recipe that has been used for the in-store demonstrations to help promote their awesome products. What better way to help the women and children of these rural Malian villages than by supporting entrepreneurial and community building companies like Farafena, all while getting your own healthy daily dose of nutrient dense superfood.
Check out the Farafena website to keep up to date on the great work these guys are doing, all while enjoying a slice of Fonio Fudge Brownie.
- ½ cup coconut oil (melted)
- 3 eggs (room temperature)
- 1 cup full cream coconut milk
- 2/3 cup maple syrup
- 2 tsp vanilla essence
- 1 cup fonio flour
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ cup cocoa powder
- ½ tsp Himalayan rock salt
- 2/3 cup carob chips/dark chocolate chips
- Pre heat oven to 350F and line a 9-inch baking/cake tin with parchment paper.
- Melt coconut oil on the stove or in a microwave and whisk together with maple syrup.
- Add the vanilla essence and the eggs. Whisk gently to combine.
- Sift the fonio flour, baking powder, cocoa powder and salt into a separate bowl. Stir with a spoon to gently combine the dry mixture.
- Slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet, stirring gently and continuously.
- Once the mixture resembles a batter, add in the coconut milk slowly while stirring.
- Fold through the carob/choc chips gently.
- Bake for 25 minutes.
- Let it stand for 15 minutes before removing from the tin.
- Slice and enjoy.