Maca is the spotlight today in the next installment of my superfoods 101 series. This series was created with the intention of diving into some of my favorite superfoods, discussing their nutritional benefits, and showcasing a simple recipe to highlight the versatility of superfoods.
If I had to label the current trendiest superfood, I would for sure say Maca. It started appearing on the wellness scene a few years ago and has quickly gained momentum as one of the "it" superfoods. Like goji berries, maca has been around for thousands of years and was a staple in the diet of Inca warriors.
What is maca?
Maca is the powdered form of Maca root. Maca is one of the most durable and resilient plants on earth. It can withstand intense sunlight as well as high winds, freezing temperatures, and high altitude. Maca is part of the family of adaptogens, which have been garnering a lot of attention. An adaptogen is a type of plant that helps balance the body's hormones, reduce stress and anxiety in the body, and may help achieve equilibrium by supporting the endocrine system.
(The endocrine system is made up of glands throughout the body which release hormones. Various organs and tissues in the body respond to these hormones.)
Maca is also known for its ability to fight fatigue and to improve mental clarity by providing a smooth boost of energy without the jittery side affects and ups and downs of caffeine. In additional, Maca has been considered to be a natural aphrodisiac.
The flavor of Maca is nutty, malty, and sweet, and it can easily be added to smoothies, oatmeal, baked goods, energy bites, or granola bars. Maca contains fiber, plant-based protein, iron, calcium, potassium, and essential fatty acids which promote cardiovascular health and immunity.
Maca almond Bliss Bites
1/2 cup rolled oats
2 cups almonds
2 cups dates, pitted and halved (about 12)
2 tablespoons maca powder
2 tablespoons unsweetened cacao nibs
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut flakes, plus additional for topping
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
Combine all the ingredients in a food processor. Gently pulse until the nuts are chopped and a cohesive mixture is formed.
Line a 6 x 9 rimmed baking dish with parchment or wax paper. Press the date maca mixture into dish until flat and smooth. Refrigerate for an hour. Cut into squares and top with coconut flakes. Bites keep for 1 week in the refrigerator or 2 months in the freezer.
I have partnered with Navitas Organics and am serving as their resident Registered Dietitian. Thank you for supporting the brands that support crunchy radish!