Maca is a root vegetable, like a turnip, native to the Andes mountain range. It has traditionally been used by indigenous people in soups, cakes, breads and drinks to promote sexual function and fertility. Maca is sometimes known as Peruvian ginseng and has been used in natural remedies to boost energy, increase strength and endurance and enhance stamina. To learn more about the benefits of maca, click here.
Maca comes in three colours – yellow, black and red. One single colour cannot be cultivated as they all come from the same seed crop with the only difference being the skin. While their nutritional profiles are identical, the phytonutrients that create the colour differences are what differentiates their health benefits. To read more about the difference between them, click here.
Whilst maca can be added to pretty much anything, it is a root vegetable. As a result, consuming it raw can sometimes cause bloating and other digestive discomfort. Often time you can find gelatinised maca supplements, which indicates the maca has been heated and can therefore be better for sensitive digestive systems. However, if you’d rather take maca in powdered form, simply cooking it will help you digest it.
Maca has a mild earthy and nutty flavour that easily blends with creamy dishes and sweet treats. Some practical suggestions are below.
Creamy Soups and Casseroles
When making your favourite creamy soup or casserole, try adding a tablespoon of maca powder at the beginning of cooking, for example, when you’re browning the onions or cooking down the carrots.
Porridge, Pancakes and Baked Goods
Next time you want porridge, try adding a teaspoon or more of maca powder at the beginning of cooking so it has time to heat through. Not a huge fan of the flavour? Try adding spices like cinnamon and nutmeg to help.
Similarly, add a tablespoon to your next batch of pancake batter.
Making bread, scones or cake? Mix in a tablespoon or two to your dry ingredients and add a boost of health to your baked good.
Maca’s earthy flavour pairs well with cacao and coffee.
For your next hot chocolate, mix maca powder with cacao powder for your next one. Heat this mixture together with water or your favourite plant milk to cook the maca through.
Prefer coffee or tea? Mix maca powder into hot coffee or tea. You can also try mixing maca into a bit of water and heating before adding this to your coffee or tea. This will ensure the maca heats through completely.