Why Lucuma May Be Your New Health Hero
So, What Exactly Is Lucuma?
This fleshy fruit from Peru is typically known as the ‘egg fruit’ as it has a crumbly texture akin to a hard-boiled egg. But don’t worry – when mixed with milk, yoghurt, smoothies, or even used as a sweetener, a rich, maple-like flavour comes through. It’s grown largely in Peru and resembles a mango. As for looks on the inside, once you cut it open, you’ll soon be greeted by soft, yellow flesh that’s pliable enough to be mixed with other foods, but in its purest form, it can be quite bitter. You’ll find it comes in many variations, from frozen (lucuma ice cream is a firm favourite in Peru) to fresh as a fruit, right through to ground powder.
Tell Us More About The Nutritional Benefits?
Loaded with beta carotene, iron, zinc, calcium, protein and fibre, lucuma boosts everything from eye health right through to supporting stronger, plumper skin – it’s even been dubbed as ‘skin food’ by many fans. It also contains antioxidants and potassium, which are said to be good for both your heart and immune system. Plus, some reports claim it may also enhance fertility.
How Does It Taste?
Experts claim the best way to describe it is like sweet potato mixed with maple syrup. It’s said to have a uniquely sweet, fragrant taste that can sometimes even be similar to caramel – hence why it’s become such a popular addition to puddings and a low GI replacement sweetener, meaning none of the energy slumps that come with refined sugars.
What’s The Best Way To Include It In Your Diet?
To ease yourself in, try using lucuma as a sugar substitute in your smoothies and in baked goods as its sweet nature lends itself easily to these types of recipes. Blend a tablespoon of lucuma with banana, then a teaspoon of cinnamon and berries for a delicious, filling smoothie. You can also sprinkle it over your cereal or in your coffee or green juice for a sweeter, creamier taste.
Where Can I Buy It?
You can now find it in the majority of health food stores, including Wholefoods, and on most sites like Amazon and Holland & Barrett. Widely available in powder form, it’s key to ensure you’re buying straight-up lucuma (like Naturya’s Organic Lucuma Powder), not powder mixed with heaps of other ingredients. This just ensures you reap the full benefits without the addition of added sugars and additives. If you fancy trying before you buy, head to Nama in Notting Hill who specialise in all things raw, including almond shakes supercharged with lucuma and coconut oil.
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