Here are lots of easy ways to use maca root powder into food and beverages. It’s best to use it in its unaltered state, that is, without much further cooking or baking. That way, more of its valuable nutrients remain intact.
What is maca? Maca is a root vegetable (alternatively referred to as a tuber) that has been grown in the mountains of Peru and Bolivia for millennia. Maca’s benefits have long been valued by indigenous cultures in these countries.
More recently, its use as a superfood has spread worldwide It’s valued for its energy-boosting and adaptogenic qualities; it’s rich in major vitamins and minerals. Find out lots more about in this site’s Guide to Maca Root.
How does maca taste, and what are some good ways to use it? Maca root powder has a distinct flavor that’s been described as alternatively as malty or having a hint of caramel. It has also been called nutty and tasting of butterscotch.
Though maca isn’t sweet, there’s something about its flavor that makes it more compatible with sweet preparations, including beverages, unbaked cookies and bars, smoothies, and cereals. Explore the easy ideas of ways to use it, ahead.
Smoothies and protein shakes
Add 2 to 3 teaspoon of maca powder to smoothies made in a blender. The malty flavor works well with chocolate or vanilla flavors, but also works with green smoothies, protein shakes, and beverages based on bananas and other fruity flavors.
Vegan energy balls
Vegan energy balls and truffles based on dried fruits (especially dates), nut butters, seeds, and other good-for-you ingredients are an ideal way to use maca. Simply add 1 to 3 tablespoons of maca root powder to your favorite recipe for energy balls or truffles.
Energy bars and other unbaked sweets
Maca powder is a great addition to energy bars and other no-bake sweets made with nuts, nut butters, dates, coconut, seeds, and the like. Try adding a couple of tablespoons or so to recipes for these kinds of healthy treats. Try adding 1 to 2 tablespoons to the no-bake Triple-Seed Chocolate Energy Bars shown above.
If you’re into juicing, maca can be a fantastic addition. For 16 ounces of fresh juice, 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon is about right. This is strictly to taste. The flavor of maca blends especially well with carrot juice. You can also add the same amount to bottled juices.
The only downside is that maca doesn’t dissolve easily in cold liquid, leaving clumps in your beverage. If you’d like, you can make your juice and maca combo more palatable by whizzing briefly in a blender or shaking it up in a blender bottle, which is described above under the heading of hot beverages.
Hot and cold cereals
Another easy way to use maca is to sprinkle it on top of or stir into hot cereals, including oatmeal, steel-cut oats, and other whole grain cereals — kamut and quinoa flakes, etc.
It’s also a great addition to your favorite cold crunchy whole-grain cereals and granola; once again, simply sprinkle it on or stir it in. Use 1 to 2 teaspoons of maca powder per serving, otherwise it may overwhelm the flavor of your cereal.
Savory soups that are a little bit sweet
Maca’s malty flavor, though not sweet, isn’t often compatible with savory foods. But if you have a savory soup based on a sweetish vegetable, like Coconut Sweet Potato Bisque or Carrot-Ginger Soup, it blends in nicely. Whisk it in once the soup is done and off the heat. Maca is particularly good in blended soups. Add before blending for best results.
For an average pot of soup serving 6 or so, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of maca root powder once it’s off the heat; whisk in and taste. You don’t want the maca to overpower the soup’s flavor. If you want to add more, use a teaspoon or so at a time, stir, and taste again before adding more.
Yogurts and puddings
Incorporate maca into puddings and (like rice, chocolate, or chia pudding), or stir into vegan yogurt. For every cup or so of plant-based yogurt or pudding, start with a teaspoon, more or less, taste, and adjust. Our Silken Tofu and Avocado Chocolate Mousse is a good one to start with.
Banana soft serve ice cream
If you haven’t yet discovered frozen banana ice cream yet, you’re in for a treat. It’s hard to believe that the base of this creamy, dairy-free treat is simply ripe frozen banana. It’s an ideal type of recipe to boost with a little maca powder. For example, this favorite, Peanut Butter Banana Ice Cream with a Hint of Chocolate, can easily incorporate a couple of tablespoons of maca powder.
Hot beverages — cocoa, coffee, teas, and turmeric drinks
You can stir a teaspoon or two of maca powder into your favorite preparation of hot cocoa, coffee, mocha, tea, or infusion (like ginger-lemon). Any more than that will overwhelm the flavor of your beverage. Add it to the beverage after it’s already in the mug, don’t cook or boil it. Here’s a recipe for Spiced Maple Masala Hot Cocoa with Oat Milk and Maca.
Maca tends to clump, so stir well. You can use a blender bottle (a BPA-free plastic container with a metal ball inside) if you have one, to ensure even distribution of the powder in your beverage. Maca is especially compatible with chai and turmeric lattes. Try Turmeric and Maca Superfood Latte and Maca Wellness Chai.