Lucuma is a Peruvian fruit that has been consumed since 200 A.D. To Peruvians, it it is the “Gold of the Incas”, an orange-yellow fruit that has long been a symbol of longevity and fertility. Today it is accessible as lucuma powder and has ascended the stairs of superfood status. Learn what lucuma is, what its benefits are and how to us it in the kitchen.
The lucuma fruit grows at altitudes of 2,500 to 10,000 feet, so is difficult to attain in its fresh fruit form. Today, it is sold as a powder in most health food stores. Lucuma has a distinct sweet taste. Many say it tastes like a combination of a sweet potato and maple syrup or a combination of a mango and an apricot. Because of its sweetness, lucuma can be used as a healthier, low-glycemic substitute for sugar.
In terms of its nutritional profile, lucuma is dressed to impress. In 2 tablespoons, it contains 20 calories, 2 grams of dietary fiber and 50 milligrams of potassium. It is high in beta-carotene, fiber, iron and vitamin B3 and it boasts anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and antibacterial properties. And because it ranks low on the glycemic scale, it is fit for people with diabetes or others looking to fight the effects of candida, or yeast overgrowth. Lucuma has also shown to aid those with high blood pressure.
In Peru, lucuma is a common ice cream flavor. Even though you won’t easily find such an ice cream in the U.S., you can introduce lucuma to your very own kitchen and experiment with it in beverages, such as adding a few spoonfuls to smoothies, mix into yogurt and cereal as well as blended desserts and baked goods.
Check out your local health food grocer for lucuma powder or look for it online.
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