What is maca powder?
Maca powder, also known as Peruvian ginseng, is a perfectly balanced mix of fibre, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals.
It has been used by South American indigenous populations for centuries and has now made it over to our shores so you can give your diet a healthy boost, too.
The Maca plant grows in the Andes in South America and its wealth of health benefits lie in its roots.
How is maca powder made?
The Maca roots are dug from the ground by hand using a small hoe called a cashu to prevent any damage and left in the sun for 10-15 days to dry naturally.
Dried Maca roots can actually be stored for up to seven years, but most high-quality maca producers will rush fresh maca to a local processing plant where the best roots are chosen, weighed and then cleaned.
After this, they will often be cleaned again, disinfected and cut up into small segments before being dehydrated with humidity control.
Finally, these Maca root pieces are finely milled and turned into maca powder.
- Maca powder, aka Peruvian ginseng, is made from the roots of the Maca plant
- It’s been used for indigenous South Americans for centuries and has several potential health benefits
What are the benefits of maca powder?
Maca is a rich source of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, amino acids (20 different kinds — that’s just about all of them!), and antioxidants.
This unique mix of nutrients all help to support the body in their own way. Here are 4 health benefits of maca powder:
Maca powder is well known for its ability to naturally support energy levels and help give you a little extra ‘get up and go’.
It acts as a natural stimulant but doesn’t actually contain anything like caffeine – providing you with an alternative to coffee or energy drinks - without the jitters!
This is because maca root powder is naturally rich in vitamin B2 (riboflavin) and iron, which contribute to the normal functioning of the immune system and help to reduce tiredness and fatigue
Take the energy support, add in the muscle support, and you’ve got yourself a true workout and exercise friend in maca powder!
This is because maca root powder is naturally high in protein (containing around 12g per 100g), which helps the body to maintain and grow muscle mass.
Maca powder has a high iron content, which contributes to healthy cognitive functions like memory or the ability to focus.
Due to Maca’s energising and uplifting properties, it can also support mental clarity and general performance.
To top it all off, maca powder can support your bones too! It’s a good source of zinc, which contributes to the maintenance of normal bones.
- Maca contains nutrients that allow it to help support everything from our energy levels, to out muscles, brain and bones
How to use maca powder
Wondering how maca powder can fit into your life (and tastes)? Don’t worry, there are all sorts of ways to use maca powder, so you should be able to find one you like.
Here are some of the most common ways to take maca powder:
Maca powder smoothies
Putting maca powder in smoothies can instantly give your smoothies even more plant power, with protein, fibre, vitamins, iron and more.
It’s naturally sweet and malty too, so goes great with nuts, chocolate and caramel flavours.
Here’s a maca powder smoothie recipe for you to try:
- 150ml soya / almond / your milk of choice
- 1 scoop of vanilla / chocolate / unflavoured protein powder
- 1 medium banana
- 1 tablespoon maca powder
- 2 tsp cacao powder
- A few ice cubes
It really couldn’t be easier! Simply place all of your ingredients in a blender and blend until nice and smooth.
Maca energy bars
Fancy an energy bar packed full of healthy ingredients that still tastes lovely?
Try out this recipe for Maca and mixed-seed energy bars.
Simply add a few teaspoons of maca into your pancake recipes to fluff up their nutritional content.
Because of maca’s naturally creamy and malty taste, it lends itself extremely well to your morning coffee.
Maca hot chocolate
It’s also great to add to hot chocolates, warm chocolate milk, or even just milk for a caffeine-free alternative to your normal coffee.
Jazz up your oats with a sprinkle or two of maca powder – it goes great with chocolate and nut butters.
Try combining it with oats, cacao nibs and almond butter for an indulgently delicious and healthy porridge.
Maca protein shake
The next time you have a protein shake, try adding a little maca powder for additional support after working out.
Some other ideas:
- Maca waffles
- Maca and date energy balls
- Maca cookies
- Maca granola
- Maca and chocolate truffles
- Maca overnight oats
- Maca and chocolate chip cookies
- There are lots of ways to use maca powder – so it shouldn’t ever get dull! Try it in a tasty chocolate smoothie, in a stack of fluffy pancakes or in a bowl of porridge
Last updated: 7 September 2021