Was browsing the supermarket in Publika on the weekend and noticed maca. This root belongs to the radish family, and has been cultivated in Peru for thousands of years. But recently, there has been booming global demand for its use as a supplement, that is said to increase energy. I’d seen it outside of KL and had been meaning to get my hands on it, so was pretty happy to see it being available in KL now.
Grown in the mountains of Peru, it has been called “Peruvian ginseng” and it’s little wonder that in China, maca is being marketed as an alternative to ginseng, used in traditional Chinese medicine as a health tonic etc. I read and article recently saying that the prices of maca has increased 10 fold thanks to the flood of buyers from China.
Maca is rich in vitamin B vitamins, C, and E. It provides plenty of calcium, zinc, iron, magnesium, phosphorous and amino acids. It is known to increase stamina too. Many athletes take maca for peak performance. If you find yourself tired most of the time, experiment with maca to see if it helps. Maca helps your overall health in a number of ways. It supplies iron and helps restore red blood cells, which aids anemia and cardiovascular diseases. Maca keeps your bones and teeth healthy and allows you to heal from wounds more quickly. When used in conjunction with a good workout regime you will notice an increase in muscle mass.
Anyway Maca is best eaten raw, and here are 5 ways of enjoying it as part of a delicious health snack.
1. Maca tastes malty and has a powdery texture. Add a teaspoon to a tablespoon to smoothies or protein shakes. The malty flavor works particularly well with Avocado Smoothies, or Mocha Banana Smoothies.
2. Maca powder gives energy, so try having it pre workout with nutrient-dense goodies, sprinkling it over peanut butter when you make a sandwich.
3. Of course this next one is a no brainer. For fans of juicing, add maca to Carrot Juice or any of your fruit juices in the morning. Try carrots, cashew nuts, kale, and maca powder. The idea is to blend some maca, about a tablespoon or so, into 16 ounces of fresh juice.
4. Another easy way to use maca is to sprinkle it on your oats or cereals. Use 1 to 2 teaspoons in this case, otherwise the flavor may overwhelm your oats.
5. Kids will love this one. Make your own banana maca ice cream – just add the powder to the food processor when you’re blending up the frozen bananas. Place bananas in freezer and freeze overnight. Remove bananas from freezer and allow to thaw for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Peel bananas and place in bowl of food processor along with the lemon juice. Process for 10 to 15 seconds. Add vanilla bean seeds, 1 tablespoon maca powder and turn processor on. Slowly pour in cream. Process until smooth. Chill mixture in refrigerator until it reaches 40 degrees. For an even better ice cream Peanut Butter Banana Maca Ice Cream. Peanut butter makes this “ice cream” taste even richer than normal, and a dash of cinnamon and sea salt adds flavor complexity!