Many plants, their seeds, flowers, leaves, and fruits not known much earlier, are gaining prominence.
They are becoming popular for their flavor, aroma, nutrients, and medicinal properties.
Maca is one such plant that has become a popular ingredient in dishes, dietary supplements, and medicines.
It’s a plant native to South America in the high Peruvian Andes mountains.
While the natives have been using maca in many ways, most people in other parts of the world have learned about it only recently.
Its root and powder are much in demand now.
However, what does maca root and powder taste like? Let’s find out.
What is Maca Root and Powder?
It’s an extract from a plant found in the high Andean mountains in Peru.
The plant’s scientific name is Lepidium meyenii or Lepidium peruvianum in recent times, but it’s not yet official.
You can eat maca root as a vegetable or dietary supplement in dried and powdered form.
The natives also used it in local medicine, and it’s supposed to provide many health benefits.
It’s an herbaceous plant of the Brassicaceae family, and maca looks similar to turnip, parsnip, and radish.
However, maca is grown for its roots and not the leaves.
The root is a popular ingredient in Peruvian cuisine, but outside the country, it’s primarily available as a supplement in powder form.
What Does Maca Root and Powder Taste Like?
The ingredient is becoming pretty popular, and it’s because of the supposed health benefits it provides.
But what does maca root and powder exactly taste like? Seeing the popularity in Peruvian cuisine, it likely tastes good, but we will see below.
Since people came to know about its health benefits, maca has been included in the superfood group.
As a result, the demand for maca root and powder has increased considerably.
Maca is also called Peruvian ginseng, pepper weed, ayak chichira, ayuk willku, maka, mace, and maino.
If you see these names on a product, worry not, they are all maca products.
Maca comes in a number of colors like green, cream or pale yellow, blue, maroon, purple, and black.
The cream/yellow is the most common, and the black is most preferred for medicinal purposes.
The taste depends on the color too.
So, for instance, the cream or pale-yellow variety is sweeter than the black one, which has a slightly bitter taste.
- Raw/Fresh vs. Dried Maca Root and Powder.
In general, fresh and raw maca has a nutty, slightly butterscotch-y taste.
It’s also crispy and has a pronounced taste.
However, dried maca has a more subtle flavor.
The raw/fresh one is nuttier, while the dried maca root is earthy.
- Nutritional Value of Maca Root and Powder.
A 100g maca root and powder has about 325 calories which is equivalent to some cereal grains like rice and wheat.
It has more calories than turnips and radishes.
However, it has no cholesterol, but for every 100g, it has protein (25.
5g), calcium (250mg), iron (14.
8mg), potassium (2000mg), and some other nutrients.
Maca root and powder may help to boost energy, improve metabolic functions, and also may promote libido and fertility.
It may also enhance brain functions and boost overall well-being.
How to Use Maca Root and Powder?
The natives in the Andes have been growing maca for at least two thousand years.
Its root has been both a staple food and also medicine.
The people used to take it to relieve all kinds of ailments.
Besides being a cure-for-all ingredient, people cooked it with corn, meat, sweet potato, and potato.
It’s a culinary delight, and many chefs are experimenting with the vegetable.
As stated earlier, maca is edible in three ways, fresh, dried, and in powder form.
If you have the fresh root, you can use it any way that you use the veggies that are similar to it.
If you have dried maca root, you can soak it in lukewarm water for a few hours to get back the texture.
You can then cook and eat as preferred.
You can also ground the dried root and make smoothies, stews, and soups.
Maca powder is versatile as you can use and consume it in many ways.
You can find the ingredient in energy bars and drinks.
You can also add it to chocolate drinks, chia seed pudding, overnight oats, granola, and smoothies, or mix it with water and drink.
While it’s a safe ingredient, it’s important to use only recommended dosage for best results.
You may not find fresh maca root in your area, but you can get the dried variety and powder.
You can consume it any way you prefer and also look for some recipes.
Whether you want to include it in savory dishes or consume it as a drink, it will provide a lovely flavor and benefits.
However, make sure to read the information on the label carefully regarding usage.
It may not be suitable for some people, so it’s best to know that before trying it.