The first time I ever tried maca, I was overwhelmed by its flavor. And not in a good way. It was about fourteen years ago when opened up the new bag of powder I had ordered, and a maca dust cloud puffed into my face like some kind of bad slapstick joke. As maca’s pungent taste and smell engulfed my senses, I wondered how on earth I would use this strange-tasting food, which was unlike anything else I had ever tried. I mixed it in water. Oh my, it was hideous …. as if drinking a glass of muddy water that was slightly sweet. I mixed it in orange juice. Well, let’s just say you only make that mistake once. And then I made it into energy balls with nuts and dates. Sure I used way too much maca the first time around, but actually, it still wasn’t half bad. Little did I realize I had found the secret to using maca in an enjoyable manner: flavor friends.
Maca has very distinctive “flavor friends” — it is not a superfood like, say, chia, where you can just roll it out onto anything. But once maca is aligned with complimentary ingredients (like nuts and creams for example), its flavor shifts from being a rude awakening, to an immensely welcome, delicious treat that, without indulging too much into dramatic zeal, borderlines on a profound kind of taste. It’s rich, deep, buttery, malty, caramelesque, and a little dirty, in the very best of ways. Maca, used well, lays a foundational flavor element in foods that is akin to a subtle musky perfume embedded in a cashmere sweater. It feels good.
All this boils down to the fact that maca is a WONDERFUL superfood … and we haven’t even talked about its benefits, which are so, so many. Maca is one of the most healthfully energizing foods on the planet, which makes it the perfect foundation for a coffee-like drink. Try whipping up this quick, caffeine-free latte at home to really experience both the blooming flavor as well as the invigorating functions of maca. It might just become your new healthy habit!
This quick, deluxe-tasting energy drink is a great substitute for coffee. It has a buttery, malty flavor, and is creamy like a traditional latte.
1 cup boiling water
½ cup unsweetened almond milk
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 tablespoon maca powder
1 tablespoon coconut sugar
Pinch sea salt
Pinch ground cardamom
Add all the ingredients to a blender. Blend briefly until lightly foamy on top. Serve warm.