Peruvian Maca

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The following is some background on ancient Incan Agriculture,  Peruvian Maca and an added recipe.

Incan Agriculture

The Incas grew their crops on terraced hillsides in the Andes.  These terraced gardens incorporated native stone which would heat up during the sunny day and retain and slowly release that heat during the night.  These gardens were also very efficient at retaining moisture.

Most of these terraced gardens have been abandoned and have become overgrown.  There is a restoration project underway and the Cusichaca Trust has reclaimed and rehabiitated some of these gardens.  You can read more about the Cusichaca Trust here:  https://www.facebook.com/events/40-years-of-the-cusichaca-trust-its-achievements-and-legacy/122931724848619/

Yams, squash, corn, beans and onions were among the plants grown by the Incas.  Another plant grown was lepidium meyenii or Peruvian maca,  and also known as “Peruvian ginseng.”  There are records of Inca soldiers carrying maca into battle to enhance endurance.  This was and still is used in traditional medicine.  It is made into a porridge by cooking and drying the fresh root, then mixing with milk.

There are many health benefits attributed to Peruvian maca.  The Incas believed it to enhance endurance and energize.  It it said to promote homeostasis and is an adaptogen.

I usually drink maca in the afternoon and only use organic Peruvian maca.  This is a very economical maca powder; tastes good and mixes well.  When I drink this in the afternoon my afternoon slump is lessened greatly or is nonexistent, so I feel that it is a good product; it’s what I use.  You can learn more about maca here. The reason that I only use maca grown in Peru is because the health benefits may differ if grown in a different climate and altitude.

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My Afternoon Maca Drink

The dry ingredients can be mixed together and stored in an airtight container.  I drink this to stave off the afternoon slump.

  • scant tsp instant decaf coffee or 8oz brewed decaf coffee
  • 1 tsp powdered Peruvian maca
  • 1 TB (heaping) coconut milk powder
  • 1 tsp coconut sugar
  • dash of cinnamon and/or cocoa

Heat 8 oz of water to almost boiling, or use hot brewed decaf coffee.

Add above ingredients to hot water (omit instant decaf if you are using brewed coffee).

Mix well.

Add a dash of cinnamon.

This can also be made ahead of time and stored in a glass jar.  My mother always put waxed paper on the top of the jar before putting on the lid and tightening.  I still use it because it decomposes in a landfill MUCH FASTER than plastic wrap and WORKS JUST AS WELL for most applications. Unfortunately, not so easy to find nowadays.

Peruvian Chicken (or Bean) Stew (with or without) Maca

Stay tuned for my next post.

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4 thoughts on “Peruvian Maca”

  1. Gina M Cress says:

    Nice article. Always searching for new things to try from different cultures. I really liked the tidbit of ancient Incan Agriculture you added too. I’m in need of a good pick-me-up most days myself!

    1. This really is a nice pick-me-up in the afternoon, without any coffee jitters. This doesn’t keep me from sleeping at night either. I have a latte version that I will put on the blog soon.

  2. Coreena says:

    Hi Suzanne
    This recipe sounds delicious! Many years ago I visited Peru and seen those terraced hillsides for myself. Peru is an amazing country to visit and the cuisine great too. -Your post brought back many memories for me – thank you.

    1. I’m happy that you experienced nice memories from my little post. I’ve not been to Peru but want to go someday soon.

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