How To Eat Maca
Maca is a nutritionally dense root vegetable that has been used in the high Andes of Peru and Bolivia for 1000s of years. People native to those areas use maca roots both as a food source and as a natural medicine. Over the past 30 years, this humble root vegetable has gained in popularity throughout the world. It is renowned as a superfood that supports overall health and wellbeing.
If you are new to maca, you might be wondering, “what are the best ways to eat it?” Do you just eat the whole maca roots? Do you use maca in a salad? Do you drink maca like coffee or tea?
These are all excellent questions and we’ll give you the answers here.
What Types of Maca Are There?
In general terms, maca roots are considered to be of one species (lepidium meyenni). Note that this is the most scientifically accepted term to refer to maca root, though there is some push to replace that term with the newer lepidium Peruviniam Chacon designation Either way, when we are talking about maca roots grown in and around Junin, Peru, the traditional maca region, the roots are from this one species.
Beyond that, maca grows in a wide range of colors as you can see from the below. The colors are grouped into three main categories of red roots, yellow roots and black roots. These roots are separated by color at harvest to then be prepared for sale. At The Maca Team, we also offer more traditional “heritage harvest” tricolor maca products which include maca roots of each major color family.
We also offer all maca colors in 4 major presentations.
- Maca powder – this is simply crushed maca root that has been ground into a very fine powder to make taking it easier
- Maca capsules – this is maca powder that has been put into capsules for convenience (our capusles contain only our maca powders with no other ingredients, flow agents or fillers)
- Liquid maca extracts – these are made using maca root chips. A special process extracts the active nutrients and leaves them in a base of vegetable glycerin, which makes absorption into the body very easy
- Maca chips – these are as close to whole maca roots as we can legally export from Peru. They are simply maca roots that have been cut into chunks or chips.
Each of these presentations have different ways of consuming them. Maca capsules and extracts are simply taken orally with water or another liquid. That makes them the fastest and easiest to take. Maca powders and maca chips, however, can be consumed in a variety of ways. We’ll explore those below.
Best Ways To Eat Maca Powders
There are many ways to get the power of maca root into your diet when you are using it in powder form. Maca powder has a sweetish, caramel/nutty flavor that complements many dishes. Red maca, by the way, is the sweetest tasting. We’ll list the ways to use maca powder here from easiest to hardest.
- The simplest way to consume maca powder is to mix it into water or your favorite type of milk. In order to get the powder to mix fully, it’s best to use a blender bottle or a whisk.
- A second very easy way to put maca into your diet is to mix your suggested maca serving into yogurt. Since yogurt is thicker than water or milk, all you need to accomplish this is a spoon. Any flavor of yogurt is fine for this.
- A bit more complicated is to add maca powder to your favorite type of vegetable or fruit juice. Just add and stir the maca into the beverage. However, if you are using fruit juice, please note that some people have experienced indigestion. That’s because fruit digests more quickly than the maca root powder. If you have a similar experience, we recommend avoiding eating fruit or fruit juice at the same time as you have maca powder.
- Smoothies are another excellent way to consume maca powder. Maca mixes well in pretty much any kind of smoothie you can imagine. Just add your serving, blend it in and enjoy. Keep in mind that you may need to avoid adding fruit to your smoothie if you notice that you have any digestive issues with it.
- Adding maca powder to coffee or tea is another simple way to ingest maca. If you are using raw maca be careful to let the beverage cool enough before adding maca so that the heat doesn’t damage any of its nutrients.
- Cooking with maca powder is also possible. Maca recipes range very easy to challenging. We have recipes for pancakes and other baked goods as well as all sorts of puddings and pies. We even have some savory maca recipes such as “macamole” and hummus. The one disadvantage to using maca in this way is that it is difficult to know how much you are consuming (unless you eat the whole dish).
Best Ways To Eat Whole Maca Root Chips
Maca root chips are a little more challenging to prepare. They are very hard and crunchy and require soaking or blending before consumption. After soaking you can certainly blend them into any sort of soup or smoothie. You can also steep them and consume them as a tea. But the most popular way to use them is to make them into a porridge. The traditional recipe is called “Mazamora” and is delicious and incredibly filling.
How To Eat Maca to Get The Most Benefits
An important aspect of adding maca to your diet is knowing how to use it to get the most benefit possible. Since maca root is a food and not a supplement or medicine, it’s really pretty easy to incorporate into your daily life. The key factors to remember are:
- It’s best to take maca in the morning (unless you are using it for a workout or to help you maintain energy through the night). Preferably, you should take it either with breakfast or about 30 minutes before.
- Make sure that you are taking a consistent serving size. Maca takes time to work in the body. For people new to maca we recommend starting at a smaller serving size (1/2- 1 teaspoon) and increasing from there. Once you’ve established a serving size (for most people it’s between 1 and 3 teaspoons of maca powder daily), make sure to take it every day for the first month or more. That will give you the best chance of experiencing benefits more quickly.
- As you continue taking maca, it’s a good idea to take 1 day a week or 4 days a month off from taking maca. There is no real science to this. It’s just a way to give your body an occasional break from maca. Remember, it is a very nutrient dense food.
Over decades of sourcing and selling high quality Peruvian maca products, we’ve seen the power of this simple superfood firsthand. We’ve received 1000s of reviews speaking to maca’s versatility as a natural food to promote all types of wellness. It is also versatile as an ingredient in prepared dishes such as smoothies, baked goods and more. Of course, if you are looking for convenience, we also have maca in capsule and liquid extract form, both of which make it very easy to put into your life.
We hope that you found this article helpful and inspirational. Let us know if we can support in any other way. We look forward to receiving your review of this nutritious and delicious superfood in the future.
Finally, check out our Maca Finder to see which maca we recommend for you.
Enjoy the day!