Maca is Good for Both Men and Women
Maca root grows in the high mountainous areas of South America, and has been cultivated as a vegetable crop by South American people for thousands of years. It is related to radishes and turnips and it’s fleshy root grows like an inverted triangle. It is a nutritious root vegetable, but also a medicinal adaptogen, so it is also known as “Peruvian ginseng”. Remember, every continent, country and climate includes medicinal plants for the people who live there, just like here in America, we have “American ginseng”.
Maca’s most notable positive effects are on the reproductive system. It seems to have hormone balancing and regulating effects and seems very good for the reproductive health of both men and women. Maca root is said to increase fertility, improve sexual function, improve hormone balance, and help increase energy and stamina. It may also help improve mental health, especially mood, focus and learning.
In Peru, maca is cooked like a vegetable. But the dried powdered roots are exported and sold to us usually as a “superfood”. Raw maca powder does not mix well with liquids but can be used in baking like ordinary flour. In its raw form it’s a little hard to digest, and “gelatinization” which kind of mimics the cooking process makes it easier to digest and mix into liquids, but you can still mix the raw powder into a smoothie or a no-bake recipe. The usual dosage is 1 Tablespoon once or twice a day, and because it might help boost your energy, it’s usually taken in the morning and early afternoon.
Maca has a pleasant flavor, some describe as similar to butterscotch, and comes in a variety of colors, most commonly yellow, black, and red. All colors of maca have similar benefits, although specific maca types/colors are thought to be more beneficial for certain medical conditions.
No-Bake Vegan Cocoa Maca-roons
Recipe type: No-bake sweets
Cuisine: Vegan / Healthy
Prep time: 15 mins
Total time: 15 mins
Serves: 20 to 24
These no-bake macaroons are filled with all manner of nutrient-dense goodies, including nuts, nut better, dates, and of course, coconut. Not to mention a nice dose of maca powder, which not only lends its malty flavor.
½ cup slivered or sliced almonds
½ cup nut butter or tahini
½ cup Medjool dates (about 8 to 10)
¼ cup maca powder (or see note)
2 tablespoons cacao or organic cocoa powder
½ teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
½ cup shredded coconut, plus more for rolling
2 to 3 tablespoons maple syrup or agave nectar, to taste
Place the almonds in a food processor and process until finely ground.
Add the remaining ingredients and process until the mixture starts holding together as a mass. If it doesn’t do so after a minute or two of processing (for this depends on how moist the dates are and the density of the nut butter), add just a little water, not more than a tablespoon at a time.
Roll into 1-inch balls. Put a small amount of extra coconut on a small plate. Roll the balls in the coconut to coat.
Arrange on another small plate and refrigerate for about an hour, then enjoy!
Read more at http://www.vegkitchen.com/recipes/no-bake-vegan-cocoa-maca-roons/#Hwg1W0UP0G8szZff.99
By Lisa Murray RDN, LD
Lisa is a Licensed Dietitian/Nutritionist and Medical Educator for Emerson Ecologics. Herbalist, nutrition counselor, writer and educator, Lisa’s passion is teaching others how to integrate botanicals and nutrition supplements into a healthy diet and lifestyle, for optimal health and healing.