Foodie Tales: Maca Root

Our gatherings and dinner parties cater to a diverse group of people and lifestyles. But, what brings all of us together undoubtedly is our love for food. With prominent (health and wellness) culinary and lifestyle shifts in the world, like clean eating, trendy green smoothies, paleo diets, and more, you may have heard of the maca root. But, just in case you haven't I wanted to share a couple of ingredients that I've been using for quite some time, along with new ways that I've recently incorporated them in my cuisine.

This month's ingredient spotlight from the FT Kitchen is actually two: maca powder and goji berry powder. It's a pleasure to partner with Navitas Naturals, a brand dedicated to producing certified organic and ethically processed foods. Navitas Naturals has a wide range in food products that contain heavy nutrients, including protein, essential fats, and vitamins.


Maca is a Peruvian root that has been used and cultivated by natives for ages. It's mineral rich with magnesium, phosphorous, amino acids, and also helps with your body's equilibrium.

I was introduced to the maca root in 2011, when a friend and I were cooking. She actually had maca flour. The maca flour had a nutty taste, which we used in baking at the time. But, even though I grew up knowing about the goji berry, I had not used either of these ingredients in powder form.

The ancient Chinese plant, Goji berry (also known as the Wolf berry) is a drought tolerant and exuberant fruit that's rich in antioxidants, amino acids, and vitamin A, and vitamin C. This particular fruit being in a freeze-dried fine powder made it accessible to use in recipes for both sweet, and savoury creations. I like to put it in my yoghurt and oatmeal, however I also used it in a plantain dish that I made recently (more recipes coming to the blog soon, I promise). You can actually grow goji berries yourself, I found this helpful video to get started.

Maca is quite a special plant that can grow in severe climate in high altitudes, (growing in the Andes mountains) grown up to 4300 metres above sea level.

Some of the benefits of maca include calming hormonal stress, increase in strength, boosts energy, and even enhances libido. Fun fact: there is a large amount of calcium in maca as well, even more than milk!
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Great Uses:
Cooking/Baking: making shakes/smoothies, salads, yoghurt, energy bars, etc.
I loved using maca powder, but it affected my stomach a bit. I used the powder in a number of recipes during my testing process. Then, I cooked with it using heat (in a fig, onion and goat cheese galette), instead of using it raw, and had no problems.

Later, I actually decided to use smaller doses of the maca powder in my smoothies and morning green-juice mixes, and took another friend's advice of getting the gelatinised version of maca powder for better digestion. There's so many benefits in using maca root and goji berries.

Using both ingredients, I made a variety of truffles: peanut butter and dark chocolate, with cacao almonds, and a pan-fried crust using cacao almonds and cacao butter. The natural chocolate butter makes the truffles taste rich. The best part is that you're getting plenty of fatty acids (omega-6, and omega-9).

The maca cashews tasted good on their own and aren't too sweet at all. They have a great crunch with a nice hint of maple as an aftertaste. I crush them to sprinkle atop my acai yoghurt bowl in the morning. I also made a frozen dessert with them, and of course I'll share pics soon.


Have you tried goji berries or maca root in any form?  

The goods: Maca Powder, "Superfood + Maca Cashews," Cacao Butter, "Superfood + Cacao Almonds," and Goji Berry Powder-Courtesy of Navitas Naturals. Great info. on goji berry here. Other references here. For more information visit www.navitasnaturals.com

Shop the products here for USA customers, and here for UK/EU customers. Canadian residents may locate stores here.


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4 comments

  1. Sounds amazing! Thanks for all the info.!

    xoxox,
    CC

    ReplyDelete
  2. I never try these but you convince me to ot looks delicious.

    ReplyDelete
  3. It is amazing and looks very appetizing, huh)

    xoxo, Nastya Deutsch
    http://nastyadeutsch.blogspot.ru/

    ReplyDelete
  4. I might have eaten maca when I was in Peru but I can't remember it. The truffles look truly delicious!

    LUXESSED

    ReplyDelete

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