Maca is a turnip-like vegetable, also known as Peruvian ginseng that has many health-boosting properties. It comes in several varieties and colours, and is normally consumed in powder form after it has been dried. Maca has a delicious nutty, earthy, caramel taste, and is often used in desserts, sauces, smoothies and juices.
SO EXACTLY WHY IS MACA SO GOOD FOR YOU?
Maca is bursting with antioxidants, helping you to fight off the damage caused to cells by free radicals. Maca is also an adaptogen, which means it helps your body to adapt to stress, counteracting any negative effects this can have on your endocrine (hormone) and immune systems. Its ability to reduce stress and anxiety has been especially noted in post-menopausal women, along with an improvement in symptoms such hot flushes and interrupted sleep. For women who are trying to conceive, maca can also be especially important to work into your diet, as it can improve egg health, as well as libido.
Here at Wellbeing Sisters we’re a big fan of KIKI Health’s organic raw MACA powder, a blend of the four root varieties, that offers a unique nutritional profile, so here’s 5 delicious recipes you can add it to:
300g oats (gluten-free or normal)
50g almonds, whole or flaked
50g walnut halves, roughly crushed
50g pumpkin seeds
50g sunflower seeds
50g dried cranberries
50g dried apricots
1 tbsp maca powder
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
2 tbsp maple syrup
Wellbeing Sisters top tip: we prefer to use jumbo oats as they have the perfect texture for granola, but any good-quality oats will do!
Preheat your oven to 160 °C (140 fan), or gas mark 3.
Place all your dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix until well combined. Pour over your coconut oil and maple syrup, and stir through until all the dry ingredients are lightly coated.
Pour your mixture onto a large baking sheet or tray (or 2 smaller ones) lined with baking parchment and push down with a wooden spoon – this will help to encourage granola clusters.
Place in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes until the oats are nicely toasted and golden brown in colour.
Allow to cool and then store in an airtight container (like a glass jar) in the cupboard for up to 2 weeks.
Serve with yogurt and fresh fruit, on its own with milk, or use as a tasty topper to a dessert like trifle or crumble.
300ml milk (dairy on non-dairy)
2 tbsp cacao powder (we recommend KIKI Health’s organic cacao powder)
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 ½ tsp maca powder
Pinch of cinnamon (optional)
Place all the ingredients in a saucepan on a medium heat and whisk until fully combined. Heat for around 3 – 5 minutes until it has reached your desired temperature, then pour into your favourite mug and enjoy!
HEALTHY CHOCOLATE MACA FRUIT & NUT BARS
120g almond butter
120g runny (clear) honey
80g macadamia nuts, roughly chopped
40g dried sour (or morello) cherries, roughly chopped
40g flaked almonds
1 tbsp cacao powder
1 tbsp maca powder
40g puffed quinoa (you should be able to find this in most health food shops, but if you can’t find it you can use 80g oats instead)
Wellbeing Sisters top tips:
Dried sour cherries are perfect for this recipe, but if they aren’t your cup of tea, or you can’t find them, you can always switch for dried apricots!
If your final bake is looking a little dull, drizzle with a little organic dark chocolate and sprinkle with a few flaked almonds to finish.
Line an 8” square baking tin with baking parchment.
Place the honey and peanut butter in a large saucepan on a low heat and stir gently until combined. Remove from the heat and add the rest of the ingredients and stir until well combined and the dry ingredients are all coated in the mixture.
Pour the mixture into your tin and use the back of a spoon to press it down firmly. Place the tin into the fridge for 30 minutes until the mixture has set, then slice into 8-12 pieces (depending on how decadent you’re feeling!).
Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
STRAWBERRY, BANANA & MACA SMOOTHIE
300ml coconut water
1 tsp maca powder
Place all ingredients into your blender and pulse on a low setting for around 1 minute until completely smooth. Pour into a glass and enjoy.
MACA & ALMOND OVERNIGHT OATS
50g rolled oats (normal or gluten-free)
20g whole almonds
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 tbsp pumpkin seeds
1 tbsp maca powder
1 tbsp maple syrup (optional for sweetness)
Place all the ingredients into a jar, bowl or airtight container. Stir to combine and then leave covered overnight for at least 8 hours. Open the next morning and enjoy for breakfast! You can always top with some extra toasted nuts, seeds or fresh fruit to serve.
As with any supplement, pregnant and breastfeeding women should consult their own medical practitioner before taking maca, and as maca contains goitrogens, natural compounds that can affect the function of the thyroid gland, if you have existing thyroid problems, it may not be suitable for you.