Maca was not a popular food until recently.
Its numerous health benefits as an antiaging, boosting immunity, and improving sexual health have made it a trendy food.
The plant root traces its origin to Peru, where it is quite a delicacy.
Since this plant does not have a lot of exposure, it brings up the question, what does Maca taste like?
It is among the elite group of superfood, which makes it a very interesting topic of gastronomic discussion.
So here’s everything about Maca – what is it, what does it taste like, and how to use it in recipes.
What is Maca?
Maca is a biennial plant that belongs to the family Brassicaceae.
According to Wikipedia, the plant is native to Peru and was exclusive until the 80s.
Other names of Maca are Peruvian ginseng, yak willku, ayak chichira, maino, and maca-maca.
Maca is a popular dietary supplement for its apparent fertility benefits in the culinary world, similar to fenugreek.
Besides, using Maca as milk, porridge, soups, and baking is also common.
When it comes to Maca’s appearance, it is very similar to root veggies such as turnips and radish.
The leaves are flimsy and do not grow above 20 cm, and are predominantly green with white flowers.
On the other hand, a maca root can be cream, green, purple, blue, or sometimes black.
What Does Maca Taste Like? Does Maca Taste Good?
The taste of Maca is a blend of nuts and butterscotch. However, the taste of this plant varies significantly between raw and dried Maca.
In raw Maca, the nuttier taste is more prominent, while dried Maca has an earthier flavor.
In addition, the color of the maca root also determines its overall taste. For instance, cream or yellow maca is considerably sweeter than other colors.
However, the taste of black Maca is a combination of sweet and bitter.
Apart from the taste, Maca also has different nutritional benefits according to their colors.
There seems to be a misconception that Maca with a bitter taste means it is a low-quality product.
However, black Maca has a slightly bitter taste, as mentioned above.
A slightly bitter product from black maca should not be a big concern unless it is maca of a different color.
Nutrition value of Maca compared to others.
Maca has antioxidant properties similar to matcha. Besides, there are several nutritional benefits.
The nutritional information of Maca per ounce or 28 grams according to healthline.com is as follows.
- Carbohydrates – 20 g
- Dietary fiber – 2 g
- Protein – 4 g
- Fat – 1 g
- Vitamins – Traces of vitamin B6 and vitamin C.
- Minerals – Traces of manganese, iron, potassium, and copper.
The total calories of Maca per ounce are 91.
In addition to the maca nutrients mentioned above, it also has bioactive plant compounds.
Among them, polyphenols and glucosinolates are standouts as they have excellent health benefits.
What Does Maca Powder Taste Like?
The maca powder, made by grinding up the freeze-dried roots of this ancient plant into a fine powder, is an excellent way to quickly get all those health benefits.
You can mix it with your favorite smoothie or protein shake and be on your way to feeling better without too much fuss.
When you smell the dried plant before grinding it up, maca has a strong flavor that is hard to describe in words – like beets mixed with cinnamon.Maca powder has a slightly different flavor than the raw root.
The powder has a sweet, earthy taste often described as nutty or like toasted grains with notes of cocoa mixed in.
The smell can be pretty intense and may not please everyone’s tastes – some describe it as musty, while others say it smells something akin to potatoes frying in oil.
Most people find maca powder palatable when added to their morning smoothie or protein shake (though this depends on how they take their coffee).
It mixes well into just about anything else you might want to add to your favorite drink or meal.
So, if you’re looking for a way to add some plant power into your day – give maca powder a try.
How to Cook/ Use Maca in Recipes.
Cooking and using Maca in recipes is relatively easy. Below we share the best ways you can cook and use Maca in recipes.
- Porridge and soups.
Maca in powder form is widely available, especially with online retailers. The root powder of Maca becomes thick and almost creamy after cooking, depending on how much you use it.
Therefore, Maca makes a great base for soups, porridges, and even as jams.
Traditionally, using maca powder in baking is very common. So you can use the Maca to make pancakes, cakes, and even bread.
Another way to use Maca in a recipe is in drinks. Drinking maca as a milk substitute is common. In addition, the extract from black maca is also available as beer.
Of course, it does not taste like the traditional milk or your local beer, but it is definitely an experience. Gelatinous Maca can be made into drinks as well.
Maca is quite a potent product, so pregnant and nursing mothers should not consume it.
In addition, children and adults with a history of kidney issues should practice maca safety, according to webmd.com
Maca has been a traditional medicine since the age of the Incas for a good reason.
It has great nutritional and medicinal properties.
So if you need a natural remedy for boosting your metabolism, libido, and your immunity, take a shot of Maca.