Maca Makes A Deliciously Healthful, Caffeine-Free Latte.
If you have less than 5 minutes, a blender, a bit of maca powder, and half of a super-ripe banana; you can make this!
Maca’s energy boosting, high vitamin and mineral profile, make it a good substitute for caffeine. If you’re looking for a “pick me up” without the “let down,” try maca.
But, What Is It?
Maca? What is this stuff and why are people trendily freaking out about it? I set out to find the answers to this very good question, and found a new fav tasty treat along the way!
Maca root or Lepidium meyenii is a high elevation root vegetable that is native to the Andes of Peru. Sometimes referred to as “Peruvian ginseng,” it is yellowish in color, has a leafy top, and closely resembles something in between a turnip and a parsnip.
It’s pleasant in taste and these days is most commonly found in a powdered form after being harvested, dried, and ground.
But, What’s In It?
According to the stats on Self Nutrition Data, maca boasts an impressive calling card. Rachael Link, MS, RD, breaks down the info, citing that maca root powder is:
…An excellent source of protein, fiber and several vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, copper and iron. It also contains over 20 amino acids — including all eight essential amino acids — and plenty of health-promoting phytonutrients.
One ounce (or about 2 tablespoons) of maca powder contains approximately:
- 91 calories
- 20 grams carbohydrates
- 4 grams protein
- 1 gram fat
- 2 grams dietary fiber
- 79.8 milligrams vitamin C (133 percent DV)
- 1.7 milligrams copper (84 percent DV)
- 4.1 milligrams iron (23 percent DV)
- 560 milligrams potassium (16 percent DV)
- 0.3 milligram vitamin B6 (16 percent DV)
- 0.2 milligram manganese (11 percent DV)
- 1.6 milligrams niacin (8 percent DV)
- 70 milligrams calcium (7 percent DV)
- 0.1 milligram riboflavin (6 percent DV)
There’s no doubt why maca is hailed as a superfood. It’s rich in anti-oxidants and is considered an “adaptogen,” meaning it’s part of a grouping of plants herbs and other elements of the natural world that possess qualities that help your body fight stress.
But, What Does It Do?
Well, simply put, it does A LOT, and especially for the ladies.
Study after study after study report findings that maca can improve female sexual health and dysfunction, boost sex drive, and help to reduce menopause-related symptoms of depression and anxiety. It can also help to balance estrogen levels as indicated in a study of 34 women where a tablet of maca or placebo was given twice a day for 4 months and the women who were given maca showed more balanced hormone levels and menopause symptom relief.
Yessssss. We’ll take it! Riiight?!
Overall, maca has been shown to support adrenal function which regulates mood and energy and has been attributed to preventing blood sugar spikes and crashes. It can also benefit memory and focus as demonstrated in studies of mice and this is perhaps in part due to its high level of anti-oxidants.
All hail the mighty maca? Try it, and see for yourself. I ordered some in a MRH haul this summer (check out this photo) because I was super curious about the hype, and as it turns out, I really like it.
You can find it at most health food stores, on the inter-webs, and increasingly more often at mainstream stores too. I recently saw a steal of a deal on organic maca at my local Grocery Outlet. 2 pounds for 8 bucks!
As with any powder you’ll be drinking, blend it well into your beverage of choice. My cherry-red Vitamix , a.k.a. “my best friend that’s not a person,” makes quick work of this. The other day I whipped up this recipe in less than 5 and it was freakin’ delish. P.S., if you don’t like bananas, don’t even attempt this– you won’t be happy).
Maca Latte (Caffeine-Free)
Toss all into a blender and whizz for 30 seconds or until well blended and a little foamy. Wanna know a secret? If the almond milk is quite chilled, leave your blender going for a minute or two to increase the temp of your beverage. (That is, if you’re using a Vitamix or similar. Those puppies can make a hot soup from room temperature ingredients). But alas, that’s another post for another day…
Do you use maca often? What’s your fav application? Share your recipe with me in the comments! I’d love to try something new <3