Try Lucuma, the Peruvian New Superfood

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Lucuma

The home of Acai Berry and Quinoa has a new superstar. The Lucuma (Pouteria lucuma) is the Peruvian new superfood. Its nutrition-packed fruit resembling a big, curved, orange-fleshed avocado.

What is Lucuma?

Adored by the Incas, the modern Peruvians call this super-fruit “gold of the Incas” or simply “the egg-fruit.” The egg part comes from its gritty texture of a hard-boiled egg yolk. In Peru, it grows at elevations of about 9,000 feet.

With its hard green skin, lucuma looks like an avocado. The hard green exterior covers sweet, yellow, soft flesh. It has a mature sweetness, and the taste resembles a mix of caramel and sweet potato. The low glycemic index makes it suitable for people with diabetes.

Despite its hard skin, Lucuma is an unusually delicate fruit. It starts spoiling soon after picking. This makes it almost impossible to find it fresh outside South America. However, it is increasingly available in American health-food stores in powdered or frozen form.

Health Benefits

Powdered lucuma is excellent as a natural sweetener. It substitutes sugar in 2:1 ratio (two tsp. lucuma for one tsp. sugar). The low glycemic index makes it safe for diabetics, and great for the rest of us. Research studies show that it levels out energy levels by stabilizing blood sugar.

Lucuma fruit is rich in antioxidants. It helps to fight and prevent diseases. Antioxidants also slow the aging process. As a natural healing medicine, it has strong antifungal and antimicrobial properties.

And that’s not all. This superfood is packed with beta-carotene, vitamin B3, iron, zinc, and protein. This makes the lucuma oil extremely helpful for supporting wound healing. It activates the healing factors within the skin.

Lucuma Recipes

Super smoothie

Ingredients (for one serving)

  • 1 Tbsp. powdered lucuma
  • one or two Medjool dates
  • One frozen banana
  • cinnamon
  • One tsp vanilla
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • ½ cup ice

Preparation

Mix all ingredients and blend until smooth. Sprinkle with extra cinnamon and serve.

Supershake

Ingredients (for one serving)

  • ⅔ cup frozen lucuma or 3 tbsp. powdered lucuma
  • 1 cup almond milk (unsweetened)
  • ¼ cup brown sugar (optional)
  • One tsp. finely ground coffee
  • ½-⅔ cup ice

Preparation

Mix all ingredients and blend until smooth.

Super ice-cream

Ingredients

  • ½ cup lucuma powder
  • 1 cup cashews (soak them for 2-3 hours then drain)
  • ¼ cup coconut nectar
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract (or 2 cm vanilla bean)
  • 1 cup water
  • A pinch of salt

Preparation

Blend all the ingredients until smooth and freeze.

Ideas

Add Lucuma powder to your morning smoothies, juices or your favorite organic natural nut butter as a natural sweetener. It will impart a slightly subtle caramel sweetness.

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