Have you been inundated with all the “new” news about the ancient Peruvian superfood maca powder? I have to admit, I added it to my diet a few weeks ago because I’ve had these lingering extra stress pounds and I had read that it helps stabilize blood sugar levels, reduce cortisol production and boost fatigued adrenals.
And after just 10 days, the number on our scale finally started moving in the right direction. Three pounds in 10 days … not too shabby.
But I noticed other benefits, too.
Like, my mood got a little lighter. Things that have been stressing me out seem a little less intense … like the fact that every time our 2 year old is without diapers for more than 5 minutes he pees or poops on something other than the toilet. Two weeks ago that was a big deal. Now, while I’m not psyched about it, it seems to roll more quickly off my back.
Sure, it might just be that Spring is here. (At least I think it’s Spring. Isn’t that what evening snow and sunny daytime temps in the 40s is all about?)
But it might also be that the rumors about maca powder are true. Just in case, I’m keeping it in my morning routine.
WHAT IS MACA POWDER?
Maca powder is derived from a root that grows at high elevations in Peru and was for centuries a staple in the diet of Peruvians and Incans. It looks surprisingly like a turnip and is in the brassica family (like broccoli, cauliflower, mustard, etc).
It has the consistency of coconut flour and a subtle nutty flavor that is delicious with all things chocolate.
Because it’s one of the few crops that grows successfully above 7,000 feet above sea level, it’s not surprising that it made it into the diet of high elevation civilizations. But it’s also been celebrated through the ages as a miracle food. Medicinally, it’s been used to boost sex drive in men, alleviate hormonal issues in menopausal women, control weight, and boost mood and energy. Some say a tablespoon of maca is better than a strong cup of coffee for a morning energy boost).
WHY IS IT GOOD FOR YOU?
- Maca powder contains 55 phyto-chemicals, including vitamins B1, B2, B12, and Vitamin C, Zinc
- It has amino acids, calcium and phosphorus
- It is a natural immune booster with 22 fatty acids that may act as a fungicide and antiseptic
- Maca powder can reduce production of cortisol and relieve stress on over-worked adrenal glands.
HOW TO INCLUDE IT IN YOUR DIET
Add it to your morning smoothie … it’s especially tasty in smoothies made with raw cacao and dates, but I add it to fruit smoothies, green smoothies and everything in between.
Include it in baked goods … I’ve added it to sourdough pancakes with great success (just a quarter cup of maca in this recipe). And I’ve considered adding it to the paleo yam brownies that my kids like so much. But I haven’t done it yet.
Add it to your morning coffee … Just a teaspoon. Any more and I find that it sort of overwhelms the coffee.
Or, my favorite treat these past few weeks …
MACA CHAI LATTE
- 1/4 tsp Cardamom (seeds from 4-5 pods)
- 1/4 tsp whole Cloves
- 1/4 tsp whole Black Peppercorns
- 1 inch fresh Ginger (chopped)
- 2 Cinnamon sticks
- 1 Darjeeling tea bag
- 1 tsp Maca Powder
- 1 tsp raw honey
- Coconut milk
To make the Chai Tea, boil 2 cups of water with cardamom, cloves, pepper, ginger and cinnamon added. Reduce to simmer and add the Darjeeling tea bag, let it steep for 5-10 minutes. Add maca powder, honey and coconut milk and enjoy!
Short cut: Steep a Tazo organic chai tea bag for 5-10 minutes. Add maca powder, honey and coconut milk. Enjoy!
Maca Maca Maca …